Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Nelson's Search Update
Well, several more days of searching (including 2 trips to Hofma Preserve and 2 more to Roselle Park) for our elusive visitor have come up empty-handed, although I still think we're getting hotter. To date, we have now located at least 4, probably 5 separate individual Le Conte's Sparrows, a species which I'd never seen as a migrant in my life prior to this fall's targeted search. Here is the latest individual, a particularly confiding bird, from Roselle Park this morning:With all the reports of Nelson's Sparrows from surrounding states in the last 10 days, I thought it would be interesting to plot a map of those sightings. (Format = # individuals, date)I really don't think it's possible that a bird found this regularly this close to Michigan is truly a vagrant-only in our state. It may indeed be rarer here than in WI, IL, OH, ON, etc., but I cannot believe that it just isn't here right now. I am starting to think that we may not have exactly comparable habitats (for example, we lack a dredge spoil jutting out into Lk Michigan such the Milwaukee Coast Guard Impoundment, and places with thick, relatively homogeneous smartweed patches such as Nine Springs, Milwaukee), but this may mean we just need to figure out what our best habitats are. With the end of the migration window rapidly approaching, I am hoping for paydirt in the next week. The cold weather certainly can't hurt!