2016 Wichita Wingmen in front of the Jenny at the Wichita Falls airport
Chuck Thueson, Dianne Thueson, Penny Miller, Sue King, Warren King (L to R)
The Great Texas Birding Classis is a competitive birding event with different types of competitions. The event raises money for Texas Parks and Wildlife Conservation Grants.
This year, the Wichita Wingmen will be competing tomorrow, Wednesday, April 26. We are once again taking part in the big day portion of the competition. This is a 24-hour birding marathon, although truthfully, we are not going to be out the entire 24 hours.
There are four teams competing in our region this year. Locally, the Rolling Plains Texas Master Naturalist chapter sponsored a team to compete against ours (although most of us are members of the chapter as well.) That team has already done their big day. They are keeping mum about their total count, but I know they got some good birds (like a bald eagle). One of the other teams competing is located in College Station (yes, that's in the same region).They have had excellent counts in the past (over 100), so I expect some problems from that quarter. It is expected to be a little cool and windy tomorrow, with a chance of rain. I am not overly concerned with the temperatures, but the wind could be a problem. The rain will be an issue only if it is a hard rain. But we are committed at this point, so we are going, no matter the weather.
You can keep up with us throughout the day. I will be making the occasional post about the birds seen on @birdwithpenny using the hashtag #gtbc17--they will feed to the twitter feed on this blog as well as to my personal Facebook page. I'll post an update later after I get the official species count from Sue. Last year we had a song sparrow that the GTBC wouldn't count because it wasn't "supposed" to be in our area in May. We didn't have a picture to prove it, so we didn't get to count it. Sparrows don't often sit still for a photo op. I saw a song sparrow just last weekend, do perhaps we'll get a picture this time.
Wish us luck!