Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wichita Falls Christmas Bird Count

In spite of an inauspicious start with heavy fog, we had a pretty good Christmas Bird Count (CBC) yesterday. A serious birder in the Houston area posted today on his Facebook page that he had just finished the 3rd of 4 CBCs he is participating in this year and is tired. I can imagine--I am pooped and have only done the one.

Anyway, in the Wichita Falls CBC, we divide the area into three sections and a different group surveys each one. At the end of the day, we get together for a potluck spaghetti dinner and someone's home and compile all of the sightings into one report to turn in. Bob Lindsay joined me for the morning in the Lake Wichita section and my husband accompanied me in the afternoon. Normally, we do a lot more walking in the morning portion of the count, but the fog was so thick much of the morning that we did less walking as we would not have been able to see much on a large segment of the trail.

I don't have the official compiler's report yet, so am only reporting on what we saw in our section of the circle. Far and away the largest number of a single species was the Canada goose--we counted 829 on the day in our area. The other teams added a few in their sections. In addition, our group tallied: mallard, blue-winged teal, green-winged teal, northern shoveler, northern pintail, canvasback, ring-necked duck, bufflehead, ruddy duck, wild turkey, pied-billed grebe, white pelican, double-crested cormorant, great blue heron, great egret, northern harrier, Swainson's hawk, red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, American coot, killdeer, greater yellowlegs, Wilson's snipe, ring-billed gull, rock pigeon, Eurasian collared dove, white-winged dove, mourning dove, ladder-backed woodpecker, yellow-shafted flicker, eastern phoebe, loggerhead shrike, blue jay, American crow, Bewick's wren, American robin, northern mockingbird, European starling, cedar waxwing, yellow-rumped warbler, spotted towhee, lark sparrow, savannah sparrow, fox sparrow, song sparrow, Harris' sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, dark-eyed junco, northern cardinal, red-winged blackbird, meadowlark species (since they don't sing this time of year, it is very difficult to tell the east from the west), comomn grackle, great-tailed grackle, brown-headed cowbird, house finch, American goldfinch, and house sparrow.

All in all a great day! Sure beats cleaning house....

Good birding!

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