In the past, I would tend to overlook birds like the ones in the photos. If I saw what looked like an empty field, I probably wouldn't bother scanning it with my binoculars. I figured "who wants to look at a field full of dirt"? These days, I search open fields and lots more carefully.
I was driving past this parking lot at Hammonasset Park, on a cold and cloudy day last week, when I noticed a glimmer of movement out of the corner of my eye. You can barely notice the little brown birds in the above photo, but...
a closer look reveals two Horned Larks and a Snow Bunting searching for a mid-morning snack.
When I returned to my hometown of Portland, CT, there were several hundred American Crows in a pumpkin field off of Route 17, that caught my attention. I almost didn't notice that there was a dozen drab little birds quietly feeding across the way.
It turns out that they were American Pipits. I've never seen American Pipits in Portland before. I probably didn't see them in Portland because I just didn't look carefully enough. If I hadn't scanned what looked like an empty portion of the field, I never would have noticed these pipits sunken down in the soil.
If you see an open field or grassy lot that looks to be empty, take a closer look. You never know, there might just be a few interesting birds waiting to be discovered.
Have you ever been surprised to find a bird in what looked to be an empty lot or field?