Fall Sparrows 10/12/14

White-crowned Sparrow on Haven Road at the Bashakill WMA, 10/12/14.
White-crowned Sparrow on Haven Road at the Bashakill WMA, 10/12/14.

I got out a fair amount this weekend, and sparrows seemed to be everywhere. The hottest spot for me was definitely Winding Waters Trail at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge, which I visited three times and where I totaled 8 different sparrows:

Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow

I am, of course, still struggling with my sparrow identifications; at times I felt confident and capable and at other times I felt clueless. Here are my photos from the weekend – I am confident with all my IDs with a couple of exceptions which I have noted in the captions. Also noteworthy, I had my first Dark-eyed Juncos of the season on Saturday morning at Cascade Lake (which was also loaded with Ruby-crowned Kinglets – 15+).

Savannah Sparrow at Winding Waters Trail at the Wallkill River NWR, 10/11/14.
Savannah Sparrow at Winding Waters Trail at the Wallkill River NWR, 10/11/14.
This bird has me a little stumped. I was thinking first winter Swamp Sparrow, but now I am leaning towards and hoping for Lincoln's. Any thoughts on this bird would be appreciated. This was taken Winding Waters Trail at the Wallkill River NWR, 10/10/14.
This bird has me a little stumped – I am thinking it is a hatch year Swamp Sparrow. Any thoughts on this bird would be appreciated. This was taken Winding Waters Trail at the Wallkill River NWR, 10/10/14.
It was great to see several Field Sparrows at Winding Waters Trail at the Wallkill River NWR, 10/10/14.
It was great to see several Field Sparrows at Winding Waters Trail at the Wallkill River NWR, 10/10/14.
This photo is not very representative of how it looked when I saw this bird. This was taken on Friday night and it was nearly dark out. I had my ISO cranked up to 3200 and somehow the photo is not too noisy. White-throated Sparrow,Winding Waters Trail at the Wallkill River NWR, 10/10/14.
This photo is not very representative of how it looked when I saw this bird. This was taken on Friday night and it was nearly dark out. I had my ISO cranked up to 3200 and somehow the photo is not too noisy. White-throated Sparrow,Winding Waters Trail at the Wallkill River NWR, 10/10/14.
THIS, I believe is a Lincoln's Sparrow. I did not ID it as such in the field, but looking at the photos I am thinking Lincoln's. Taken Winding Waters Trail at the Wallkill River NWR, 10/10/14.
THIS, I believe is a Lincoln’s Sparrow. I did not ID it as such in the field, but looking at the photos I am thinking Lincoln’s. Again, any thoughts on this bird please comment! Taken at Winding Waters Trail at the Wallkill River NWR, 10/10/14.

12 thoughts on “Fall Sparrows 10/12/14”

    1. Thanks Karen – It’s not the greatest post in regards to photos, but it was awesome to see so many sparrows around this weekend. I love the White-crowned Sparrow though! Matt

  1. If the last one is a Lincoln’s my guess is the other one is a young of the same maybe , when I compare the two. Great shots, Matt

    1. Wilma, I’m not sure about either of them! I hope one of these days something clicks for me with the sparrows. Thanks for the input. Matt

  2. Matt
    The last one is a definite Lincoln’s Sparrow in my opinion. The distinct buffy submoustachial stripe and the very fine streaking on the upper breast on a buff background are what I’m looking at. -Gilbert

    1. Thanks so much for the feedback Gilbert. I wish I could have seen that it was a Lincoln’s in the field. I guess that will come with time. Matt

  3. Matt – I wanted to also say I love your site and your great photos! We met once at Bashakill (would have been April 2012) when you had the scope on the eagle nest there.

  4. Nice shots!

    Agree that the second unknown/unsure Sparrow is a Lincoln’s for sure. The first one is a juvenile Swamp/Song/Lincoln’s, which all look really similar and I am not qualified one bit to distinguish (but they can be distinguished, usually). I am fairly new to sparrows myself, and they are very confusing!

    Great shots, and good luck…I look forward to more posts!

    1. Stephen,

      There certainly seems to be a consensus about the second questionable sparrow being a Lincoln’s Sparrow. Maybe the first is best left unidentified. Thanks for commenting, glad you are enjoying the blog. Matt

    1. Hmmm… I was trying to figure out who you are but I guess I had the wrong person… hopefully I’ll see you out there soon. Matt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *