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Longspur and Horned Larks/Lake County

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  • Dave Woodward
    Yesterday afternoon (10/11/05) I got fairly distant binocular views of an unknown but interesting bird near the stock gate at 1725 Pt. Land Drive on the
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 12, 2005
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      Yesterday afternoon (10/11/05) I got fairly distant binocular views
      of an unknown but interesting bird near the stock gate at 1725 Pt.
      Land Drive on the Nice-Lucerne cutoff. After an hour of searching with
      Jerry White we found and identified the bird as a longspur. This
      morning Bryan McIntosh relocated the longspur at the same location.
      The concensus of our opinion at this point is that the bird is
      probably a Chestnut-collared Longspur. The bird has a fairly
      indistinct face pattern, a light colored bill with a dark tip, whitish
      throat, finely streaked buffy chest and whitish lower belly and
      undertail coverts. The primary projection appears to be short. A
      whitish spot was sometimes visible on each shoulder. The outer
      retrices of the tail are white, but we have not yet been able to see
      the entire pattern of the white in the tail.
      This morning Bryan also found a Horned Lark in the same field as the
      longspur. Later I saw two Horned Larks in the field and early this
      afternoon Jerry White saw four Horned Larks at the same location.
      The plowed field where all of these birds were seen is about 150
      yards south of Sentry Market on the west side of the Nice-Lucerne
      cutoff. The longspur has been seen both in the plowed field and near
      the gate along the dirt road that is the entrance to Pt. Land Farms.
      All of the property is private and it is very important that we not
      tresspass as we are developing a good relationship with the
      conservation-oriented owners of the property. All of the birds have
      been visible from outside the barbed wire fence and outside the gate
      along the public road.
      Dave Woodward
    • chaniot@pacific.net
      Fri, 14 Oct 2005 -- I was at the gate looking for the CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPUR when the sun rose this morning. There was a lot of Savannah Sparrow action,
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 14, 2005
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        Fri, 14 Oct 2005 -- I was at the gate looking for the CHESTNUT-COLLARED
        LONGSPUR when the sun rose this morning. There was a lot of Savannah
        Sparrow action, but no longspur. When Dave Woodward arrived it materialized
        in the edge of the dirt road a short stone's-throw away. We got good scope
        looks at it at good range. I concur with the Chestnut-collared ID. At one
        point it flew up, circled far to the south, returned, and landed in the
        plowed field near the gate where it did the longspur thing of hiding behind
        clods. There were at least two HORNED LARKS poking their heads up from
        behind clods too. After an upflight of pipits, larks, and longspur, I lost
        track of the bird.
        Also in the area was a MERLIN and a suspicious dove that may
        possibly have been a collared-dove. It was sitting on the fence with the
        hosing draped along it further south near the young walnuts. The dove flew
        off to the west beyond the oaks. It had the right undertail pattern, the
        right size, squared tail, gray undertail coverts seen in flight, but seemed
        too dark above. I wish I could have seen it in the scope. It's worth
        keeping an open eye. On the drying mud of Robinson Lake there was a group
        of four stubby-billed CACKLING GEESE. One had such a broad white collar
        that I thought it was wearing a radio collar until I got it in the scope.

        George Chaniot
        Potter Valley, MEN, CA

        At 00:48 2005 10 13, Dave Woodward wrote:
        > Yesterday afternoon (10/11/05) I got fairly distant binocular views of an
        >unknown but interesting bird near the stock gate at 1725 Pt. Land Drive on
        >the Nice-Lucerne cutoff...................The plowed field where all of
        >these birds were seen is about 150 yards south of Sentry Market on the
        >west side of the Nice-Lucerne cutoff. The longspur has been seen both in
        >the plowed field and near the gate along the dirt road that is the
        >entrance to Pt. Land Farms. All of the property is private and it is very
        >important that we not tresspass as we are developing a good relationship
        >with the conservation-oriented owners of the property. All of the birds
        >have been visible from outside the barbed wire fence and outside the gate
        >along the public road. Dave Woodward
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