So, with all five of my kids in tow, I make the 500 mile round trip to Robinsonville and Sardis Lake in somewhat nearby Sardis, MS.
The first stop is Sardis for reported Lesser Black-backed and Glaucous Gulls. Both of which I would dip on. But, that is the nature of the chase. My next stop would be Arkabutla Dam, as it's on the way to the Sprague's Pipit spot. While I find more gulls there, and a possible Great Black-backed (however none of the photos cinch the ID, so I cannot add it to my list), I still dip on anything uncommon.
Onto the next spot- Buck Island Road. This spot hosted about 16 different Northern Harriers, which put on a show the entire time I was there scanning for Short-eared Owls. A quick drive down the road got me the bird I was really twitching for- the Sprague's Pipit. While it was too far for my measly 300mm lens to get great shots, I got IDable ones. He stood out like a sore thumb amongst the darker, and far more numerous Savannah Sparrows. I would also see Lapland Longspurs and Horned Larks in the surrounding fields.
Sprague's Pipit #208
Before leaving, I watch two Harriers dive-bomb a Short-eared Owl (#209)... this trip ending with 209 year birds and a new lifer.
Today was a day of rest. I have driven over 4000 miles in the past month, and needed a day to relax. This week: back to chasing and finding more birds for the year.
Until next time-
Happy birding to all of you!