Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Wild Goose Chase

Rob and I had been planning on heading up to the Indiana lakefront for the past few days, so when a Barnacle Goose showed up, not too far away in Illinois, we decided to make a day of it.  We had high hopes as we arrived at the pond behind the shopping mall that the bird had been using.  Unfortunately, the bird was no where to be seen.  There were many Canada and Cackling Geese in the area so we checked lots of other areas without any luck.

After our unsuccessful and time consuming search we headed to Dunes State Park to look for redpolls.  This time we were met with much more success when 15-20 or more dropped into the feeders.  There were also American Goldfinch, Pine Siskins, and Purple Finches mixed in with the other feeder birds.  

Clay-colored Sparrow at Ogden Dunes
We didn't have a ton of daylight left so we headed to Ogden Dunes to look for our other target species of the trip, Bohemian Waxwing.  Although we may have heard a couple of very distant Bohemians we had no luck.  But the biggest surprise of the day turned up, a very late Clay-colored Sparrow.  This bird was hanging out with the juncos and was only seen once but we were able to get a few quick photos.

Common Redpolls and American Goldfinches


Amy K said...

Nice CCSP photo! I saw some CHSP yesterday and tried to turn them into CC's with no luck. It's been a long time since I've seen a CCSP, although I heard one singing in OH this spring. I've never seen one in IN.

Eric Ripma said...

Thanks, Amy! I always go through chippers in the fall hoping for a Clay-colored, rarely with any luck. I hadn't seen one in Indiana for a couple years.

John Kendall said...

must be same bird I had in mid to late October same place. Had brownish gray rump interesting. great find. John Kendall

Eric Ripma said...

John, I had forgotten that you had one there in October. I saw that you had it again . . . should be interesting to see if it can make it through a winter.