Date: 1/8/18 2:35 pm
From: Richard Fray <rpfray...>
Subject: Re: [AZNMbirds] SEAZ: Las Cienegas LAPLAND LONGSPUR continues today
I haven’t posted on the Listserv for a long time because this sort of confusion and controversy always seems to happen, and I used to get a bunch of emails asking for more details, tips, weather reports, or just criticizing some aspect of the sighting or report. Maybe it’s because the old technology doesn’t allow for much discussion, photos, maps, etc. Needless to say I got fed up with it, and for the last few years I’ve preferred the Arizona Birding Facebook Group and eBird to report my sightings.

My original posting of the Lapland Longspur on the Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/arizonabirding/) contains photos of the bird, a photo of the access gate, precise written directions to get to the gate, and then the POND (which I describe as a pond), an accurate Google map, a link to the eBird report, and an accurate GPS location. If that’s not enough to get you to the correct location, then I guess there’s nothing else I can do beyond take you there myself.

Original posting: https://www.facebook.com/groups/arizonabirding/permalink/1571503382937110/

Map: https://goo.gl/Pj9itL

Ebird: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41654878

Good luck if you go for the longspurs. I’m hoping that I won’t get any email replies to this particular message. Thanks!

Richard Fray
Rio Rico AZ
www.arizonabirder.com


From: Tom Hildebrandt
Sent: Monday, January 8, 2018 2:48 PM
To: <aznmbirds...>
Subject: RE: [AZNMbirds] SEAZ: Las Cienegas LAPLAND LONGSPUR continues today

Certainly those of us who have lived or worked in rural parts of the west are used to calling those muddy ponds “tanks” or if you want to be more specific, “dirt tanks” (as opposed to “steel tanks”). They are usually established by livestock operators in small drainages by damming up advantageous locations, digging down a ways to deepen the area and using the resulting soil to build the dam. They are all over the rural parts of the west and are indeed “tanks” in the common vernacular. If this tank indeed has longspurs coming in to it, it would seem most likely that it is indeed a dirt tank and not a steel one where the birds would have very little likelihood of access.

G.B.

Tom



From: <aznmbirds-request...> [mailto:<aznmbirds-request...>] On Behalf Of Steve Valasek
Sent: Monday, January 08, 2018 1:59 PM
To: Marcia Lincoln
Cc: <trose...>; <aznmbirds...>
Subject: Re: [AZNMbirds] SEAZ: Las Cienegas LAPLAND LONGSPUR continues today



Right, but to those of us from the East Coast water tanks are big man-made metal things that hold water, usually on hillsides. So there can be confusion when someone reaches the hotspot location, sees one of these, but not Longspurs.

That's all, it's a beautiful area and a nice walk regardless.



-Steve



On Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 1:26 PM Marcia Lincoln <boahiss...> wrote:

In the west, the natural water catchments, formed by solid rock and usually in a rocky canyon, are called tanks. They were used as water sources by the settlers of the American west and probably now also by immigrants attempting to cross the desert. Some of them hold water for a long time as they are in a canyon and shaded by cliffs or other rock structures around them. And may be the only water source for miles around. The bigger ones have been given names and are popular hiking destinations. I have a friend who loved to hike and try to find the tanks in remote areas like Cabeza Prieta. I have never heard the term used for a simple muddy pond, only for man-made metal cattle tanks.



Marcia (Tucson, AZ)




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From: <aznmbirds-request...> [mailto:<aznmbirds-request...>] On Behalf Of Steve Valasek
Sent: Monday, January 08, 2018 12:51 PM
To: <trose...>
Cc: <aznmbirds...>
Subject: Re: [AZNMbirds] SEAZ: Las Cienegas LAPLAND LONGSPUR continues today

I really don't want to stir the pot, but I think the problem here is one of wording. The location of the longspurs is at a muddy pond; however, the location of the hotspot is at a metal-cylindrical structure that holds water. Some people call those tanks, while the pond the birds are at are also called tanks in the west, is this true?

-Steve



On Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 10:42 AM trose <trose...> wrote:

The problem with locating the Longspur hotspot may be simply that there was already an existing hotspot for Davis Pasture, but located a short ways farther north along the two-track going in, and not at the tank itself. The new Longspur hotspot is indeed at the tank, but when one looks for a Davis Pasture hotspot in eBird, the previous hotspot also shows up. Betsy may have simply been going by that hotspot for her location on her phone. (Do we still need two hotspots there now? Or should they be combined? I only ask because I noticed some of the previous eBird lists at the "old" hotspot, going back several years, do include sightings from the tank itself.)

Either way, this sure ends up being a fortuitously timely conversation for me, because a short bit before I left for a holiday vacation to Texas last month, I had taken a trip to Las Cienegas (not entered on eBird yet) and had actually driven to the entrance to Davis Pasture for the first time, in hopes of seeing Longspurs of some sort. Not being familiar with protocol at this site at all, since I'd never been there before, I was disappointed when I saw a gate - and so turned around and left to go home. Darn. Guess I will have to try again! :-P

Tonya Holland
Three Points AZ
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On 1/7/18 1:36 PM, Laurens Halsey wrote:

The hotspot is located exactly where it is supposed to be, at the stock tank where the longspurs are being observed. The last 0.4 mi of this track leading to the stock tank is not considered drivable to Google Maps or smart phone navigation software. Therefore smart phone driving directions lead you to the closest spot that smart phone technology believes you can drive. Drive on as suggested if not in a low clearance vehicle.



On Sun, Jan 7, 2018 at 10:42 AM, Betsy Checchia <betsy.checchia...> wrote:

Be advised that, at least on my phone, the tank is actually about 0.4 miles farther along the two-track road from where the hotspot is located. Go beyond the power line, to the top of the next hill, and you can see the tank at the bottom of the hill. Saw Lapland and McCown's Longspurs among many, many Horned Larks.



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