Lapland Longspurs - Mendocino Headlands
- Sun, 19 Oct 2008 - This morning I found three LAPLAND LONGSPURS
on the Mendocino Headlands in the area by the sister city plaque. Two
of them were first year birds, identical in appearance. The third bird
was quite buffy ochre, so I studied it carefully. While it had an narrow eye
ring, just a few, very fine streaks on the sides, and a light wash of beige on
breast,sides & most of the belly, and the greater coverts were not russet,
other key field marks pointed to Lapland.
The only other longspur possibility was Smith's, but I finally could see
the second retrice of which only had the lower, out side of the feather
was white. Also, the primary extension was long, with all of the white-
edged primaries equidistant from each other, with no wide spacing by the
third rect. The facial pattern was identical to the other two Lapland's.
I also threw out Snow Bunting, Rustic Bunting, and McCown's and
Chestnut-collared Longspur. I would have thought that the greater
coverts would have been more colorful (like the two HY birds), but they
were smudgy. I still think that it is simply another Lapland.
Ten Mile area, north of Fort Bragg, CA
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