Saturday, December 26, 2015


Today was the start of the race to the finish. I hit the road at 2 am headed for Lake Tawakoni. A party had permission to bird the fields below the Lake Tawakoni Dam for Smith's Longspurs. This site is the classic site in Texas for Smith's Longspurs. In 1999 it was closed to the public though. This is the only time birders get into this site. It is possible to get the Longspurs from the county road next to the site though.

I was to meet the part at 7:30 am. I made good time and arrived about 6:50 am. I stood outside the vehicle ticking off county birds as it started to get light. A couple of woodcocks twittered for a very good county bird. Suddenly I heard a couple of dry rattles that sounded like Longspurs. None of the apps on my phone though had anything but the song of the Smith's Longspur. When Greg got there he had the flight call though and played it for me. That was it! Smith's Longspur was Year Bird 490.

We headed in to the Dam. We found a small group of Bonaparte's Gulls flying by. One was different though. Headed away we saw the bold black M pattern and black tail band. Greg made the call before I could. Black-legged Kittiwake was Year Bird 491.

We walked the fields and while we heard a couple more Smith's Longspurs in flight we only had those few birds.

Tundra Swan in Red River County
I headed north to a pond in Red River County not very far from Detroit, TX where a Tundra Swan was found a couple of days ago. The road was not good going in and I feared high centering but I made it to thee pond safely. I scanned as soon as I got close the pond. Oh No I saw many duck decoys out. The red building in the middle of the pond appeared to be to be a duck blind too. If someone had been hunting this pond there is no way the swan would have stuck around. I got out of the car and scanned with binoculars. Nothing, no swan was visible. I had a bad feeling. I got the scope out and decided to give it a good scan. Suddenly it was right in the middle! Tundra Swan was Year Bird 492. 

Tomorrow I head sound for the review species goodies!

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