Date: 4/13/17 12:23 pm
From: Anthony Hewetson <fattonybirds...>
Subject: [texbirds] Polishing off my TCC list - Day Four - Gregg and Smith Counties
Greetings All:
Thanks to my efforts the day before, Smith County was only 18 species away
from done - with a serious duck deficit. Accordingly, first light found me
at the fantastic pond off of Highway 69 just south of the Wood/Smith County
line - STANDING IN ICE-ENCRUSTED GRASS - and looking at seven species of
duck and, as a bonus, one species of snipe. I then wandered down Highway
69 to the most excellent Faulkner Park (wow!), further down Highway 69 to
Lindale, along FM 16 to Winona, and then along FM 16 and Highway 271 to the
Smith/Gregg County line. In just a bit under four hours I pushed the list
over the top, making it to 102 from 82 (based on visits in November of 2006
and the two days previous to this). Number 100 was a House Wren near
Winona. Pad species: White-crowned Sparrow at 101 and Le Conte's Sparrow
at 102. Highlights were scraping ice off my care before I could get
started and a Bewick's Wren near Red Springs - I always forget how far east
these adorable, little critters get.

This put me in Gregg County at 10:50 and it proved to be a tough sell! I
started at 51 species (based on a visit in October of 2014) and I worked it
hard, starting at Di-Jac Park in Gladewater, wandering down Highway 135 to
Kilgore, working the CR 2276 hotpots, wandering east to Lake Cherokee Dam,
covering the entire Easton Loop, wandering back to Kilgore, working the
FFA/Wilshire Road swamplands, working the Elder Lake/Synergy Park hotspot,
wandering back up to Gladewater and desperately searching for pad species
in the form of town birds before ambling across the Gregg/Upshur County
line. I did make it, slowly notching the list up to 103 species by 6:15.
Number 100 came in the form of 4 American Pipits at Lake Elder. Pad
species: Green-winged Teal at 101, Rock Pigeon at 102 (how happy I was to
not have this one come in at #100), and White-winged Dove at 103.
Highlights were the solid diversity of butterflies at the Wilshire Road
swampland DESPITE the icy morning and a gorgeous Yellow-crowned Night Heron
(the only one of the trip) on a Lake Cherokee piling just visible from
Highway 149.

TCC Counties 245 and 246 were in the bag - and an error in my last post has
been discovered: Cherokee County was, in fact, #244 but that only left ten
counties to go (not the eleven mentioned in my post) and I was now down to
eight counties to go and right on schedule.

On the way back to Mineola, I boosted Wood County up to 58 species -
nibbling, ever nibbling away at the edges of the list ... and, though it
had been a long day, I did get the precious time I needed to ensure that
blood levels in my cider stream did not get too elevated.

Anthony 'Fat Tony' Hewetson; Lubbock

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