On Wednesday while driving onto campus I was running a little later than usual and was planning on just heading straight up to my building without taking my usual diversion around grounds. One corner of one of the parking lots is an edge habitat and lawn, we refer to it as the "Sparrow Nook". I noticed some decent activity, a migrating flock of American Robins, congregating Brown-headed Cowbirds with European Starlings mixed in, and a few Blue Jays poking around as well. The activity was too much to just drive by.
I noticed something sparrowy and once I had binoculars out was fairly perplexed... yes it was a sparrow but one that I hadn't seen before. With no camera and no field guide, I tried to pick out all the features I could and headed up to my building to do some quick internet research. I couldn't quite pin down the species before my coworker came in and I tried giving her details that maybe she could ID. Finally, I just dragged us both out there with a point and shoot camera with a 20x optical zoom.
We had come up with a tentative ID of Lark Sparrow and with some more internet research it was confirmed. Sue (my coworker) will probably blog some info about the species on our work blog HERE. The quick story is that Lark Sparrows are vagrants in Connecticut and only a couple show up in CT every year if that. Oh and it was a LIFE BIRD for me. Enjoy the grainy photos!