On Saturday I polished off the fifth of my six BBS routes. A full report
is forthcoming. The roads along the Floydada route (running from north of
Floydada east to north of Dougherty, dropping south towards Dougherty, and
then heading back west towards Floydada) weren't too bad though there were
some squishy spots, suggesting that it was a very good idea to put this one
off as long as possible after the recent, heavy and region-wide rains.
Birding was good with lots of waterbirds, recovery numbers of Northern
Bobwhites, Grasshopper Sparrows and Dickcissels. It was also a very good
day for snakes with one each of seven species (Checkered Garter Snake,
Eastern Hog-nosed Snake, Coachwhip, Gopher Snake, Common Kingsnake, Prairie
Rattlesnake, and Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake) and two Plain-bellied
Water Snakes seen along the route - perhaps the best snaking I have ever
had on a BBS.
Highlights from the route (all in Floyd County) included: 2 Blue-winged
Teals, 6 White-faced Ibises, and 2 American Avocets north of Floydada; 2
Blue-winged Teal a bit further east; 3 White-faced Ibis a bit further east;
1 Green-winged Teal and 31 White-faced Ibises a bit further east; 10
White-faced Ibises a bit further east; 2 Gadwalls, 5 Northern Pintails, and
44 White-faced Ibises a bit further east; 6 White-faced Ibises a bit
further east; 2 adult Common Yellowthroats with 4 fledglings a bit further
east; 6 Blue-winged Teals, 1 Ring-necked Pheasant, 6 White-faced Ibises,
and 1 Black-necked Stilt a bit further east; 2 adult Say's Phoebes with 4
fledglings a bit further east; 1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo a bit further east; 2
Blue-winged Teals and 2 Wilson's Phalaropes well north of Dougherty; 4
Blue-winged Teals and 2 Redheads a bit further south; 1 Ring-necked
Pheasant a bit west; 2 Northern Pintails a bit further west; 2 Redheads, 2
Black-necked Stilts, and 2 American Avocets a bit further west.
I then checked my upcoming Dougherty BBS route as it is in a wetter part of
the county and might prove unrunnable, saving me a trip back to Floyd
County on th 28th.
About halfway between Floydada and Dougherty (on Highway 70) I spotted 6
Blue-winged Teals, 2 Northern Pintails, and 4 White-faced Ibises.
The route proved runnable but problematic (more on that in my next post).
Starting from a point just southwest of Dougherty and running west to a
point just northwest of McCoy I had 2 White-faced Ibises, 6 Blue-winged
Teals, 2 Northern Pintails and 2 Redheads, 2 White-faced Ibises, 2 Cattle
Egrets, 2 Black-necked Stilts and 4 American Avocets, 4 White-faced Ibises,
2 American Avocets, 1 Ring-necked Pheasant and 2 American Avocets, 6 Purple
Martin, 2 American Avocets, 4 Purple Martins, 1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo and 1
A playa at McCoy kicked out 2 Black-necked Stilts and 2 American Avocets.
There was a Yellow-billed Cuckoo singing in a woodlot near Allmon.
Hale County (on the way home) kicked out 2 Purple Martins in Petersburg, 4
Blue-winged Teals and 5 White-faced Ibises at the 54 x TT Playa, 2 Redheads
and 4 American Avocets north of Abernathy.
Incidental highlights in Lubbock County: 4 White-faced Ibises south of
Abernathy and 2 Snowy Egrets at Maxey Park in Lubbock.
What a day; Anthony 'Fat Tony' Hewetson, Lubbock
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