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