Date: 1/6/19 3:04 pm
From: Petra Hockey <phockey...>
Subject: [texbirds] Blue Ross's Goose, "Prairie" Merlin along FM 2760, Calhoun Co.

Getting back to birding notes after the heated discussions about the “Full Beto" challenge (I like the name and don’t mind using it).

On January 4 I returned to FM 2760 (the road between Magnolia Beach and Alamo Beach) in Calhoun Co. where I had seen a BLUE Ross's Goose the previous day hoping for photo opportunities. This turned out to be unsuccessful but I thought it worth a mention if anybody would like to work through this huge flock - rough guess of at least 2000 - of Snow and Ross's Geese. It is easy to pull off along this road. The traffic is very light. Scope is helpful. As a consolation prize we lucked into a beautiful "Prairie” Merlin (photos posted to facebook Texbirds and ebird). The pale blue-gray back glowed in the sunshine although it was quite shy when we stopped the car and flew further back into the field were photos just didn't do it justice. We saw it twice that day with several hours in between, so it seems to like the area. It deserves to be mentioned that the flock of white geese has a very high percentage of Ross's, maybe up to 50:50. Last year I found similarly Ross’s heavy flocks nearby with 2 BLUE Ross’s that cooperated for photos. Other birdy areas Tira Overstreet and I checked out that day were wetlands along HW 316 and the entire length of the TOS Sanctuary Magic Ridge. It was a spectacular day to be out birding.

Petra Hockey
Port O’Connor, Calhoun Co.

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