Saturday, December 1, 2012

Longspurs, Sapsuckers, and Thrashers...

30 November 2012, the final day of Fall Bird Reports.

All in an afternoon of tough birding.

Sage Thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus)

I met with a birder who needed a few tougher birds for the year.  Her targets were Chestnut-collared Longspur, McCown's Longspur, and Sage Thrasher.  

If we couldn't get Sage Thrasher, she was headed to Guadalupe Mountains National Park to try for the ones reported up there.

First up, the prairie dog town north of Marathon and still in Brewster County:
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
Ferruginous Hawk Buteo regalis
possibly a second bird. however it was too far off to read the silhouette to my liking.
Prairie Falcon Falco mexicanus
Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus
Chestnut-collared Longspur Calcarius ornatus

McCown's Longspur Rhynchophanes mccownii

For kicks, we also got the male Williamson's Sapsucker Sphyrapicus thyroideus that has been hanging out at the Marathon Cemetery.

Regarding Sage Thrasher, her final target:
Sage Thrasher appearances can be somewhat Irruptive.  Last year we saw many all winter long, as they are a Winter Resident here.  Two years ago, we didn't see nearly as many.  This year, zero so far and it was the last day of November already.

As the sun was near setting, and so was our afternoon afield, a silhouetted bird was perched atop a short mesquite.

Sure enough, it was a Sage Thrasher.  There was another one singing (which is very cool) further into that particular field.

Target Sage Thrasher, 2, First of Fall. 

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