We met around 6:15 a.m. and with Jeff at the wheel, we headed off to eastern PA. Having missed the Green tailed-Towhee the prior weekend, Jeff and Eric were hoping that the weather being a bit cooler this weekend would encourage the Towhee to be lured out to bird seed.
We arrived at Blue Marsh Lake in PA, a little after 9AM and immediately heard a singing Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla) and the chip notes of nearby Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum). On our walk up the hill past the dam, we found at least 2-3 singing Palm Warblers. Further into the trail we heard a singing Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula), which kept out of sight even though we tried to coax it into view. More Palm Warblers, Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis)and Eastern Phoebes (Sayornis phoebe) were also seen as we worked our way towards the spot where the Green-tailed Towhee was reported.
I was satisfied that with Eric and Jeff neither of them were going to get antsy after a short wait as they are both patient birders. We all waited patiently and during that time enjoyed ourselves observing many of the other birds that showed up. We also did quite a bit of birding by ear and an observer unfamiliar with our lingo would have been quite amused to hear anyone of us call out a bird and ask if the others had heard it.
|Target bird #1: Green-tailed Towhee|
|Eric and Jeff all smiles after picking up their life Green-tailed Towhee|
|Target bird #2: Harris's Sparrow and 2nd lifer for the day|
For anyone interested in statistics, we reviewed our field notes on the way home and concluded that we tallied twelve species of Sparrows for the day that included Green-tailed and Eastern Towhees and Dark-eyed Junco. It was a very fun day birding with Jeff and Eric while picking up two lifers; it is not often one could do a 2 for 2 in the field when chasing rarities.
Tags: Green-tailed Towhee, Harris's Sparrow