I had planned for several days to head to the grassland area of the county this morning. I knew that “winter field birds” were just arriving and that the foot of snow we were going to receive on Friday was likely to concentrate them along the roads in that area. I was not disappointed! It was a bit of a strange day overall. I had many birds today that I hadn’t seen in some time in the county. A huge mixed blackbird flock on Dr. Duggan Road contained two Common Grackle and a Red-winged Blackbird. The rest of the birds were starlings and cowbirds. I had lots of raptors, with 3 Bald Eagles, 3 Cooper’s Hawk, 3 Red-tailed Hawk and an American Kestrel all seen. Four BLACK VULTURES along rt 17 near Monticello was a big surprise and my latest date ever for them in the county. On Deppa Road I was once again surprised when a Brown Thrasher ran across in front of me. It then flew to a nearby thicket where I got a so so photo of the bird. The highlight of the day for me overall though was the “winter field birds” I found in the Beechwoods area. On Rheum Road, I had 8 Horned Lark, 5 Snow Bunting and a single LAPLAND LONGSPUR! Longspurs (above) are rare in the county and I’m always glad when I can get to see one of the birds. I posted my find to our “Group Text” and Patrick Dechon was able to come see the birds too. On Radio Tower Road, I had another Horned Lark and a single American Pipit. This is the first time ever that I have had all four species of these birds in a single day in Sullivan County! A very enjoyable morning!