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Re: [CALBIRDS] Smith's Longspur and other photos

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  • Mary & Nick Freeman
    Hello, Birders! Today, with our friend Tom Stephenson, we had fairly good success with the birds we went after around Calipatria / Niland. After striking out
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 15, 2006
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      Hello, Birders!

      Today, with our friend Tom Stephenson, we had fairly good success
      with the birds we went after around Calipatria / Niland. After
      striking out with many others at Wister Unit in our search for the
      RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN, we went over to the field by the prison (sorry,
      you'll need directions from another posting), and eventually had a
      couple of spurts of drinking activity at the canal by various
      longspurs around 11AM. Alan Brown helped us with locating the
      longspur spot, as he had been there earlier and seen all 4
      longspurs. Our best guess is that there were somewhere between a
      minimum of 100 to a possible maximum of 12 bazillion longspurs in the
      field. CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPURS seemed to make up a large number
      of the birds seen (maybe 60%?). The rest were mostly LAPLAND
      LONGSPURS, with one or two MCCOWN'S LONGSPURS and one probable
      SMITH'S LONGSPUR being seen. There may be a fence up on the field,
      but I think that waiting by the ditch is the only way to get decent
      looks at the birds. We were across from the middle of the hay bales.

      After lunch, we returned to the nature trail at Wister Unit on Davis
      Road, and located the RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN at 3:25PM. The bird was
      first seen dropping out of the south side of the palm tree located
      just south of the southern trail entrance (across from the
      driveway). It had probably been feeding on the few remaining small
      dates hanging here, as the many ABERT'S TOWHEES seen here were also
      doing. The bird dropped down to mid-high in the thick tangle, but
      offered brief looks, then moved south a bit, across the trail, and
      back north in the tangle on the other side, quickly out of sight, but
      not before a couple of people got lifer robins! Seven INCA DOVES,
      one COMMON GROUND DOVE, and a number of EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES
      (sounding remotely like gulls!) were also seen here. Soon after
      seeing the robin, the DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER popped up in the same
      vicinity of the robin. The flycatcher was continuously calling. We
      also saw a male and female AMERICAN REDSTART off the road and along
      the trail.

      We ended our great day by visiting Salt Creek where we bumped into
      the San Bernardino group. We saw the WHITE-WINGED SCOTER and RED-
      BREASTED MERGANSERs. It was getting dark to make a call on the
      female Barrow's Glendale that John Green saw and reported.

      Happy Birding!

      Nick & Mary Freeman
      Glendale, CA

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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