Sunday I tried to finish up some birds I needed from the winter season. I headed to Chambers county because my prospects using the eBird target species feature looked best there. This feature allows you to put in a county, and a month range and you get a list of highest probabilty birds for the county for your list. You can use Life, or Year, and County, State, US, ABA, and world lists. The probability is based with how many times that species has shown up on a list in the range you specified. The one fault I have with it is for example two years ago there were a pair of Tundra Swans. A lot of people entered lists for those birds. They still show as 1.6% of the check lists for the county for March! It would be better if a species falls off the list if it hasn't been reported in some reasonable time period.
Anyway with several targets in mind I went hunting. My first stop was White Memorial Park. I was hoping for a Winter Wren. I worked along the edge of Turtle Bayou while I looked through the usual suspects, Kinglets, Chickadee's and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Suddenly in profile I saw a bird I wasn't even thinking about but had been worried about, Brown Creeper became Year Bird 296. Almost right away I saw a Northern Parula for Year Bird 297.
I worked the park for another 30 minutes with no luck on the Winter Wren. I headed to Anahuac NWR. Right away when I pulled up some volunteer friends came in from birding and I quizzed them on my target list. Palm warbler had just been seen in the Jackson Prairie Woodlot. I head down to try my luck. Shortly I was able to locate a Palm Warbler for Year Bird 298.
This little spot is magic and I worked it completely. A Black-and-white Warbler was present for an early migrant. Working my way to the south end. I heard the distinct "thwack" calls of a Brown Thrasher for year bird 299.
A scan of the Deep Marsh Unit did not give me my last inland duck, Fulvous Whistling-Duck. Lots of other ducks though, An American Bittern flushed right in front of me. Go figure, it would have been a year bird yesterday.
Right as I turned on to the Shoveler Pond Loop I heard the familiar "Wooohooooo" of a Fulvous Whistling-Duck for Year Bird 300. I got a look of it as it drove into the bull rush. Its a one way loop, and I was just starting the 2.5 miles. I worked it as hard as I could but only came up with 26 species total. Time to head home.Next weekend is calling me already!