McIntosh Refuge - Sunday morning walk
It was a beautiful morning to look for birds at the McIntosh Wildlife Refuge in Bristol, RI. Unfortunately the 45ºF temperature seemed to have scared away most of the people for my walk. Hopefully this doesn't spell bad news for my continued walks, as it will most likely only get colder. However, I had a nice stroll with my one regular participant. Sparrows were particularly abundant in the meadow, as I had hoped, and there were more later by myself along the Jacobs Point trail. I finally found myself a Lincoln's Sparrow which have been avoiding me this fall. Song Sparrows were everywhere, along with many Swamp Sparrows, a few White-throated, one Chipping, and one Saltmarsh. Yellow-rumped Warblers were plentiful, feeding on berries and giving their diagnostic "chek" calls. A Nashville Warbler showed itself briefly next to an area of pokeberry and grapes. Many Gray Catbirds, American Robins, Northern Flickers, and Mourning Doves gorged themselves on berries at the bottom of the meadow. A Northern Harrier graced us with a brief view from the marsh boardwalk. Both a Cooper's Hawk and a Sharp-shinned Hawk were seen separately soaring over the saltmarsh. Two Red-tailed Hawks were over the meadow, one getting mobbed by a gang of American Crows and the other stooping for prey. Two Eastern Phoebes hunted, one in the meadow and one along the Jacobs Point trail. Palm Warblers are still present along the Jacobs Point trail with two of the usual fall "Western" subspecies and one "Yellow". A quirk of migration routes means we get 95% "Yellow" birds in the spring and 95% "Western" in the fall. Palm Warblers are overall brownish in the fall with "Yellow" Palm Warblers having yellow in the face and breast while yellow in the "Western" is restricted to the undertail coverts.
Song Sparrows (melospiza melodia) - McIntosh Wildlife Refuge, Bristol, Rhode Island | October