Date: 10/22/18 12:29 pm
From: Lars Norgren <larspernorgren...>
Subject: [obol] Peak prairie birds
I flushed 5 birds at the top of the scablands that stretch sw from the
summit of Marys Peak. I heard what sounded like a Horned Lark, briefly and
faintly. One bird showed plenty of white in the tail. By the time I got the
binocular on them they were against the sky. For some reason I assumed they
were all the same species, but I only saw white on one due to different
angles.
They returned to the same scabby piece of grassland and began to
feed,maybe 20-30m downhill from where I stood on the shoulder of the road.
Low rocks and shrubs meant they were intermittently in an out of my view.
All the ones I saw showed a dark crescent across the upper chest. I didn't
make a point of examining every one. I may looked at two, three at the
most. I soon settled on the one I could see the best, that was seldom
behind a rock or bush. It was strangely cool gray over the whole head ,
three crisp dark lines horizontal, a much whiter supercilium, rather broad,
but still strikingly cool, not bright like a White-crowned Sparrow. I
watched for several minutes, maybe ten.
A long time later l discovered l had mobile service. The first
picture for McCown's Longspur had a face that was spot on for what I had
seen. I have yet to find a Horned Lark photo that is remotely like it.
Immature Horned Larks look like a sparrow having an identity crisis, not
like HOLAs. Had l seriously entertained the idea of Longspur when I had it
in view l would have scrutinized the beak. Lpn

 
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