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Henslow's Sparrow

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Old Wednesday 16th January 2013, 00:44   #1
walshey
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Henslow's Sparrow

Hi,

We're thinking of coming over to do 2 or 3 pelagics from NC this spring. We can take a week so have been looking into some landbird action to fill 2 or 3 days. I have down on my list Weymouth and Howell Woods for some interesting woodland birds, but there appears to be the possibility of Henslow's, a little bird that has always intrigued, (and eluded) me, but apparently has (or had once) a decent sized population in NC. Looking at NC on Google maps it appears to be entirely cultivated fields or woods (in the coastal plain) so where does the Henslow's survive in that? Has anyone seen them recently?

John
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Old Wednesday 16th January 2013, 08:53   #2
Andrew Whitehouse
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Originally Posted by walshey View Post
Hi,

We're thinking of coming over to do 2 or 3 pelagics from NC this spring. We can take a week so have been looking into some landbird action to fill 2 or 3 days. I have down on my list Weymouth and Howell Woods for some interesting woodland birds, but there appears to be the possibility of Henslow's, a little bird that has always intrigued, (and eluded) me, but apparently has (or had once) a decent sized population in NC. Looking at NC on Google maps it appears to be entirely cultivated fields or woods (in the coastal plain) so where does the Henslow's survive in that? Has anyone seen them recently?

John
Pretty much any question about the current distribution of birds in the USA can be answered using EBird:
http://ebird.org/ebird/eBirdReports?cmd=Start
Go to 'Range and Point Maps', select your date range and species and zoom in to where you want to go. Once you zoom in past a certain point, individual markers will appear and you can see the precise records for a species from that site.

Looking at Henslow's Sparrow records for North Carolina in spring, it looks as though the opportunities will be limited and it'll be hard to find. Maybe not impossible if you work at it and can access the best sites though.
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Old Wednesday 16th January 2013, 16:06   #3
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Hi Andrew, that's very good, will have to have a proper look later for some other birds also. In the meantime I've found a couple of promising sites and a name. Anyone on here can put me in touch with an Ed Corey?

John
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Old Wednesday 16th January 2013, 22:53   #4
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John -

In John Fussell's, "A Birder's Guide to Coastal North Carolina", he devotes a page and a half to the Henslow's Sparrow, saying it is "a very secretive sparrow (that) is generally rare at all seasons in the coastal area". He goes on to say that all breeding records are in wet, sandy scrub habitat (called pocosins) that have young pines and thick, wet grass cover. Since this area is transitory, so is the sparrow's breeding grounds.
PM me and I can give you a name and email for someone who is well qualified to answer the question of where they are currently being found.

Though I live in North Carolina, it's an 8 hour drive to Henslow's habitat and would be a life bird for me as well. I also plan on a pelagic out of NC this spring; maybe I too will chase the Henslow's while there.

Steve
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2013, 00:36   #5
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We had a winter trip down to Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina last weekend. We also visited Santee Coastal Reserve. We looked for but did not find Henslow's, we did see a Seaside Sparrow and had closeup, prolonged looks at a pair of Nelson's Sharp Tailed. We also picked up Red Cockaded at Santee, Razorbills at HBSP Jetty as well as a Parasitic Jaeger near the Jetty. The most unusual was a Buff Bellied Hummer that is visiting a feeder in McLellansville near Santee.
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