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Lapland Longspurs - Mendocino Headlands

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  • Karen Havlena
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 19, 2008
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      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.

      Karen Havlena
      Ten Mile area, north of Fort Bragg, CA  

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