Warblers and Sparrows

Birding was still slow at Theler Wetlands in Belfair Friday, though there did seem to be a few more warblers and sparrows than the week before, hopefully a sign that we will soon be greeting Cedar Waxwings and ducks as they head South.

At first I thought that this was the first picture I’d ever gotten of a a Savannah Sparrow, but it turns out I had taken one earlier in the year that I’d forgotten about. Still, it was exciting seeing a flock of them warming themselves on the railing:

Savannah Sparrow

I didn’t recognize this bird when I first saw it, and I’m still unsure that it’s merely a Song Sparrow Variant, but after an hour or so of research I have to conclude that that is what it is, even though it looks an awful lot like what Sibley calls a California Song Sparrow and very little like the song sparrows I’ve taken so many pictures of before.

Unusual Song Sparrow

Now I know why so many birders refer to these guys as LBJ’s, especially when the author of my identification books says that there are over 30 different subspecies of the song sparrow.

I had nearly as much trouble identifying this little yellow warbler, which I think is the “Gray-headed form” of the Orange-Crowned Warbler, an identification based as much on the fact that it was feeding on blackberries as on its looks.

Orange-Crowned Warbler

If so, it is the first picture I’ve ever taken of one, though it’s entirely possible that I’ve labeled on a Yellow Warbler before.

After nearly a week devoted to fence building hunting and trying to identify elusive warblers and sparrows while walking six miles was a welcome break.

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