7/3 - Henslow's Sparrow, Sedge Wrens, and Mississippi Kite

Nope, I'm not on vacation in Missouri. These three species were seen during a fantastic morning of birding in southern New England!

The highlight of the day was the continuing HENSLOW'S SPARROW found by Mark Fairbrother in Montague, MA. The word on the street this morning was that Mark first heard the bird while driving by the field with his windows down!

As always, click for larger images:

This guy spent much of his time teed-up towards the middle-rear of the field, but made occasional forays closer to the road during which he would either disappear into the grass or sing from a much lower perch.

On my way north to Montague I stopped at a private location in South Windsor, CT to check out a Sedge Wren found by Paul Cianfaglione. I arrived around sunrise at a fogged-in wet meadow and quickly heard not one but two SEDGE WRENS singing away. At 6am one of the birds stopped singing while the other continued on and off until I left. I wonder if either bird is paired-off? At the edges of their breeding range, Sedge Wrens have a habit of suddenly appearing in small groups to nest. Hopefully Paul will be able to monitor this situation (on private property) for signs of breeding success.

During my time standing in the fog I was only able to glimpse one of the singing birds for a short time:

On my way back home from the Henslow's I took a detour to Simsbury, CT and was able to locate one of the nesting MISSISSIPPI KITES.


I have been told that the birds are nesting in the same spot at last year and currently have eggs or a small chick in the nest. Recall that last year these birds fledged one chick, the first MIKI known to fledge in New England! (Note: The remarkable New Hampshire nest discovery was the first breeding record of this species in New England, but the Simsbury kites were further along in the process and fledged their young before the NH birds.) For anyone interested in looking, they have been reliably seen soaring and hunting over Great Pond in Simsbury.

Overall an outstanding morning of birding capped off by dinner and a few drinks with some CT birding friends.

Enjoy the holiday!

- Nick


  1. You got some excellent shots of all three birds and are so lucky to get them all in one day! I can only be so lucky.

    Love the Henslow's pictures. They came out real clear considering how far away the bird was.

  2. Excellent! I have been reading about those birds being around..glad you got to see them..
    nice foggy shots!

  3. Nick,
    You sure had a successful birding morning, nailing that trifecta.
    And it was good seeing you over a beer last night .

  4. Nick-
    Sounds like a very successful birding day! Great Shots!
    Enjoy those pelagics!
    Leaving for Costa Rica tomorrow-hope no other great birds get found!!

  5. great shots, I've been to see the Henslows 3 times but no pics,I think I need to look into this digiscoping I'm hearing so much about

  6. Typical of you to get much better shots than me! That's a fine day of birding in the interior. In a belated answer to your question, yes I am hoping to do some pelagics this summer including the forthcoming BBC trip on July 18th. I've got an interesting post coming up on b & w sheartwaters soon.

    Keep the great posts and shots coming.


  7. Just checking in to see if you are going to our BwBTC outing this saturday..i know you were a maybe..
    send me a comment on the blog if u think u will attend.



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