At the pond I found 4 Ring-necked Ducks which I have not seen in the neighborhood much this winter. And right by the parking lot was a Snowy Egret (above) exhibiting an interesting foraging behavior called "foot-stirring". It was slowly walking around and vibrating its foot with each step. I think this is to stir up the small animals in the mud which it hunts. I took this short video showing this interesting behavior:
By the Parmer Lane bridge there were at least 30 Cave Swallows flying around, the first I've seen this season. By the patch of marsh there I heard a Virginia Rail, heard a White-eyed Vireo; and saw a Marsh Wren, a Swamp Sparrow; and I got this photo of a Sedge Wren:
I ran into Barry Noret on the trail who reported a possible Le Conte's Sparrow nearby. I was excited because I have never seen one of these beautiful little sparrows in the neighborhood. We tried to find it again and were unsuccessful. But Barry's a keen observer, so even though he doesn't have much experience with this species I expected that he had seen one (or the similar Grasshopper Sparrow). He also saw 2 Eastern Bluebirds which are a great find for our neighborhood, and were life birds for Barry.
I went looking for the bluebirds and found myself scanning one of the soccer fields at the Town and Country complex. I estimated there were 74 American Pipits in the grass, along with Chipping Sparrows, Field Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Brown-headed Cowbirds. I did not find the bluebirds, and started making my way back.
The woods by the last dam were quite active with many Song Sparrows and Lincoln's Sparrows. I was most excited to see a single Harris's Sparrow. Gracen Duffield has seen (and photographed) this species in the neighborhood before, but I have not. It brought my neighborhood list up to 199 species, and I got this photo of it:
Continuing back, I walked through the tall grass alongside the sidewalk between the last dam and the marsh, hoping to flush the sparrow Barry had seen earlier. I did, and Barry was right! I watched this beautiful Le Conte's Sparrow for about 45 seconds on and near the erosion control fence by the sidewalk. I did not get a photo of it. Since this bird had already been flushed by Barry once and by me twice this morning, I didn't want to scare it out of the area by following it more. But that's OK. My neighborhood list had hit 200 species and I was thrilled. I still am!