I had a very interesting day doing a lot of road cruising (85 miles) in the S
and W parts of Hamilton County on Friday, ending the day at the CR 211 wetland
fields NE of Hamilton (city). Highlights of the ~75 spp day included:
— 10 spp of waterfowl (hundreds of individuals),
— good wetland birding in flooded fields along CR 211 (many Killdeer and peeps,
some Greater Yellowlegs, LB Dowitchers),
— 13 spp of sparrows including a male E. Towhee (woodlot along FM 218 at CR
— a pair of adult Bald Eagles (courtship and probably mating) along the Leon
River in late afternoon.
The cattle feedlots on the N side of US 84 (e.g. CR 528, 523, 530 near the SW
edge of the county) had high bird densities but it’s an aromatic birding
experience not for the faint of heart (nose?) in a busy ranching area. I
talked to a few landowners, two of whom invited me onto their private ranches
to view lakes. One rancher in W. Hamilton County had had five white pelicans
at his lake for the past several days but, alas, they were not there today.
He’d seen a swan on the same lake a few years earlier.
Hamilton County has some beatiful prairies, shrublands, and wooded areas and is
definitely underbirded. It suffers from a lack of publicly accessible tracts
Trivia: Did you know that a TPWD Game Warden Training Center is located in
western Hamilton County? News to me!
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