Sunday, October 14, 2018

Vesper Sparrow at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery

I think this sparrow is perhaps the most difficult to identify in the West. It is most like a Savannah Sparrow, not all of which show the typical yellow on the forward part of the eyebrow line. The thin white eye ring is the first clue that you are looking at a Vesper Sparrow.

Vesper Sparrows winter sparsely in the scrubby grasslands in San Diego county. Best locations are Warner Valley and the San Felipe Valley where they have extensive habitat. Otherwise they are rare, including in migration, September to April, in smaller grassy areas. Such a migrant was in the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery recently. It was in a flock of sparrows that included a rare Clay-colored Sparrow. Nevertheless, among those who came to search for the Clay-colored Sparrow (not an easy ID, either), I heard: "Oh, that's what that other sparrow was," when I mentioned the Vesper Sparrow.

Vesper Sparrow in San Diego
Vesper Sparrow in San Diego
Vesper Sparrow in San Diego
Vesper Sparrow. San Diego, California. September 30, 2018.

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