|Lapland Longspur (Calcarius lapponicus)|
In our brief four years in Marathon, we have become quite the Longspur enthusiasts. Something about the frozen gusts of wind blasting through your very soul... Who are we kidding? In the last year, access to private ponds has opened up a whole new world of longspur observation: less windy, less cold, lower numbers than the prairie dog town, but better looks.
I digress. This was about Lapland Longspurs. First record for Brewster County was a cat kill at the Marathon Motel. Second was road kill on Hwy 90. Third and fourth were very much alive just north of the prairie dog town on 385, as Matt was able to come and confirm that I was not hallucinating.
Fifth record... this is June 8th, all self respecting longspurs should have left in late March or late April (McCown's and Chestnut-collared, respectively). But the dark peep foraging on the bank next to a Western Sandpiper and a Baird's Sandpiper... It turned around and looked an awful lot like a Horned Lark. But it just wasn't quite Horned Lark. Silly Lapland Longspur, why are you so geographically confused?
I hereby hand the post over to Matt and a few more of his photos:
Edit: check out the range map for Lapland Longspur in summer!