Date: 4/11/17 10:13 am From: Anthony Hewetson <fattonybirds...> Subject: [texbirds] Finishing off my TCC list - Day One
Greetings All: The first day of my trip boiled down to getting, rapidly, from Lubbock to the Hunt/Rains County line, getting Rains County (which started at 75 species - based on a single, lengthy visit in November of 2006) over 100, and getting a start on Wood County (which started at 10 - based on a drive through in November of 2006) while making my way to my temporary home in Mineola.
I apologize if I get any road designations (FM vs. Highway vs. CR) wrong but signage didn't always agree with atlases or mapping services - and I am completely bereft of local knowledge in the region.
I boogied along Highway 84 to Post, then along Highway 380 to Greenville, and then along Highway 69 to the Hunt/Rains County line - passing through an awful lot of counties that I already had. The only highlights, according to eBird, from this part of the journey: an unusually large number of Cinnamon Teals along the western 2/3rds of the route. My favorite sightings: 7 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks near Denton - the only sighting I had of the species until almost the last day of the trip and, possibly, the only justification for crossing the entirety of Denton County on Highway 380 - and quite a few Falcate Orangetips - one of my favorite butterflies - towards the eastern end of the route.
I got to Rains County at 2:10 in the afternoon and birded until 4:55, working my way along Highway 69, CR 2737, and FM 276 to Lake Tawakoni, then along FM 276 to Emory, and, finally, along Highway 69 and FM 779 to the Rains/Wood County line. By hitting deep water, wooded areas, open areas, and a few duckworthy ponds I drove my list up to 103 species, making Rains County my 240th TCC county. Number 100 - a Golden-crowned Kinglet in a wooded area along FM 799 (not a stunning #100 but not too shabby - several of my #100s have been Rock Pigeon, European Starling, or House Sparrow). Pad species: White-winged Dove weighed in at 101, Pine Warbler at 102, and Chipping Sparrow at 103. My favorite: a Spotted Towhee (one of the few of the trip) seen along CR 2737 - as Spotted Towhee was my starter bird (the species that turned me on and got me into this whole crazy thing known as 'briding/).
Incidentally - during subsequent travels through the county I added Brewer's Blackbird on the 18th was well as Cliff Swallow, Cattle Egret, and Dark-eyed Junco on the 19th so Rains County ended up at 107 by the time all was said and done.
I hit Wood County at 4:55 and worked my way down FM 779 to Golden and then CR 1779 and Highway 80 to Mineola. Even a quick drive, with a few stops, along this very pretty route allowed me to bump my Wood County total up to 41 - from 10 - with plenty of time left over for a timely check in at the hotel, a decent supper, and a pleasant, cider-based, period of decompression.