Date: 3/31/17 8:41 am From: Anthony Hewetson <fattonybirds...> Subject: [texbirds] The Hewetson:Kostecke Competition - March Report
Greetings All: This year's competition finds Rich Kostecke working over 960 square miles of Fayette County as Anthony Hewetson flails away at 902 square miles of Crosby County. Both counties have a nice mix of habitats, though Kostecke's is a bit less agricultural and a bit more wooded and watered. On the other hand, Hewetson has some nice canyon cuts and, possibly, a better selection of grasslands. To make things a bit more fair this year lists are going to be weighted using the cumulative eBird total of ABA countable for both birds as reported by 31 December 2016. That means that Rich's efforts will be divided into a total of 264 species for Fayette County whereas Anthony's efforts will be divided into a total of 290 species for Crosby County. Species we add to the county lists during 2017 will not cause these totals to go up: 264 and 290 remain fixed for purposes of the contest.
March is almost over and Rich sent me his report for the month ... so I guess I can jump the gun and get this out a day early.
Rich paid an early March visit to Fayette County that netted him Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, and Cackling Goose, bringing him up from 111 to 117 and leaving me unconcerned. I paid an early visit to Crosby County and added Cinnamon Teal, Woodhouse's Scrub Jay, Purple Martin, Turkey Vulture, Verdin, Prairie Falcon, Rough-legged Hawk, and Blue-winged Teal, bringing me up from 130 to 138 - a commanding lead ... I thought. I then lost two weekends to my Texas Century Club trip to northeast Texas* but* Rich was nice enough to not bird Fayette County those weekends. I figured he couldn't do me in with a single late March visit so I spent my last birding day of the month in Lynn County while he put in a second visit to Fayette County and hit pay dirt, adding Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Purple Martin, Cattle Egret, American Golden Plover, Pectoral Sandpiper, Upland Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher, Lesser Yellowlegs, Sprague's Pipit, Solitary Sandpiper, Northern Parula, Black-and-white Warbler, and Northern Parula to his list, bringing him up to 130 species ... and, literally, stealing a 'March' on me.
Weighted for eBird history that puts Kostecke at 130 species (49% of the number of species previously recorded for Fayette County) and leaves my at 138 species (a lowly 48% of the number of species previously recorded in Crosby County - with Rich ever so slightly in the lead.
I tell you what: I plan on spending a long day in Crosby County this weekend:)