Lapland Longspur in (nearly) Breeding Plumage, 04/08/18

~Lapland Longspur in the Black Dirt, 04/08/18.~ 

I was having a conversation with Rob Stone earlier this week about Lapland Longspurs. I had commented that they had probably migrated north by now; Rob wasn’t so sure and said that he thought his latest date for LALOs was April 7th. We agreed that, if they were around, you might find one in  darn nice plumage. I set out to the black dirt this morning with all this in mind. I located large, loose, flock of Horned Larks; they were extremely scattered and jumpy as can be. I eventually located a single LALO in beautiful breeding plumage. The bird was distant so I tried my best to document it by digiscoping video with my phone, but the jumpy birds, the wind, and the heat shimmer made it difficult for sure (see the result at the bottom of this post). I found several LALOs in the flock and it was cool because I could differentiate the birds by their plumage. I put in a good amount of time, and eventually it (sort of) paid off when part of the flock landed close to me and in that group was a LALO nearly in breeding plumage. It was a really exciting time, I really love Lapland Longspurs, and I never thought I’d ever see one in breeding plumage. Beautiful birds!

~The heat shimmer was just awful today. In fact, for me it’s been awful all spring long, destroying scope views and photos alike. The Horned Larks were looking especially sharp to me today. In the Black Dirt, 04/08/18.~ 
~Savannah Sparrow in the Black Dirt, 04/08/18. Just ignore the plastic wrap in the background. 

2 thoughts on “Lapland Longspur in (nearly) Breeding Plumage, 04/08/18”

  1. The Lapland Longspur is truly beautiful in its near breeding plumage, Matt. Such a wonderful find! I got brief look at a Longspur with the Horned Larks but the birds took off when a Harrier flew over and did not return. I did manage to get some photos of a solitary Horned Lark that was gritting in the Road. Thanks for the heads up.

    1. I really enjoyed it Kathy. While I was sorting through the lark flock, a Merlin came through and did the same thing. I’m glad you got a LALO and I saw your pic on fb – very nice. Matt

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