Tuesday, April 28, 2015

White-throated Sparrow at Kathryn Albertson Park

Nora and I spent several mornings in February heading over to Kathryn Albertson Park in Boise right at sunrise in hopes of tracking down the Varied Thrush and White-throated Sparrow that have been wintering there for the last few years. The mornings were still quite chilly but it was nice to start having some usable light in the morning before I have to start work for the day.

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Nora strolling at Kathryn Albertson Park, Ada County. February 11, 2015.

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Kathryn Albertson Park, Ada County. February 12, 2015.

On one of our trips, we actually laid eyes on the White-throated Sparrow and managed to snap a quick documentation shot before it scuttled back off into the brush. Kathryn Albertson Park is normally so busy when we can make it there on the weekends, so the chance to go on a weekday and have the place mostly to ourselves made a big difference. This little guy was really skittish, and after the first time he got spooked away from the trail, he never came back out into view again.

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White-throated Sparrow at Kathryn Albertson Park, Ada County. February 12, 2015.

The Varied Thrush was a little more elusive for most people this year than it has been in year’s past, though on one morning I did hear it calling as soon as I got out of the car. Normally it’s found in the back (northwest) corner at the same spot as the White-throated Sparrow, but I actually heard it calling from somewhere near the entrance to the park, in the thick shrubs right behind the big stone letters that spell out “Albertson”. It would have been nice to lay eyes on it and get some pictures, but as a consolation prize, we did find this Lady Amherst Pheasant, a bird native to southwestern China and Burma, and probably kept by someone in Boise as part of an ornamental collection until it either escaped or was released. It seems to be doing okay at Kathryn Albertson Park, and has been hanging spotted several times over the past several months. We found it in the same northwest corner as the White-throated Sparrow.

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Lady Amherst Pheasant at Kathryn Albertson Park, Ada County. February 12, 2015.

Of course there were plenty of more ordinary birds hanging out at the park as well, including this Cooper’s Hawk, a Song Sparrow, and the lovely Hooded Merganser.

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Cooper’s Hawk at Kathryn Albertson Park, Ada County. February 7, 2015.

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Song Sparrow at Kathryn Albertson Park, Ada County. February 12, 2015.

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Hooded Merganser at Kathryn Albertson Park, Ada County. February 12, 2015.

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