Upstate Dickcissel

Drew WeberBird Sightings, Birding, RaritiesLeave a Comment

I’ve got a favorite sparrow patch in Syracuse that I like to visit frequently. It’s right by the Inner Harbor, and is an overgrown weedy field that is probably going to turn into some development project in a few years. It’s a new spot, as last year it was mostly gravel and bare dirt, but now it is gloriously overgrown and a great spot for lots of Savannah and Song Sparrows. Over the past few weeks I’ve been visiting it frequently and have seen almost all the expected sparrow species (missing Chipping surprisingly).

Today was another of those days, but I didn’t have much time so I was just planning on scanning from the parking lot that overlooks most of the area. Song Sparrows were everywhere and most were heading towards a wet area with cattails in the southwest corner of the field. I headed over there and spent a few frustrating minutes watching sparrows pop out of the cattails only to disappear back in the vegetation. Finally, one bird popped up, and as I got my bins on it I immediately noticed that it was different…Dickcissel!

Digiscoped with Leica APO Televid 65mm scope using iPhone 6 and a Phone Skope adapter.

Digiscoped with Leica APO Televid 65mm scope using iPhone 6 and a Phone Skope adapter.

After getting a good look, I am not ashamed to say I sprinted back to my car to grab my Leica scope and Phone Skope digiscoping adapter. I have been itching to try out the iPhone 6 for some digiscoping and this was finally my chance. The guys from Phone Skope were nice enough to send out an iPhone 6 case to try, and it worked like a charm. I’ll be reviewing that in a future post. The Dickcissel was a bit too far away for a great shot, but amusingly it perched itself up on a cattail with another cattail propping up its tail, giving it a funny posture most of the time. This Dickcissel was pretty great looking, with bright chestnut on the shoulder, fresh feathers all around, and the distinctive pale back stripes. In addition to the Dickcissel, there was a young male Indigo Bunting, which is getting on the late side. Altogether a great visit to one of my favorite spots.

Check out the video below and make sure you set it to HD by selecting the gear in the bottom right.