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Smith's Longspurs with Lapland's and Horned Larks near Regina Beach

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  • Bob
    Jared Clarke and I saw and heard at least 3 of these with 150+- Lapland Longspurs coming to a roadside borrow pit (or dugout) in a pasture next to the HK or HR
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2005
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      Jared Clarke and I saw and heard at least 3 of these with 150+- Lapland
      Longspurs coming to a roadside borrow pit (or dugout) in a pasture next to
      the HK or HR ?? Landscaping area to the west of Highway # 54 near the
      Lumsden Beach turnoff. This area is within an extensive field of native
      prairie.

      A Red-tailed Hawk had landed at the edge out of sight within this recessed
      dugout perhaps for a drink . We parked and walked to the gate to get a
      better look.

      The Hawk flushed and we noted the typical frenetic longspur activity and
      moved in for a closer look.

      After hearing the Smith's among the Lapland's, we were able to see 3 of
      these well as they landed on the banks above the waters or walked down for a
      drink.. They were adults and very orangish brown underneath. This species is
      much more confiding than the restless Lapland's and allowed good binocular
      looks as we walked in for a closer view.

      Other birds here included a Western Meadowlark and 6+ Horned Larks.

      While we were watching briefly for the longspurs to return, two flocks of
      Cormorants flew over southward in quick succession. The first was 100+ birds
      and the next was 350+ birds.

      The longspurs did not return during the 15 minutes we waited here.

      (I will be checking this area again possibly as early as tomorrow.)

      The windy conditions plus the later departure from Regina thwarted our plans
      to scan the Lake ,thoroughly. We arrived at Regina Beach only at 9:40 and
      needed to return to be back at Regina just after noon. This only allowed a
      little more than an hour to cover the large Trestle Bay, Regina Beach and
      Buena Vista areas. Far too little time.

      We did manage to see one juvenile Surf Scoter at Trestle Bay and 3 Common
      Loons among other typical species. Two Hooded Mergansers were at the east
      end of Grandview Drive in a large bay to the east of Buena Vista.

      We noticed more than 10 Harris Sparrows during our travels.

      During our return ,Jared spotted two accipiters flying over # 11 heading
      southward. The first was long tailed and had a bigger head projecting
      forward. We think this one was a Cooper's Hawk.

      Later in the Valley another smaller accipiter flew over as we descended into
      the valley near Lumsden. This one looked more like a Sharp-shinned Hawk as
      the head also was smaller and did not project much past the flexed wings.

      Both birds flew with the typical distinctive 'flap flap glide' flight
      pattern of accipiters.

      Jared reported that he saw a very tame adult dark phase Broad-winged Hawk at
      close range sitting in the ditch along Yankee ridge Road during a trip to
      Buck Lake on Thursday evening.

      He was puzzled at first because he thought that it may have been a dark
      phased Rough-legged Hawk until he checked the legs and saw the tail pattern.
      It was very small and therefore probably a male.

      He is without email at present and asked me to post this.

      Jared also mentioned that Snow and Ross' Geese are slowly building in
      numbers at Buck Lake with last night 5-6,000 present. He saw 30+- Greater
      White-fronted Geese there as well.

      Good Birding
      Bob
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