Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Walking along a woods trail, with a cushion of soft pine needles beneath my feet, I suddenly saw a little sparrow-type-looking bird silently lift from the forest floor and perch in the bare branches of an old Pine Tree above. Thinking it was perhaps just a Song Sparrow, for there are many about this time of year it seems; I decided to photograph it anyway as I had not encounter -ed anything else yet this morning. As I was taking the pictures though, I noticed that its movements were different, not brisk and quick like a sparrow, and it seemed to have a decidedly different sort of walk as it moved along the branch. It was unhurried and stayed within camera range, although as I got closer it moved away, keeping a uniform distance between me and my camera. There were no sounds during this encounter so I had no auditory clues to consider. Continuing on my walk I reached my destination and sat upon a rock for a while watching the river. After sitting for a few minutes I decided to review the pictures I had taken of the little bird I had encountered along the trail.. Only then did I see the very noticeable and distinguishing 'white eye ring'. Still I was not quite sure of its identification for I was thinking, "Hermit Thrush" at first. I had seen one before in the same area; however the size did not match, for although a Hermit Thrush is a smaller thrush among other thrushes, this bird was too small to fit that category. Also a Hermit Thrush has 'spots' on its breast whereas this bird had 'streaks'.The name, "Ovenbird" came to mind although I had seen only pictures of that species in field guide books. Striding home, now with a purpose in mind, I immed -iately went to my Sibley's Field Guide. Ah ha!! A new bird to add to my life list today! An Ovenbird!

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