Tuesday, October 18, 2022

MA - Nelson's Sparrow in Hadley

Nelson's Sparrow - Hadley Pump House, Hampshire Co., MA. October 17th, 2022.
A long stayer and super find for Janice Jorgensen on October 11th, 2022. 

Long time, no blog feature...indeed it's been a while. A busy period of tour leading in late 2022 through May 2023 followed by a few life changes at home left me with little time for the blog lately. But even so, today I was very appreciative to see a relatively local Nelson's Sparrow, admittedly not my find but a Nelson's Sparrow in the Pioneer Valley is well worth the 40 minute drive from home and looking back at my records, it's a cool thirteen years since I last saw one! Indeed, the last Nelson's I saw in the valley was pretty interesting in the sense that it was quite late (October 20th, 2009) but also showed characteristics of the coastal form A. n. subvirgata. 

Today's Nelson's Sparrow looked like a nice example of one of the interior forms A. n. interior/alterus as noted by the many observers visiting the site since October 11th. Janice Jorgensen originally found the bird and Scott Surner neatly followed up her observation with good, to-the-point, directions and advice. Personally I was amazed that the bird would still be present after a 'cool' seven days of staging in the same area but I was super happy that it stuck around. The venue was the Hadley Pumping Station, a site I always enjoyed visiting when we lived in Amherst from 2005 to 2010. Good numbers of Song, Swamp and White-throated Sparrows were present too and the Nelson's would pop into view periodically, often showing very well, and sometimes too close to focus my 400 mm lens.....overall, a delightful experience.

Nelson's Sparrow - Hadley Pump House, Hampshire Co., MA. October 17th, 2022.

Nelson's Sparrow - Hadley Honey Pot, Hampshire Co., MA. October 20th, 2009.
Just reflecting on the last Nelson's Sparrow I saw in the Pioneer Valley, a nice example of the 
 coastal form A. n. subvirgata. This bird was in a fallow, weedy field next the Hadley Transfer Station. 

The favored habitat of the current Nelson's Sparrow at the Hadley Pump House off Mount Warner Road.