Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Duck is the New Black

Saturday afternoon I was enjoying a good beer at a new local craft brewery in Houston with my lovely wife Donna when I got a text message from John Berner asking if I was going for the American Black Duck in Dallas. My response was "What Black Duck?"

A few messages later we were set to leave on the chase at 4 am accounting for Daylight Savings Time. We arrived right on time at first light and started scanning the ducks. We did locate the Chiloe Wigeon that's been there although its not countable.

After we had scanned all the ducks at hand we decided to split up, I would head north along the shoreline and John would head south. I got just about to another group of ducks and decided I should check my phone to make sure I could hear it. Of course there was a message from John saying he had the duck and I turned around to head his way. No answer when I called him back or messaged him, strange.

American Black Duck
White Rock Lake, Dallas TX
I was almost to John's last know location when I got a call from someone else. Turns out John's phone died right as he called me. So after viewing the duck himself (priorities right!), he just started walking and asking other birders if they knew me and had my number, and it worked, just a few people and he found someone to call me, lol.

We were soon on the American Black Duck for Year Bird 331. Review Birds like this have been hard to come by this season. I snapped a load of picture, but its a gray bird on a very gray day!

We decided to head over to the spillway and look for the Little Gull that has recently been reported there. There were a decent number of birds on the spillway and best of all a lot of Bonaparte's Gulls. We scanned and watched for better than an hour and no luck. A few Northern Rough-winged Swallows passed over head for Year Bird 332 though.

Bonaparte's Gulls and Ring-billed Gulls on the
White Rock Lake Dam
A Cooper's Hawk buzzed the gulls and most of the Bonaparte's scattered and headed across the lake. John and I decided to circle the lake and see if maybe we could locate the Little Gull.

We looked at a lot of Bonaparte's Gulls but no Little Gull. We decided to check the dam again and alas, still no Little Gull.

Still I'd have to call this "mission accomplished"  with good looks at the American Black Duck. Time to head home.

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