Sudden Influx of Rarities

Henslow’s Sparrow

Yesterday morning around 11 am, an area birder, Gordon Smith was driving through rural Brunswick, Maine with his windows open.  Stopping at a four way intersection, he heard a bird singing “tsillik, tsillik.”  The song was an insect-like, feeble hiccup that he had heard before.

Racing home, Gordon returned with recording gear and after analysis . . . he was sure he was hearing a secretive Henslow’s Sparrow . . . a bird not seen in Maine in 20 years.

By evening, word had spread through the birding community and birders descended on the tall grass meadow next to the intersection.

Ingrid and I arrived about 6:30 and got nice recording of the Sparrow, but not a visual.

I was back at the “Henslow’s Sparrow Stakeout” by 5:45 am, expecting to be the first one at the bird’s location . . . I was soooooo wrong!!!

Henslow’s Sparrow Stakeout

The Maine birding community  watched the rare Henslow’s Sparrow sing constantly, one top of a various bushes.  For a birder . . . it was incredible.

Henslow’s Sparrow

After watching the bird for 45 minutes and taking some distant photos, I rushed an hour south to Scarborough where a rare Black-necked Stilt was hanging out just off busy Route 1.  Ingrid and I had seen this bird numerous times in Florida, Texas and California . . . but seeing one in Maine was great.

And this was on top of the Seaside Sparrow, that I had photographed five days earlier . . . another rarity and life bird.

Seaside Sparrow

Early July is normally a slow birding time, but not this year,

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