Date: 4/14/17 5:12 pm From: Anthony Hewetson <fattonybirds...> Subject: [texbirds] Finishing off my TCC list - Day Six - Morris and Titus County
Greetings All: Part of this long trek towards seeing 100 species of bird in all 254 Texas Counties has been, put simply, never taking it easy. Accordingly, having gotten a bit ahead the day before, I abandoned the original plan and worked to stay ahead today. This meant trying to nail down both Morris and Titus counties in a single day.
This was my earliest morning as I had the longest drive to my first point of the entire expedition. I buckled down and crossed Wood County and Upshur County in the dark, making it to Lake Lone Star (Morris County) a little before first light (owls!!). I spent quite a bit of time at the very solid Lake Lone Star Public Boat Launch and Park, then ambled up Highway 259 and Highway 997 to the north end of the lake where I spent some time at the Fire Station Boat Launch and along the dam, then along FM 144 to Cason, Highway 11 to Daingerfield, Highway 259 and FM 144 to Omaha, and Highway 67 to the Morris/Titus County line. Deep water, woodlands, open lands with duck-sporting ponds - the same old, same old - paid off and I worked the list up from 51 (tallied during visits in May of 2005 and October of 2014) to 103 - all between 6:50 and 12:30. Number 100 was a Hairy Woodpecker near Omaha. Pad species: White-crowned Sparrow at 101, Mallard at 102 (yes, really, Mallard!), and Greater Yellowlegs at 103. Highlights included a singing male Purple Finch at Lake Lone Star and a pair of copulating Wood Ducks near Omaha.
Morris County became TCC county 249.
Titus County proved even easier (being just a tad north than in earlier days really seemed to have a positive effect on both ducks and winter sparrows and I worked the list up from 53 (acquired during visits in August of 2001, May of 2003, and October of 2014) to 102 with just a little over four hours of effort, wrapping up the day's 'work' at 4:40. The route: continuing along Highway 67 to Cookville, dropping down CR 1000 to Center Point, working my way along Highway 49 and CR 1755 to what my atlas insisted was Shaw Reservoir but signs insisted was Welsh Reservoir ('was I so tired, at this point, that I went to the wrong reservoir?' I asked myself). then along CR 4855, Highway 11, CR 2348, CR 4000, CR 3417, and FM 127 to Lake Bob Sandlin and the outstanding deep waters at the northeast park and dam, then along CR 3417 and FM 127 to Monticello Park, and, finally, along FM 127 and Highway 21 to the Titus/Camp County line. Number 100 came in the form of a pair of courting (or mated) Red-shouldered Hawks at Monticello Park. Pad species: White-breasted Nuthatch at 101 and American Goldfinch at 102. Highlights were a heart attack (this is going to do me in some day) flushing of a Wilson's Snipe near Center Point and lots of Falcate Orangetips and Red-banded Hairstreaks at Monticello Park - gotta give mad props to the non-birds now and then.
*Two hundred and fifty counties down; four to go!*
Having had such an early morning I wasted little time crossing Camp and Wood Counties to get to Mineola, nudging the Wood County list up to 76 along the way and really, really, really enjoying that first sip of ice-cold cider when I got to my short-term home.