After ticking off the Henslow’s at Latta Plantation Prairie, I reviewed my checklist to count up other sparrows I had seen while searching for the targeted bird. I ticked off song, chipping, swamp, white-throated, field, dark-eyed junco, and Eastern towhee (yes, towhees and juncos are in the sparrow group).
Next, a long drive to Ezzell Community Park in Mint Hill where I located the rare wintering lark sparrow. I had to canvas the area twice but finally the bird flushed right from my feet. That park is a dependable site for savannah sparrow, and I was able to easily check that one off. Fox sparrows occur there too, and with a bit of luck I was able to get one to respond to a playback of the fox sparrow alarm call from some thick underbrush. Fox sparrows are my favorite local sparrow. That’s 12 species of sparrows, a very good total for the county for the first of March.