calcarius (spur) lapponicus (Lapland)
Sunday, January 3, 1982 — 9:30 am
Sangamon County, Illinois — Route 104 between Auburn and Waverly
My wife and I exited Interstate 55 and headed west on Route 104. We drove through mile after mile of flat, muddy farmland without a tree in sight. Every time I saw a sparrow-looking bird, I pulled over and looked. It paid off. I saw a Snow Bunting in a field of mud and scattered patches of wet, dirty snow. A short time later I saw a Lapland Longspur.
Actually, I saw a whole bunch of them. They were foraging on and along the road and in the nearby fields with many Horned Larks. We stayed in the car and slowly rolled to within 15 feet. They were active, flitting around as they foraged. They were all in winter plumage.