[Tweeters] Swamp Sparrow in Brady Loop area.

bill shelmerdine georn1 at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 29 05:27:52 PDT 2013

Greetins all,

Yesterday around 5:30 I encountered a Swamp Sparrow along Foster Road about 150 yards north of the small creek or slough. It was with a group of Song and Golden-crowned sparrows. It was a very striking and crisply marked individual that left me uncertain as to age class. I would expect an immature to be both darker and more streaked than this bird, but I just don't see that many of these guys.

This bird was distinctly smaller than the adjacent Song Sparrows and much paler, especially on the underparts. I judged it to be about the size of a Lincolns Sparrow and the most skulking sparrow in the group, often dissappearing mouse-like into the grass and vegetation along the fence line. It did pop out to the road edge/shoulder several times for some very nice and rather close views, but never strayed far from cover. The bird had a striking gray head, with clear gray side of neck and broad gray supercillium contrasting with a dark brown crown (densly streaked with blackish) and rust back. The face showed a dark blackish line through the eye and a brownish or olive tinged auricular that contrasted with the surrounding gray. The throat was white with thin black lateral stripes, breast washed a pale gray with a hint of a dark central spot. Lower breast and belly was white with bright buffy flanks. Overall the underparts were quite pale and either unstreaked or very lightly or diffusely streaked. Wings and tail were a dark rusty brown. Coverts showed broad rusty edges, while back feathers had distinct black centers. From the back the bird was rather dark. A full list and description has been posted to ebird.

Cheers and good birding,

Bill Shelmerdine

georn1 at hotmail.com

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