Re: Pacific Commons Linear Park

Stephen T Bird

Alex I think we met and maybe pointed something else out to you, at least I recall exchanging names with you, and Dawn and Yvette (who traded their burrowing owl for the dark ferruginous). Thx!

That (tentative) Bells/Sagebrush is mine. I did not bring a camera as I was “on errands” with my first lovely trip to Pacific Commons as a side show. Someone else will have to get out with definitive proof or accept the description for its limitations. I would appreciate suggestions. 

About halfway up the north-south paved trail on the west side, where the white-throated has been spotted (apparently more than one as I saw a tan-striped adult or immature and I was told of a white-striped), I spotted the sparrow in question traveling with yellow-crowned. It immediately struck me due to its dark lateral throat stripes (and their shape)  reminiscent of a diminished five-stripe sparrow but without all the other contrast in in the supercilium, also ruling out what might be a strange lark sparrow. Crucial here it lacked isolated dark spot of the chest making the bells/sagebrush ID questionable. Otherwise it lacked color in crown and wings, ruling out rufous crown and wing (also very unlikely due to size and shape of lateral throat stripes), and was not heavily stripped, otherwise mostly clean breast (including the odd lack of the isolated breast spot) removing any chance of an odd juvenile lark sparrow (also wrong shape overall). The lateral throat stripes did not extend as fully to the beak and were a little splotchy at the upper vertex. I’m actually thinking this is a sagebrush because, with the lateral throat stripes, it was fairly light for what I would expect a bells, and in my sun of more light tans than I still expect of either. Light through uncertain if bright-white eye rings. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Seen <5ft unobstructed,for a good minute, with some “pocket” bushnell 8x32s.


PS I also appreciate the parking discussion. I talked to security and I was given ...unproductive... parking directions.

On Mon, Nov 30, 2020 at 12:14 PM Alexander Henry <awhenry@...> wrote:
Hi everyone,

I swung by Pacific Commons Linear Park today to see the Harris’s Sparrow found last week by Jason Tanner. It seems to be spending a majority of time in a weedy field  near where Bunche Drive becomes Nobel Drive. The same exact spot where there was a Vesper Sparrow earlier in the fall - clearly a good spot to check for Sparrows in the future!

Also present was the returning dark morph Ferruginous Hawk, always a cool bird to see. Also a Golden Eagle, Redheads, Common Gallinules, Ring-necked Ducks, Virginia Rails, etc. A distant flock of flying Greater White-fronted Geese early in the morning was a nice surprise.

I ran into Dawn and Yvette who also saw a second Ferruginous Hawk, and several birders saw a Burrowing Owl.

There were quite a few birders present looking for the Harris’s Sparrow. Some of them saw the fake owl on a telephone pole and thought it was a real Great Horned Owl. I just want to clarify that it is NOT an owl!

There was also a Bell’s Sparrow reported at Pacific Commons Linear Park today. While Bell’s Sparrow is not considered rare in eBird, due to its (still quite sparse) distribution in the interior coast range, Bell’s Sparrow would be VERY rare at this location. I hope that documentation can be provided, or the record is changed...

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! And I encourage everyone to get out as much as possible over the next few weeks, and find some good wintering birds for the CBCs!

Alex Henry

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