Longspur Success?

Birding reports from our roving reporter, Lesser Spot Finder, in Alberta, Canada.
Lesser Spot Finder
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: Farnborough and anywhere between there and Norfolk

Longspur Success?

Postby Lesser Spot Finder » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:47 am

You know you are going to have a great trip out on a daily basis when the most common Wader is a Wilson’s Phalarope!

After taking Tim Cs advice I decided to go north from camp this evening and try for McCown’s Longspur. I booked the duty driver who duly let me down (apparently the Commanding Officers’ car needed servicing - weak excuse) so I decided to go anyway...................6kms up the Jenner Highway. At the 4km point, and having seen 3 Short-eared Owls, I decided to cut my losses and turn around but not before checking out the adjacent slough which looked promising. There were rain clouds in the distance and I foresaw a drenching. As I walked down I flushed a passerine which flew up and landed some 20m in front of me. I looked at the bird and immediately identified a Longspur – a Chestnut Collared Longspur - (thanks Tim for ID). A quick look around and I found another 2 singing males. Bonus.

With a spring in my step I walked to the slough and was surprised to see a colony of at least 45 Black-necked Grebes with a variety of nearctic ducks thrown in. In the background I found a pair of American Avocet and a pair of Marbled Godwit which I photo'd before leaving. As I turned around I came face to face with my first Pronghorn of the trip and she appeared a little displeased as I had obviously barred her trip to the watering hole – she made a noise similar to Thompson’s Gazelle; all very reminiscent of Kenya.

Photos have been added to my FB page.

The walk back appeared to take much less time and I was pleased to be dive bombed by a Merlin which again was photographed. This had been a cracking evening to say the least. I wasn’t disappointed not to have seen McCown’s Longspur but will try again on Friday – this time by hire car before heading towards Waterton and the US border.

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