Regular readers of this website have probably heard about how Alex’s Canon 400mm lens went through a pretty nasty rainstorm, which resulted in the lens having to be sent back and repaired. Today, he finally got the lens back from the shop, and it is working great! We were both pretty excited to get out and take some pictures of birds, as well as search for migrant sparrows around the county. We spent the afternoon visiting four birding hotspots with hopes of having some birds cooperate for photos. We should have known that whenever you go out trying to get nice pictures, the birds don’t want their pictures taken but we did manage to get a few shots we liked.
Our first stop was Yeager Hollow Pond (eBird list). This has been the best location in the county for lots of sparrows so far this fall, and today wasn’t any different. There were loads of sparrows in the hedgerows and we ended up finding 7 species with a whopping 75+ Song Sparrows, 20 White-crowned Sparrows, 30 Swamp Sparrows, and 5 Lincoln’s Sparrows! Otherwise, bird activity was slower than normal at Yeager Hollow, but you can always count on seeing a few Purple Finches and an angry male Belted Kingfisher.
Our next stop was Julian Wetlands (eBird list). There wasn’t much there, so we drove over to Scotia Pond (eBird list) – also not much there besides Rusty Blackbirds, but a juvenile Hermit Thrush was foraging alongside the road and offered good photo opportunities. Our last stop was to the new Circleville Park (eBird list), a community park with a lot of birding potential. Sparrow activity was great at Circleville Park, with 8 species there plus two little Winter Wrens! These were the first Winter Wrens either of us had seen so far this fall in Centre County.
Overall it was a pretty nice day to be outside, birding – the weather was cool but comfortable and the sparrows were plentiful! Please share with us, in the comments, what birding you have been doing in your area recently. What sparrows are moving through your neck of the woods this time of the year?