Monday, January 5, 2015

End of my CBC Season

Yesterday (1/4/2015) was the New Braunfels CBC. Sparrows were a focus and I did pretty well. I was able to knock out most of my winter "central Texas" sparrows and I can start target birding for some of the tougher ones close to hope. Another great bird was Zone-tailed Hawk, a bird that could be ellusive depending on were I am during the breeding season.

December 2014-January 2015 Henslow's Sparrow in eBird.org
Ammodramus sparrows are a big hole I need to fill quick. I still need Grasshopper, Baird's (Review Species), Henslow's, Le Conte's and Nelson's Sparrow. Baird's and Henslow's will be a hard nut to crack. Henslow's is scarcer than usual this year, There is only on report in Texas for this season and its in Henderson County and what looks like private property.

eBird.org's new Target Species tool I think will be very useful this year. It allows you to put in a location and month and it will give you a list of prioritized targets from most likely to unlikely for the location and month for your year list. Sounds very handy for not forgetting something and prioritizing my birding.

January Sites for Common Gallinule in eBird.org
For example I will have some time in Chambers County next Saturday morning. The top 5 species on the eBird target list for my year list are: Common Gallinule, Blue-winged Teal, White-faced Ibis, and White-tailed Kite. You can click on the map link and get a map of the sites the bird has been reported from.

The other tool that I will be using a lot is the Texas Ornithological Society Birdseye App. This FREE app will show you what species have been reported to eBird.org near you. There are both iOS (iPhone) and Android versions. It will even give you a map to where the birds have been reported.

So after the CBC season I'm at 148 species. Not impressive for 4 days in Texas, but I was trying to lay down a decent "base" for the rest of the month. Next weekend I'll be hitting some target species east of Houston, especially owls. I shouldn't have much trouble with Barn, Great Horned, and Eastern Screech-Owls. Sunday I will likely be looking for the Greater Pewee in Bear Creek Park (Harris County). Let's hope for good weather.

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