Stuttgart Municipal Airport 12/23/2010

Karen Holliday, Patty McClean, and I went to Stuttgart Thursday morning hoping for Longspurs and Short-eared Owls.  While we were skunked for the latter we achieved the former in spades.  First off it was a cold and blustery day.  A predicted cold front appeared to be arriving early.  The temperature ranged from mid to upper 30s all day and there was a constant wind.  About mid-day I realized this would serve as a good shakedown cruise for the Lonoke CBC in about a week.  I need to get to thin gloves or glove liners to protect my fingers but otherwise I was well protected.

Anyway, we fairly quickly identified about 5 Smith’s Longspurs as they flew over.  These were year birds for me, number 267 on my Arkansas Year list. Soon afterward we heard more bird sounds in the agri fields to the north so went there and found hundreds then thousands of Lapland Longspurs.  Of course we didn’t catch every bird and identify it then place it over there but everywhere we looked we saw birds that were obviously Laplands.  We just walked into these clouds of birds and they would go elsewhere and then come back.

Also in the fields we came across groups of American Pipits and Horned Larks plus plenty of Mallard, Greater White-fronted Goose, Snow and Ross’s Goose, Northern Harrier and other species.

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