Last night, the snow began and continued throughout most of the day in the vicinity of Strathroy. After 3 hours of sleep this morning (I worked last night), I got up to drive around some backroads to see if the wintry conditions had brought with it some interesting birds. I thought it might and I was right.
First of all, I headed over to Seed Road to see if I could spot one or both of the SNOWIES that are in the area. I found one. It was sitting on the ground. On the south side of Egremont Road, just east of Seed Road, there is a farm. From Seed Road, looking toward the farm, I could see a SNOWY to the south of the barn in front of the row of hay bales.
On Seed Road, north of Egremont, there were several flocks of SNOW BUNTINGS. And to my delight, there were LAPLAND LONGSPURS mixed in with the SNOW BUNTINGS and the HORNED LARKS.
LAPLAND LONGSPURS are one of my favourite winter birds. They breed in arctic tundra. They are migratory and beginning in late fall and continuing thru early spring, they can be found in southwestern Ontario. They are often seen in the company of HORNED LARKS and SNOW BUNTINGS. Whenever you see a flock of SNOW BUNTINGS swirling around in flight, look for birds that appear a little darker and a little smaller mixed in with the flock. These will be LAPLAND LONGSPURS. Grassy fields, fields of corn stubble and along roads in the countryside is where you will likely find them.