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

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.

Anthony Hewetson; Lubbock

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