Thursday, April 3, 2008

Orchard Park

I thought I'd make the most of the last sunny day we're supposed to get by visiting Orchard Park. It has a bouldering rock, a disc-golf course, and a riparian woodland filled with birds. What more could a person want?

I climbed on the rock until my arms were sore, which did not take long, then walk through the woods. I spotted my first orange-crowned warblers of the season, heard a yellow-rumped warbler song, and found a bushtit nest under construction.
The creek was flowing well, most of the shrubs and trees were leafing out, and the small birds were calling loudly.

Although I have studied both birds, I still have trouble to separating the songs of Bewick's wrens and song sparrows. Today the park provided a good comparison. In this area, Bewick's wrens seem to have a less musical, buzzier song than the sparrows. The song sparrow song is more complex and seems to always have an inroduction, a trill, and a few repeated phrases, whereas the wrens start with a trill and move on to their quicikly repeated pharases. Sarah and I came up with "reeeeeed - scarf scarf scarf" as a way of remembering the wren song. The song sparrow song is more complex and harder to apply words. The old description, "Madge, Madge, Madge, put the tea kettle on" does not really do it for me, so I will have work on another one.

1 comment:

Big Green Guy said...

Song Sparrow and Bewick's Wren are always tripping people up. Once you get them down they go and change their songs on you. I like your reed \scarf mnemonic.
PS This is Birdnerd\Laura....I'm signed in as my other identity right now.