[TN-Bird] Chestnut-collared and Smith's Longspurs (NW TN)

12/19/08
Arnold field (Lauderdale Co)
Black Bayou (Lake Co)
Sorry for the late notice about these birds, but I had a flyover Smith's 
Longspur today at Arnold Field outside Halls today. I heard the bird rattle two 
times as it came over. Sounded like it was traveling to the north. I tried a 
decent looking field nearby, with no luck. Several small groups of Laps and 
Horned Larks were heading in this same direction. 

There are easily 5000 Longspurs working the rice fields at Black Bayou. I sat 
and watched and listened to Lapland Longspurs for about 45 minutes when I heard 
a Chestnut-collared Longspur in amongst 1000 or so Laps working all around me. 
The 'cheeedle cheeedle it' call was very distinct. I did not see the bird 
though. 

 I called Jeff, and the others in the area as a heads-up. Birds thinned out a 
bit and I went to a different area down the road. Jeff got there shortly 
afterwards, and went to the same spot I had been. Within a few minutes, not 
knowing he was in the same spot I had been, he heard a Chestnut-collared come 
right over him. Jeff was scoping thru the numerous Laps, and found a male 
Chestnut-collared. Birds were very flight today, usually only on the ground for 
a minute or two. I got there within 5 minutes, with our Nashville CBC crew in 
tow. We spent another 30-45 minutes without hearing the bird again. Jeff thinks 
there were probably at least 2 Chestnut-collareds in this massive flock. When I 
heard it come over, and when Jeff had it, it had come from the Black Bayou 
area, over Donald Rd, which is where we were, to the rice fields just to the 
north. At times Longspurs were within 20 yards of the road. 

We will definitely be covering this area well on the CBC tomorrow. Also in this 
area were 6 Western Meadowlarks and over 50 Brewer's Blackbirds. 

Sorry again for delay in this, phone died. Will post with more tomorrow 
hopefully.

Good Birding!

Mike Todd
McKenzie, TN
Birder1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
www.pbase.com/mctodd

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