Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Thanks to the westerly winds...
Crappy pics of the Brewer's Sparrow from the hood yesterday. Despite the poor photos that don't seem quite accurate, in person the ID was quite obvious, and on first sight the first thing that popped into my head was Cassin's/Brewer's Sparrow as this bird peered out of our sage bush, then moving up to the top twig for several seconds of clear view. When I caught sight of it's relatively shorter, notched tail I knew this was no Cassin's, it was a fine Brewer's Sparrow! Very dull face pattern, nice white eyering, and overall low contrast grayish sandy plumage. It hopped up onto the fence for a couple minutes for stunning looks. Got great looks at the finely streaked crown completely lacking white median stripe, very dull face pattern and overall plumage. Nape/sides of neck were NOT outstanding smooth gray as in a CCSP - on this bird it was just a dull sandy grayish with fine streaking blending it with the mantle and crown. Awesome bird and probably the 1st documented NCTX record of this species. These photos were taken a short while after the initial find as the bird moved from yard to yard but stayed in the same general area... I think it didn't want to stray too far from it's little slice of home aka the backyard sage bush! Photos taken 8 May 2007, Richardson, Dallas Co., Texas.
Conditions sucked for photography -these were taken with handheld Nikon A40 2mp camera held up to Leica 8x42 binoculars, in difficult light. The appearance of a dark whisker in the top photo was due to the shaded, backlit conditions... in all other views it seemed very faint or barely visible. In the same photo you can see some of the streaks on the sides of the neck. Compare pic of BRSP here which shows how much bolder the dark whisker can look in shade vs light.