American Tree Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Rough-legged Hawk, more at Mono Lake County Park

From: C. McCreedy
Remote Name:
Date: 10/31/02
Time: 09:26:45 AM


An incredible day at Mono Lake! I witnessed a Rough-legged Hawk soaring over the Mobil at Lee Vining, my first of the fall and my first in the Mono Basin. At the County Park, I observed a Swamp Sparrow and American Tree Sparrow in the deadish willows behind the bird sign at the boardwalk's patio, at fifteen feet. I do not own a camera, I urge anyone with a camera to look for them. The SWSP: buffy/warm flanks, grey chest. White throat, clear malar. Much heavier streaking on the back than two Lincoln's Sparrows that were in the willows for comparison. I caught the rufous wings, especially on the coverts. The ATSP: 6 or 7 minutes of careful study and sketching. Bicolored bill, red eye line, red crown. Faint spot on chest. Clear white wing bars, vivid streaks on back, grey rump. Secondaries with white edging. Also: a flock of several American Crows scattered through the lake's NW shore (first time I've seen them in the Mono Basin), a Greater White-fronted Goose and Egyptian Goose with four Canadian Geese. Finally, on my way out I found a flock of 7 or 8 Western Bluebirds (no Mountain Bluebirds among them) in the bitterbrush west of the park. First WEBL I've seen in the Mono Basin, Gaines' occurrence graph for the East Slope ends in September.