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26146Re: [Saskbirds] Returning to Arlee

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  • Bob
    Feb 4, 2014
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      Good info Stan.

      Chestnut collared Longspurs currently continue to nest in many grassland areas including the previous Brokenshell Community Pasture near Yellow Grass southeast of Regina. These are also present in suitable habitat both east and south of Avonlea among other locations to the southwest and south. 

      As mentioned by Stan sadly they are declining perhaps even in their strongholds such as in and near the Grasslands National Park. 

      If present, this grassland species can be seen from roadside  displaying in flight or perched on fences, rocks .or shorter weeds or bushes.

      I suspect that Smith"s Longspurs are regular migrants during spring and fall migration at the National Wildlife Areas at the Northern End of Last Mountain Lake plus other areas including private croplands and pastures particularly along the eastern half of the Province as suggested by Stan

       This species is a challenge to see because of  a combination of their retiring habits, typically smaller numbers and need to generally gain access to private fields and pastures.

      Enjoy your birding

      Bob L

      On Feb 3, 2014, at 10:01 AM, "Shadick, Stan" <stan.shadick@...> wrote:



      Arelee is located within the Saskatoon Bird Area that is frequently surveyed by members of the Saskatoon Nature Society.

      Unfortunately, Chestnut-collared Longspurs have declined badly due to loss of habitat. I don't believe that this species has been sighted for at least 5 years anywhere within the Saskatoon Bird Area. I suspect that you may need to travel to southwestern Saskatchewan to look for this species now. I suggest looking south of highway 1, the further south, the better your chances of finding them.

      Smith's Longspur is a migrant that is very difficult bird to find in the Saskatoon Bird Area. My only sighting was a flock of migrating birds that flew past me while I was walking in a summer fallow field east of Saskatoon in 1973. I suspect that most Saskatchewan sightings are in the eastern half of the province. I know of no dependable location during spring migration anywhere in the province. You would need a lot of luck to find this species. You would have a better chance in the summer at Churchill, Manitoba where they nest.

      Stan Shadick

      From: Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Richard Tkachuck
      Sent: Monday, February 03, 2014 7:00 AM
      To: Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Saskbirds] Returning to Arlee

      This summer I will be returning to the Arlee area, a small town west of Saskatoon than almost does not exist anymore, to spread my Mother's ashes. I lived in the area over 60 years ago and have returned about every 10 to 15 years. In the interim I became a birder and on my last trip about 12 years ago took part in a Christmas bird count in Saskatoon.

      While in the area, I would like to find two birds. Smith's and Chestnut-collared Longspurs. Is this a reasonable quest? Any suggestions as to where I might focus my efforts would be appreciated. When we were here last, we saw Sprague's Pipit and Le Conte's Sparrow with the help of this list.

      Richard Tkachuck
      Locke, New York

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

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