[Ontbirds] McCowan's Longspur - prince Edward County
geoff.carpentier at gmail.com
Wed Dec 18 10:31:31 EST 2019
Yesterday on the Sandbanks CBC I found a presumed McCowan's Longspur on
the beach along the Lakeview Trail (43.89269, -77.28151) in Sandbanks
P.P. It was seen shortly thereafter by Peter Hogenbirk in flight at the
same location. This was at about 12:30 p.m. About 2:30 p.m. Mike
Ferguson and Tyler Hoar located what was presumed to be the same bird at
43.88265, -7718601 on East Lake that is nearby.
My sighting involved a small brown bird exhibiting a very distinctive
tail pattern that I describe as large white lateral patches in the outer
central part of the tail, bordered centrally by a dark stripe running
the length of the tail and then expanding across the end of the tail to
form a T-pattern around the white. Tyler and Mike reported similar field
marks but added that they also heard vocalizations from the bird that
they said matched the McCowan's and they saw additional plumage details.
In my sighting the bird was very skittish and repeatedly flew in tight
circles over the woods behind me, along the shore and out a little ways
over the lake. In all instances the outstanding characteristic that I
could always see was the dramatic tail pattern that ruled out Lapland,
Chestnut-collared and Smith's Longspur. The pattern was bold enough that
my first impression of the bird was of a Wheatear with its large white
rump patches against a black-tipped tail and a pale brown back.
Obviously reports will be submitted to the OBRC with additional details.
Unfortunately no photos could be taken as shortly after we had gathered
enough information to consider an ID the bird flew off in the direction
of where Tyler and Mike found it about two hours later. We did not have
enough reference material with us yesterday to reach an identification
hence the delay in reporting.
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