Date: 2/26/18 11:22 am From: Anthony Hewetson <fattonybirds...> Subject: [texbirds] The 2018 Tri-County Competition - February Report
This year the competition will feature three competitors and their counties (Brandon Best with Hill County, Anthony Hewetson with Floyd County, and Rich Kostecke with Lee County). Again, we will be weighting our county totals to eBird county totals which, at the end of 2017, stood at 225 species in Floyd County, 230 species in Hill County, and 251 species in Lee County. Species added to the counties during 2018 will not become a part of this weighting.
A change introduced this year - to make things fairer in terms of people's work schedules - is that we only get two visits (to last no longer than one day) to our counties per month.
The counties are close to each other in size and varieties of habitat available with Hill County having the advantage of most permanent water, Lee County having the advantage of a more southerly location, and Floyd County having the advantage of a potentially better blend of eastern and western species.
The results at the end of January: Anthony was ever so slightly in the lead with 95 species (out of 225) or 42.2222%, Brandon was ever so slightly behind with 97 species (out of 230) or 42.1739%, and Rich was a bit further behind with 98 species (out of 251) or 39.0348%.
February was interesting with several shifts in position.
Brandon started things off by moving into first place on 2/10/18 by adding Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Eastern Towhee, House Finch, and Canada Goose, bringing his list up to 101 species (43.9130%)
Almost immediately Rich moved into second place on 2/11/18, adding Great Horned Owl, Wild Turkey, Lark Sparrow, Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Redhead, Ruddy Duck, American White Pelican, Long-billed Dowitcher, and Common Ground Dove, bringing his list up to 109 species (43.4263%).
Anthony got out on 2/17/18 adding Hooded Merganser, Pine Siskin, Wild Turkey, Black-crested Titmouse, Winter Wren, Verdin, Harris's Sparrow, Pyrrhuloxia, Swamp Sparrow, Eastern Bluebird, Say's Phoebe, Canada Goose, Ross's Goose, and Golden-crowned Kinglet, bring his list up to 109 species (48.4444%). This dropped Rich back into third place.
On 2/19/18 Rich Kostecke re-gained his second place position, adding Lesser Yellowlegs, White-eyed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, Sedge Wren, and Cave Swallow, bringing his list up to 116 species (46.2151%).
On 2/24/18 Anthony strengthened his first place position with Marsh Wren, Brown Thrasher, Townsend's Solitaire, and Least Sandpiper, bringing his list up to 113 species (50.2222%).
Brandon made his second visit a stunner, adding Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl , Eastern Screech Owl, Franklin's Gull, Laughing Gull, Winter Wren, Cave Swallow, Purple Martin, Common Yellowthroat, Marsh Wren, Peregrine Falcon, and Brown Creeper, bringing his list up to 113 species (49.1304%).
To sum up: after all was said and done Anthony remained in first place with 113 species in Floyd County (50.2222%), Brandon remained in second place with 113 species in Hill County (49.1304%), and Rich remained in third place with 116 species in Lee County (46.2151%).
March might, given continuing drought in Floyd County, immoderately wet conditions in Hill and Lee Counties, and the generally stronger early spring migration in the eastern half of Texas be just as interestng. I am predicting some more reversals - week by week - but, beyond that, won't commit myself.