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Birdwalk Highlights for 11/2: Old Town House Park, North Yarmouth

November 2, 2019

After wavering on where to go this morning, Old Town House Park came through for us in a big way! I guess this is where all of those birds that are not at feeders right now are!  Yes, with an abundance of natural food sources this season, today was a perfect example of where birds actually are when it feels like there are "no birds" at your feeding station. We also had several "good" birds for the date as well.


A single immature male COMMON YELLOWTHROAT was probably the bird of the day, especially because of how nicely he sat in the sun for us. It's a common summer species that rarely lingers late into fall.  The only other warblers today were, as expected, a couple of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS.


The same swale held two SWAMP SPARROWS - one of which nicely competed for attention with the yellowthroat, also perching out in the open to take in the sun on a chilly morning.  Surprisingly, however, the only other sparrows we had were a couple of DARK-EYED JUNCOS and one heard-only SONG SPARROW. 


Early in the walk, we flushed a WILSON'S SNIPE from a wet spot, and later encountered a lingering immature EASTERN PHOEBE. Meanwhile, after also recently lamenting the dearth of large migrant blackbird flocks this fall, we got some #vizmig with a massive flock of 250-300 COMMON GRACKLES, followed later by flocks of about 50 and about 200 mixed BLACKBIRDS. One lone female RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD paused in a tree for a spell.


A dozen GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS were found, including a scolding flock of 10. Four EASTERN BLUEBIRDS briefly stopped before continuing onward. And unlike most walks this fall, common resident birds were just that: common. Tallies included 28 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, 10+ BLUE JAYS, 4 NORTHERN CARDINALS, 3 WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, and at least two of each DOWNY and HAIRY WOODPECKERS.


Perhaps most interesting, however, were the relatively goodly numbers of PURPLE FINCHES today - at least a dozen by conservative estimate. Feeding on their favored ash tree samaras, this was about as many as I had seen all fall so far! And several of them offered some really good views.



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