Date: 3/1/18 12:10 pm
From: Anthony Hewetson <fattonybirds...>
Subject: [texbirds] The 2018 Photographic Game - February Report
Finding myself beset with the need to paint the exterior of my house and
really work the yard back into shape, I decided to see what kind of numbers
I can rack up from my central Lubbock yard this year and, accordingly, have
made photo-documenting my yard my photography game for the year.
Given the habitat available at the site, my goals are going to be pretty
modest. I am shooting for 40 butterfly species, 0 amphibian species, 2
reptile species, 80 birds species, and 4 mammal species - of which I hope
to photograph over 90%. This may not be as exciting as some of my previous
photographic games but it will certainly be hard-fought.

The results from the drought-stricken second month were stunning - in a not
so good way. The only significant rainfall in my yard was 0.18 inches -
spread across two days mid-month! Usually I have at least three wildflower
species (dandelion, wild mustard, and henbit) blooming in my yard by the
end of the month. This year, with so little rain, there is nothing in
bloom and I scored but a single butterfly - not a single species; a single
individual! The only good news, in terms of birds, is that American Robins
have started building a nest in my fruitless mulberry tree, the drought is
so bad that Mourning Doves are braving the Eurasian Collared Doves and
White-winged Doves at my feeders, and there have been a few kettles of
hawks overhead. On the other hand, due to drying down of in-town playas, I
am no longer on the flight path of waterfowl and waders.

According to the US Drought Monitor my entire region is in severe to
extreme drought and, zooming in, over half the region, including my yard,
is in extreme drought.

During February I had 1 butterfly, 0 amphibian, 1 reptile, 20 bird, and 1
mammal species in/over/from the yard - far below what is normal for
February - putting me at 1 butterfly, 0 amphibian, 1 reptile, 21 bird, and
2 mammal species for the year - 2.5%, 100%, 50%, 25%, and 50% of my
taxonomic goals. Of the 25 species seen thus far this year I have
photographs of only 21 (a mere 84%) - I really need some butterflies to
boost the photographic percentage as flyover birds are very difficult to
capture with my non-SLR camera.

The list follows (* = new, (y) = photographed):

Sleepy Orange*(y)

Mediterranean Gecko*(y)

Cackling Goose
Canada Goose
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared Dove
White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove(y)
Ring-billed Gull
Double-crested Cormorant
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk*(y)
Blue Jay
American Robin(y)
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing*
House Sparrow
House Finch
American Goldfinch*
Great-tailed Grackle

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Desperately hoping for rain, blossoms, and critters; Anthony Hewetson;

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