The plan for the day was to search for rails and maybe a bittern at the cattail marsh at Atterbury. Then meet up with Mike at Laura Hare for another try at migrating Hermit Thrush.
So as with most weekends the adventure started by bushwhacking through some brush. This time through thorns to get to the marsh. But no need to waste your time on the outing. Even though it was a perfect morning to be out, no rails or bitterns were heard or seen.
Nor were any Woodcocks or Owls and I was out early enough to hear them. The water was still very high in the marsh so I understood why the rails weren’t there, yet. I’ll try again next week. The good news is only one leg came out of my boot after getting stuck in the muck. A nice save and I got the leg in the boot before I stepped in the muck!
But I had heard Henslow’s Sparrows on my walk to the marsh. I heard them last year on the far side of the same field in July and August so I was surprised to hear them this early in the spring on this side. I bet I stared at this thorn bush for 5 minutes listening to the Henslow’s before it finally flicked a wing and I spotted it.
He jumped up and I maneuvered a little to get the following photos.
Notice the olive colored face and short tail.
I also saw and heard a species that I will post about later this week.
On to Laura Hare, showing up 15 minutes late, after waiting around for the Henslow’s to pop up. Just like last week the best birding was 100 meters from the parking lot in the boggy area. Several species including a Louisiana Waterthrush was calling as was a Pileated Woodpecker. We then got on a warbler up high that we at first thought was a Yellow-throated but it just didn’t look right. Yellow on the throat but no white on the sides. It then sang the song of a Northern Parula, ending that discussion.
On to the forest to search for Hermit Thrush. We really hadn’t gone far when Mike saw a bird flutter up ahead on the trail. Turned out to be two Hermit Thrushes.
We ended up with 3 Hermit Thrushes on the day. Except for the boggy area near the parking lot, it was quiet. (in other words no Winter Wren)
A quick check on the way home at the best wet area I have found in the county only produced Killdeer, Pectoral Sandpipers, and Wilson Snipe.
And I will end with a photo of an Eastern Bluebird I took the other night.