[Tweeters] Longspur at Spencer Island near Everett Sewage Ponds

Richard Abbott rjabaa at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 31 19:51:48 PDT 2008

Today (Sunday 8/31) Josh Parrott and I were on Spencer Island at the Everett Sewage Ponds.  As we walked along the trail that cuts through the south end of the wetlands, we came across a longspur.  We were not able to be certain, but the bird seemed to display characteristics of the Chestnut-collared longspur (Sibley's drawing of a  first winter female comes closest to our impression of the bird) which would be a rare sighting.  It was a light tan color overall with a white belly and with blurry light brown streaks on the flanks.  There was a short white wingbar at the top of the wing.  There was not even a hint of rufous coloration.  The tail had relatively prominent white outer edges and was black in the center of the tail.  It had a very prominent eye ring with a large black eye.  The bill was bicolored with gray on the top aspect of the upper mandible and the rest off the bill orangish.  The legs were a pinkish flesh color.  The bird
stayed low to the ground and in fact walked along the trail in front of us for quite a distance.  We found the bird just shortly in front of a foot bridge with a stream below with a fair amount of water flowing.  We will be returning tomorrow to try and get a photo of the bird.  If any of you have seen a longspur in this area please let us know what species you think the bird may be. 

We are not certain of the species and would love anyone's impression.

Dick Abbott and Josh Parrott

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