Documenting the Birding Adventures of Scott Whittle
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Plum Bird in Brooklyn
After birding Plum Beach for Nelson's and Sharptailed Saltmarsh Sparrows on Sunday, I saw a post on Wednesday morning that an even "better" bird had shown up there...LeConte's Sparrow. This is one of the rare sparrows that we occasionally see in NY. Last year, I was with a group of birders at Tilden when Shane Blodgett got us on to an immature LeContes. This year, the bird was found by Doug Gochfeld (yet another rarity he found this year, after Red Necked Stint and Wagtail), an it was an adult. Jess and I drove to the beach and saw the now familiar site of a group of birders searching for a rarity. We fanned out and meandered over the dunes and marsh hoping to re-spot the sparrow. This went on for about forty-five minutes, during which time several more birders and photographers arrived. Suddenly the call went out..."over here!" and we were on the bird. It showed briefly and went back into the brush before I could get a look, and we all went back into slow-search mode, but with considerably more adrenaline in our systems. The bird finally popped back up and gave everyone good views before landing on the ground and scurrying under some brush. Again with the walking behavior, which I'm coming to believe is the best way for a bird to hide itself.
My name is Scott Whittle and I'm a professional photographer (www.scottwhittle.com). I have an MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. I started birding as a teenager, and then dropped it for many years. I started to bird again in 2007, and have been birding since then in Brooklyn, NY and Cape May, NJ.