This week’s photo, taken April 18, 2015 at Westhaven State Park in Westport, WA, features a LAPLAND LONGSPUR, an adult male in breeding plumage.
When I lived in San Diego, I saw a few Lapland Longspurs during the winter months, but they were always sporting a drab combination of mostly light and dark brown feathers. In Washington state, a Longspur will likely show up as an uncommon migrant in the fall, and it will be wearing those same dull colors. It’s considered rare here during spring migration, which is unfortunate for bird-watchers since spring is when the adult male displays its most vibrant colors.
When I look at photos on the internet of Longspurs on their breeding grounds, I think how neat it would be to see those beauties when they are decked out in their flashiest outfits. But since they breed up around the Arctic, I’d have to fly to Alaska to view them at their best.
Surprisingly, last Saturday, while we were enjoying a family weekend at the Washington coast, I stumbled upon a male LAPLAND LONGSPUR in breeding plumage. I took some photos of this handsome fellow, and then I cancelled my flight to Alaska.