It's October, and that means sparrows. And that means we were due for a visit to the weedy organic farm and fields at Wolfe's Neck Center. And there, we found plenty of sparrows.
As expected, SONG (100+) and SAVANNAH SPARROWS (75+) led the way, with excellent views of each, often in direct comparison. Among the two big sparrow hotspots, we also had a very impressive total of 23 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS! Ten SWAMP SPARROWS were a more average number, joined by 3 LINCOLN'S SPARROWS - one of which was pleasantly cooperative. Six WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS seem a little low, with one CHIPPING SPARROW still lingering.
But today, the sparrows were almost outnumbered by PINE SISKINS! A big irruption is underway, and today we saw several large flocks and a few smaller groups for a goodly total of about 160! One flock of about 50-60 wheeled by right overhead.
26 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS were joined by 6 DUNLIN, which is normal for early October, but the flock of around 75 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS was large and late for Casco Bay. Two GREATER YELLOWLEGS added to our shorebird list. 24 LAUGHING GULLS remain, joining HERRING and RING-BILLED GULLS on the mudflats as two GREAT BLUE HERONS stood guard.
We also enjoyed some #vismig with a nice little trickle of migrant raptors: 2 AMERICAN KESTRELS, 2 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, 1 COOPER'S HAWK, 1 TURKEY VULTURE, and finishing with one MERLIN. We also spotted at least three different BALD EAGLES.
And finally, our send-off was a vociferous (as usual) BELTED KINGFISHER patrolling the creek as we returned to our cars after a very successful and productive morning stroll.