Tons o Horned Larks, Tons on Snow Buntings 1 Lapland Longspur e Bird Report - West River Road, Jan 23, 2020

Ronald Harrower

West River Road, Saratoga, New York, US
Jan 23, 2020 11:55 AM - 12:25 PM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
Checklist Comments: John H and I had looked around the quadrants defined by Wall Street and King Rd (rtes 39 and 40) with a few birds on Williams Lane and distant few birds behind barn on Wall Street. I had noticed fresh manure on West River Rd the day before when I passed through with my non-birding stepson. We went to the spot just North of Welcome Farm and the farmers had added manure to the other side of the road. We saw a few Horned Larks so pulled over and striated walking up the road. Soon, a huge flock of Snow Buntings went up and flew all over, settling in tight grassy spots by the side of the road, going out into the fields and feeding and sometimes flying right over us. It was an amazing spectacle. While this was going on, we checked the fields on both sides. There were birds feeding whenever I brought my camera to focus on a spot in the field. So as impressive as the flying flock was, it occurred to us that there were many more Horned Larks and Snow Buntings just walking around feeding in the fresh manure. After counting the flying birds (at one point there were two huge flying flocks with over 100 Snow Bunting in one and over 100 Horned Larks in the other that came together to feed on the side of the road) and exstrapolating the samples of birds in the field, there were at least 300 Horned Larks and 300 Snow Buntings! We spotted at least 1 Lapland Longspur, perhaps 2 (And who knows in the field!) An amazing sight, particularly after recent times when I would find nothing or just one small flock of 20-30 birds.
9 species

Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 35 Around barns at Welcome Farm just South
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Blue Jay 2
American Crow 6
Horned Lark 300
European Starling 45
Lapland Longspur 1
Snow Bunting 300

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