This morning at the Brattleboro retreat Meadows there was a large influx
of sparrows, marsh wrens and common yellowthroats. Had about 200-300
sparrows in total: white-crowneds, white-throateds, Lincolns, swamps,
chipping, savannah, songs. Also, another Nelson's sharpie and a first
winter clay-colored. This is the second Retreat Meadows Nelson's this
year and the 4th in the last 4 years.
Once again, pishing had no effect on the Nelsons. I believe that Terry
Wright has also commented on this behavior (or lack of) in VT Nelsons.
Funnily enough, Steve Mirick has found that Nelsons in NH coastal
saltmarshes do respond to pishing. Terry has also commented on this. Why
the difference? The only two explanations that I can come up with are
that it may be a habitat-related thing. Alternatively, the coastal birds
seem to be mainly of the coastal-breeding, subvirgatus, race, whereas
the VT birds are most likely either nelsonii or alterus, or both (the 4
birds that I have seen in VT have all been nelsonii or alterus). Perhaps
subvirgatus differs from nelsonii/alterus in more features than
morphology and choice of breeding habitats?
Hector Galbraith PhD
Galbraith Environmental Sciences LLC
837 Camp Arden Rd., Dummerston, VT05301
802 258 4836 (phone)