Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Henslow's Sparrow, LB #477
Last Friday (July 3), Lance Tanino and I drove south on I-91 to Montague, MA with hopes of seeing the Henslow's Sparrow that was firsted reported the previous Saturday and continued to be seen and heard singing every day since then in an unmowed hay field just north of the intersection of Meadows and Upper Taylor Hill roads. Observing the bird was not nearly as challenging as finding our way to it on roads unfamiliar to us. Fortunately there was already a birder on the road shoulder peering into a field fitting the description of our destination, so little time was wasted and we got onto the bird almost immediately. The sparrow's song (tsi-LICK) was distinctive and seemed to project some distince giving the impression that the bird was alot closer than it really was. Actually the bird was hanging out 50-70 yards from the road near the center of the field. When not taking refuge down in the grasses, it perched on one of several green oat stems that protruded above the surrounding vegetation. Soon we were joined by a half dozen or so other birders, including two from Delaware. Henslow's Sparrow is now a rare sighting in New England, so Lance and I were both very satisfied to add it to our life lists here.