Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What's Up Wednesday

Fluddle Bird
What is a fluddle bird? I picked up this memorable term from a local fellow birder who described it as a bird in a puddle flooded field on a country road. Just a little fun phraseology for bird and nature lovers. Fluddles are excellent places to birdwatch.

This particular fluddle was more of a swampy back water puddle, from the Hennepin Canal. There was a stretch of about 40 feet of this swampy puddle. On this particular afternoon we ended up exploring the fluddles on Sand road in Geneseo Illinois. Exploring country back roads en-route to our destination is a past time my husband and I thoroughly enjoy.

Birdwatching has become a passion for me because of photography. I have really enjoyed learning about birds through my interest in photography. I do however struggle to identify many birds that I capture on film. Hawks and sparrows are my weakest areas. I think I have birdlexia. One of my new years resolutions to myself was to take chances. Ask for help. What has stopped my in the past from taking chances? Fear. Fear of looking or sounding stupid, or being laughed at. I hate that, so into my files go my pictures ... unidentified. I may start a Wondering Wednesday post instead of a Wordless Wednesday each week or maybe bi-monthly. I also like this What's up Wednesday idea to share my thoughts, ideas or updates in general.

So here goes, taking that chance and diving into identifying this sparrow. I have two guesses.

1. Swamp Sparrow (winter adult) -
Because the area we were in had marshy roadside puddles. The grey face, rufous upperparts & wings.

2. Savannah Sparrow -
Because they are common and often seen in grassy, weedy fields or habitats like a fluddle. Rufous markings and dark streaked back. Wondering about the yellow mark I should see more clearly above eye area. hmmm.

See birdlexia.

Images taken January 10, 2010

Was I close? What did I miss when trying to ID?
Still wondering.


  1. Hi Debbie - I would go with the swamp sparrow - note the gray collar, the tiny white under the chin, blurry streaks on the breast, buffy flanks, rufous wings. These features aren't clear in all photos, but most. Before I began looking too closely, that was my impression - then started thinking Lincoln's. But I stay with swamp - note also the thin dark line malar - next to white throat. See Sibley's guide.

  2. I should have added that photography is fairly new to me, and it has changed my bird watching - slowed me down, and made me better (I think) - also it has helped me in some IDs. Studying photos at home, I have become aware of details that I often overlook in the field, and in turn better able to pick up those details when I encounter the bird again.

  3. Thanks Chris, so far I have two others who say Swamp Sparrow too. I really appreciate the advise and comments, thank you very much. That is so true about photography catching details that may be overlooked in the field. Happens to me all the time! I did look at the Lincoln's Sparrow too, my Sibley showed it doesn't winter in Illinois. I also did look up the malar marking in Sibley, thanks for pointing that out.

  4. Awesome pics of the Swamp Sparrow Debbie..Your photos are always a pleasure! I have wifi tonight Yipeee..but its late and I missed the twitter gang..hope to catch you online soon...should have att internet...hoping anyway.
    Thanks for all your RTs..