Date: 4/13/17 11:41 am
From: Anthony Hewetson <fattonybirds...>
Subject: [texbirds] Finishing off my TCC list - Day Two - Van Zandt, Henderson, and Kaufman Counties
Greetings All:
The second day of my trip was 100% TCC birding and I worked Van Zandt
County (at 66 based on a January visit in 2013), Henderson County (at 72
based on the same January trip in 2013), and Kaufman County (at 72 based
on, you guessed it, the same January, 2013, trip).

I started in Van Zandt County and, from 7:40 to 11:10, worked by way along
CR 1255, from Silver Lake to Canton, then along CR 2909, FM 858, and CR
1653 to Martins Mill, and, finally, along CR 1861 to Walton which is pretty
much on the Van Zandt/Henderson County line, working the list up to 104
(TCC County 241!) The focus in this county was on wetland species that I
had missed during my one previous visit - mostly farm ponds and flooded
fields - and on early spring arrivals. Open land was more available than I
would have thought and I did very well with sparrows. Number 100 was a
Northern Shoveler at a pond just south of Martins Mill. Pad species:
Ring-necked Duck at 101, Lesser Scaup at 102, Gadwall at 103, and Least
Sandpiper at 104. My favorite sighting was not a sighting but rather
hearing a Cope's/Gray Treefrog singing from an unseen perch in a flooded
woodlot.

I worked Henderson County from 11:10 to 2:05, wandering along Highway 19
and CR 2709 to Eustace, then along CR 2329 and CR 3054 to Log Cabin/Caney
City (where I did quite well at the public boat launch), and then up
Highway 198 to Mabanck, pretty much on the Henderson/ Kaufman County line,
topping out at 102 species (TCC County 242 - kaching!) The boat launch
gave me a chance at some deep water species; the rest of my visit focused
on the the big three: early arriving songbirds of the wood, early arriving
songbirds of the open field, and desperately searching for duckworthy
ponds. Number 100 was a Mallard on a pond just south of Gun Barrel City.
Pad species: Ruddy Duck at 101 and Crested Caracara at 102. The two
Crested Caracaras I saw between Gun Barrel City and Mabank were the only
two I saw during the entire trip ... earning highlight status with ease.

I worked Kaufman County from 2:05 to 5:35, wandering along Highway 175 to
Kemp, then along CR 1391, CR 1836, and CR 2515 to Ola, then along Highway
243 and Highway 34 to Kaufman City Lakes, then along Highway 34 and CR 2728
to Elmo, and, finally, along Highway 80 to the Kaufman/Van Zandt County
line, working the list up to 104 and making Kaufman County my 243rd TCC
County. Number 100 came in the form of 3 Swamp Sparrows at Kaufman City
Lakes. Pad species: Fox Sparrow at 101, Blue-headed Vireo at 102,
Bufflehead at 103, and Common Gallinule at 104. The highlight was not any
given species of critter but, rather, Kaufman City Lakes where I quickly
racked up 42 species of bird, including 9 species of sparrow, in just 45
minutes. It was also a bit of a rediscovery as I had forgotten my previous
visit to the site in January of 2013 and, as I drove up to and then saw the
park, it was like seeing an old friend in an unexpected place.

The day's work brought me through two counties that I still needed and I,
incidentally, bumped Smith County up to 23 species from 11 and Wood County
up to 45 from 41. Throughout the trip, the decision to live in the county
with the largest deficit paid off and I really enjoyed noting, cider in
hand, the Wood County total creeping up with each passing day.

Anthony 'Fat Tony' Hewetson; Lubbock


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