Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hamilton-Trenton Marsh, 3/22

First time I've birded Hamilton-Trenton Marsh seriously, taking a slow walk around the woods, and finding quite a nice variety of things. Four Wilson's Snipe and two male Blue-winged Teal were in the first marsh, Tree Swallows were around the outskirts to the trail through the woods. Rusty Blackbirds (singing) and Swamp Sparrows were on the first section of trail in the woods. In the lake on the far side there was a large number of waterfowl including many Green-winged Teal and Wood Ducks but also American Wigeon and Northern Pintail. The last of the six new-for-year birds of the morning was a female Hairy Woodpecker.

What there wasn't were many sparrows in the understory, in fact it was quiet apart from a Winter Wren and a few Carolina Wrens establishing territory. This echos my experience in Princeton which also isn't a good place for understory sparrows (ironically Central Park is far better, but it would not surprise me if this was related to deer browsing).

Update: in the afternoon of 3/28 diversity was less with no Rusty Blackbirds but the addition of Brown Creeper in a mixed passerine flock with several Yellow-rumped Warblers in the woods. Very few sparrows, so I assume this is just not a good site for them.

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