Smith’s Longspurs, April 28, 2013

Smith's Longspurs

Male Smith’s Longspurs. Photo by Matthew Cvetas. (click to see the larger version)

Karen Mansfield and I found a male Smith’s Longspur in the dunes this morning. The bird was initially in the open sandy and grassy area just south of the cottonwoods, but after a few minutes it flew north and landed in the dunes north of the cottonwoods. We didn’t follow the bird after the initial observation but others reported that this and a second Smith’s eventually flew off to the west and were not seen again. This is only the second Smith’s Longspur I’ve seen at Montrose in over 30 years of birding there.

In addition to the Smith’s, a Grasshopper Sparrow was in roughly the same area of the dunes. I also had a small loon flying north that was almost certainly a breeding plumaged Red-throated. Otherwise we saw nothing else of note and the slow spring migration continues, though I’m not going to complain too much.