Date: 4/13/17 12:02 pm From: Anthony Hewetson <fattonybirds...> Subject: [texbirds] Finishing off my TCC list - Day Three - Cherokee and Smith (in part) Counties
Greetings All: This looked to be a challenging day as I had built my Cherokee County list from visits in November of 2006 and May of 2015 and building up from 62 species in mid-March was likely to yield a lot of overlap. It actually ended up being a lot easier than I expected - mostly thanks to a slow crawl through more habitat diversity than I expected along the western edge of Lake Jacksonville.
But let's back up a bit. I got to Cherokee County by way of a very early morning run through Smith County which yielded nothing at all but allowed me to focus on finishing Cherokee County during the more productive morning hours ... and then nibble at the edges of my Smith County list on the way back
I crittered Cherokee County from 7:30 to 12:25 and worked the list all the way up to 105 from 62! My route: Highway 69, Highway 79, and FM 747 to the Lake Jacksonville area, then a long, slow amble along CR 3113 and CR 3108 (making my way along the western side of the lake to the public boat launch at the southeast corner of the lake), then along CR 2138 to Maydelle, then along FM 747 to Jacksonville, then along Highway 175 to Reese, and, finally, along FM 855 and FM 346 to the Cherokee/Smith County line. Number 100 was a Loggerhead Shrike in open lands along FM 747. Pad species: Eastern Towhee at 101, Common Yellowthroat at 102, Blue-headed Vireo at 103, Marsh Wren at 104, and Killdeer (of all things!) at 105. The highlight was Brown-headed Nuthatches - on the ground with Eastern Bluebirds, Pine Warblers and Chipping Sparrows at the public boat launch - because Brown-headed Nuthatches are SO DARN CUTE ... and the 3 Red-breasted Mergansers I saw on Lake Jacksonville because they were the only ones seen during the trip.
TCC County 244 - eleven more to go:)
This left me a lot time, albeit during the often slower afternoon period, to bird Smith County and, from 12:25 to 5:35, I did just that, working my way along various backroads to Tyler State Park, birding Tyler State Park, and working the list up to 82 species from 23 species - well in line with my target of polishing Smith County off on the morrow - with plenty of time to get up to Mineola and relax. I also found a great pond - just south of the Wood/Smith County line - off of Highway 69 - to start the next day with. Duck city!
Incidentally, in at least two meanings of the word, I bounced Wood County all the way up to 52.