Clay-Colored Sparrow in Centre County

I have yet another short post for you today. I have been kind of busy recently but should be starting to get back into the swing of things and blogging again soon. For now I am going to tell you about finding a clay-colored sparrow.

On my way back from birding in eastern PA (I may do a post on that later but don’t get your hopes up), I decided to stop at Colyer Lake in Centre County, PA. A few days before, a nelson’s sparrow had been found there and I decided to try my luck at finding it. We pulled into the road leading down to the lake and found that there was a 50 mile running race going on there. We skillfully avoided hitting any runners and pulled into the parking area along the lakeshore. There we discovered that the parking area was one of the locations where the relay runners finished at. So, the area was heavily crowded with runners and their numerous fans. Not to be deterred, I got out and walked down the shoreline on a path running through a brushy area which bordered the lake.

Walking along, all I was finding were swamp and song sparrow so I was getting a little dissapointed when I came to a little spring which crossed the trail. Here I found a single yellow-rumped warbler and a couple of field sparrows. I walked up a little track paralleling the spring to see if there was anything else there. A sparrow popped out of the brush where the field sparrows had been. I raised my binoculars. Another field sparrow. I had lowered my binoculars again when I realized that it hadn’t been a field sparrow. Looking at it again, I realized that it was a clay-colored sparrow!

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Clay-Colored Sparrow

This was a life bird for me, and later I figured out that it the 5th record of this species during fall in central Pennsylvania! So quite cool indeed.

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