Sunday, May 1, 2016

Wichita Wingmen Take Flight May 2

L to R: Chuck and Dianne Theuson, Penny Miller, Sue and Warren King
The Wichita Wingmen will take flight on Monday, May 2, competing in the Great Texas Birding Classic. This competitive event raises money for Texas Parks and Wildlife Conservation Grants.

It's probably fairly obvious where the name came from. We wanted to acknowledge both Wichita Falls and Sheppard AFB, while sounding "birdy." Since this is a Texas event, we don't have to worry about people confusing us for Wichita, Kansas. I am not sure why the locals call Wichita Falls, "Wichita," but they do.

Here we are, at the Wichita Falls Regional Airport, in front of the Jenny. We also had a photo in front of the trainer aircraft from Sheppard AFB.

The area we are competing in is the Prairie and Pineywoods West. We have 24 hours to locate as many species of birds as possible, from midnight to midnight, May 2. We cannot possibly cover this entire region (bordered by Wilbarger county to the west, Grayson to the east and Fayette to the south) thoroughly in this 24 hours, so we have chosen some specific areas with a few alternates that we feel we can do in that time. We have tried to choose different habitat types in the attempt to get as many birds as possible. We'll be sticking primarily to the northern half of our region.

I'll be tweeting throughout the day. You can follow at @birdwithpenny or watch the Twitter feed on this blog. Posts will also filter to my personal Facebook page for those who are connected. If you want to get updates on all of the teams, search for #GTBC16 on Twitter. The competition runs a month. As always, our goal is 100 species. If the weather cooperates, we may be able to hit that number. It is migration season and since we are including Hagerman NWR in our day, there are some distinctly different species there than here. We're hoping for little to no wind, which is an iffy proposition in our area. But if the weather forecast holds, we should have a great day.

Good birding!