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Hi all,

This afternoon about 1800 I saw the grosbeak at Turkey Creek Sanctuary.  It
was along McKinnon's Way feeding on Pepper vine berries and Hackberries on
the right side of the trail after you leave the jogging trail.  I heard it
first.  It was making two different calls, the first was similar to a
Rose-breasted grosbeak but lower and without the metallic quality.  The
other call I can best describe as a softer call somewhat like a cross
between a Swainson's thrush and a Bobolink.

I got to study the bird fairly well for a few minutes.  It is an adult
female bird as evidenced by the streaking on the flanks.  The head pattern
was not as distinct as in the immature male Rose-breast that I passed by
within arms length several times.  The breast is unstreaked and
yellowish-buff.  The lemon yellow of the wing coverts showed slightly in the
perched bird.  The undertail coverts were buff, unlike any of the
illustrations in Sibley.  The bill is distinctly bicolored.

There are many buntings and Cardinals in the area.  I crept along quietly
and could hear the Cardinals feeding in the brush.  I heard the cracking of
seeds.  I investigated only to find every lead led to a scarlet grosbeak.
Gnatcatchers, a White-eyed vireo, a Blackpoll warbler, and a couple of
Black-throated blues also attracted my attention with their antics but not
their feeding.  Listening for the cracking of seeds seemed like a good idea
and worked really well for finding all the other grosbeaks.  I couldn't
quite detect the squishing of berries; good thing the bird called.

Year bird!!

David Simpson
[log in to unmask]
Fellsmere, FL

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