Monday, December 16, 2013 Seward Swamp Sparrow!

Seward, Alaska

Thanks to Luke DeCicco's alert analysis of my recent photos, the LINCOLN SPARROW I reported at Ava's is really a SWAMP SPARROW! He noted that the gray nape, unstreaked flanks, and back pattern match a drab Swamp Sparrow better than a Lincoln's. He believes this is the fourth southcentral record and second for the Kenai. I assume it's a first for Seward, and a Lifer for me. Good eye!

I included two photos from March 2013 of the very gray and drab LINCOLN'S SPARROW for comparison.

Feeding with the Swamp Sparrow were six AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS.

Thanks to Ava for feeding her fabulous flock. She always appreciates donations of black-oil sunflower seeds chips if you come down to see the Swamp Sparrow. Directions: turn east on Nash Road, then left on Salmon Creek Road. Drive over Salmon Creek bridge and immediately turn right past the bridge down her long driveway. Her blue-roofed home is at the end. Park and enjoy the show. No need to knock.

Also spotted today at Lowell Point, the WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, Zonotrichia albicollis, and its cousin, a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, Zonotrichia leucophrys, and two SONG SPARROWS, Melospiza melodia, related to the Swamp Sparrow and Lincoln sparrow. Note the sun sets on the west side of the bay by 1 pm, plunging everything into shadow.

It's a great sparrow show this winter in Seward!

32 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS churred at the top of a cottonwood towards dusk for a fine finale to the blustery, short sunny day.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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