Huckleberry Pickers and a Black-throated Sparrow

Saturday I did my Little River Airport birding. It getting to be the time for some Fall migrant to possibly start showing up.

At first it seemed that there were more people than birds. Huckleberries are a thing in this area. They get used in pies and other great tasting things. I found several groups of people at the airport picking them. We all agreed that it was a poor year for them. We don’t know why but it was most likely the lack of rain. One group of pickers were from Elk. Elk is a small community well south of us so we must have a good reputation for Huckleberries here. How can I tell it a bad berry year? Normally we would have hundreds of Robins at the airport eating them. Currently there are only a few Robins in the area.

I went on my birding way. Not finding anything new, I had given up and was on my way back when I heard a warbler chip in some  bushes and I stopped for it. I noticed a small sparrow like bird to the right of me disappear into ground cover. Something in my mind must have clicked. I phished and up it came. I knew I had a good bird at that moment but didn’t quite know what it was. Took some pictures and recorded a tinkling sound it was making. By the time I got pass the first plane hanger I had figured it out. A juv. Black-throated Sparrow! I had last seen one in 1985 at my brother’s place in Yucca Valley and they were adults. Black-throated Sparrows are extremely rare in Mendocino County. I will have to find out how many have been seen but it might be under five.

Bird number 230 with over 2043 truck miles saved and a new Mendocino Bird.

 

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