Chipper on a Gravestone
This is a Chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina).
Here's the story behind the blip: Early this afternoon I set out from Northampton for Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in Westport about a 2 1/4 hour drive away on the coast in southeastern Massachusetts, planning to spend two nights. The weather was iffy, with rain falling, but I went ahead. As I neared the coast, no rain, so I pressed on--but then it started again. I began worrying about a blip for the day, so I stopped at the Friends Meeting House in Westport, with an inviting cemetery--always potentially photogenic. I suddenly saw birds flying around, and so I pulled out my long lens... AND hit the jackpot, with just one series of continuous shots. Whew! Don't miss the falling raindrops--and the classic pose in profile, with the head a bit turned!
Chippers are among the prettiest of the relatively common sparrows. The bright chestnut cap indicates an adult in breeding plumage (there's no difference between the sexes).
I will stay for the next two days here in Westport, visiting Allens Pond; the forecast is more favorable. For a taste of possible blips (most likely piping plovers), see this page on my web site.