NCOS Rufous-crowned Sparrows

Adam Searcy

I spent some time at North Campus Open Space looking for (and finding) some recently reported birds, including two WILSON'S PHALAROPES and one VIRGINIA RAIL at Phelps Bridge among other more expected characters.

My most notable find was a pair of immature RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROWS in one of the small willowy/scrubby swales (about here: 34.41801, -119.88138.) Two sparrows popped off the trail in front of me and I assumed they were going to be Song Sparrows (never assume anything about sparrows), then one of them gave a gentle "deer deer" and I stopped in my tracks. Thankfully they both perched in willow quite closely allowing for digiscope photos which are in my checklist: These were my personal first obviously migrant/dispersing Rufous-crowned Sparrows (a "lifer" of sorts).

Yours in local 'vagrancy',

Adam J. Searcy
Santa Barbara, CA