[CT Birds] Harris' Sparrow - yes - 3:30

Daniel williams dwilliamsbirder302 at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 10 18:05:29 EST 2012

To add a little more information for anyone who might try for the Harris's Sparrow in the future. When I first arrived at the location around 12:45 it was very windy and there was no activity to speak of around the cement structure or in the hedge row parallel to Norwich road. Carl Ekroth and Paul Dejardins arrived about forty five minutes later and almost immediately spooked five or six cardinals ( at least two adult males and one immature male and two females) and the flock of about 20-25 sparrows containing the Harris's along with mostly white-throated and a few song, that had been hunkered down and previously invisible deep in the hedge 15 yards east of the entrance. The Harris's then moved actively back and forth between 30 yards east and 30 yards west of the entrance, associating closely with the mixed cardinal/sparrow flock. The group moved rapidly and at times deep within the hedge, When flushed further down the row the Harris's repeatedly lit
 briefly in the open affording excellent views before disappearing again. All the birds moved quickly and in and out of view, we lost and refound the Harris's a number of times. The large size, warm ochre coloring of the face and heavy pink bill were the most striking and readily visible features among the chaos of a rapidly moving group of birds in dense thicket. Better looks revealed fine scaling on the crown and nape, a white throat and black malar stripe, and a crisp black "necklace" against a white belly. The final time I saw the bird it hopped along the top of the stone wall just east of the entrance behind the pile of chicken manure before dropping to the ground out of view behind the mound. 
What a great bird and my 300th in CT,
Danny Williams

 From: Glenn Williams <gswilliams9 at yahoo.com>
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org 
Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 4:49 PM
Subject: [CT Birds] Harris' Sparrow - yes - 3:30
The bird was still present at the previously described location - this time in the hedgerow along the road just east of the cement building with manure pile.

Danny Williams told me that it was associating with a flock of 6-8 cardinals.  I found the cardinals right away but it took a half hour to find the bird.  When I did, it was with this flock, which also included a handful of white-throats and song sparrows.

Glenn Williams
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