Lapland Longspur 9/28/10

A Lapland Longspur is a bird I never expected to bump into yesterday. I do run into them from time to time around here, but usually that’s much later in the fall or early in the winter. Yet here was one hopping about the rocks at Seapoint looking for windblown seeds. One of the fieldmarks I use is the dark ring around the auricular region of the face (many sparrows have the stripes of the forward part, but not the connecting back edge), and the rusty panel in the wing coverts. With the coloration being rather pale without much in the way of black markings, this could be an adult female but more likely a juvenile bird coming into its first winter. Here’s a darker, more contrasty¬†adult male from last January.

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