This winter, I began visiting the Atkins Bottoms area in Pope County. My goal was to find Tundra Swans. While I haven’t found a Tundra, I did come across a Western Meadowlark during a recent trip. I’m more used to the Eastern Meadowlark, which have darker head stripes. It helped that the Western Meadowlarks were very vocal, making identification easier. Recent trips have been filled with birds, including Horned Larks, Lapland Longspurs and even a Merlin. I especially excited to see Lapland Longspurs – a first for me.