Date: 9/5/20 11:09 am
From: Dan Smith <dan...>
Subject: [texbirds] Re: the story of Travis County's first Red Phalarope
Darn! Got to this thread while eating lunch. Talk about an appetite suppressor!

Dan Smith
<dan...> <mailto:<dan...>
512-451-2632
http://www.wordsmithofaustin.com <http://www.wordsmithofaustin.com/>

"Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.” Thomas Jefferson, 1814.




> On Sep 5, 2020, at 1:04 PM, Brush Freeman <brushfreeman...> wrote:
>
> Just for the historical record, I want to recount something many of you may remember but maybe have forgotten. It once was easy to get wind direction at the ponds by looking at which side of a pond the thousands or tens of thousands floating plastic Tampon plastics were piled against.
>
> On Sat, Sep 5, 2020 at 12:45 PM Brush Freeman <brushfreeman...> <mailto:<brushfreeman...>> wrote:
> We have pondered over that story for years, I can't fathom it. There was no digester then. Sewage came in right out of the pipe. ..The good stuff. ......... Related story to that....I was birding out there with Greg Lasley once before the Dillo Dirt concrete contaminants and we discovered a nesting Black-neck Stilt. Greg wanted to photograph it as it was the first nesting record for Travis county..(?) The nest was well out from the earthen berm. The surface looked sturdy enough, dry, cracked, and even supporting scattered vegetation, so he took off after the nest but before long that's surface gave way and he was thigh-deep in black sludge the consistency of pudding. Greg is never one to shy away from an adventure and I hope he does not mind me telling this.........Then there was the guy one weekend in a tractor that rn out of gas in the middle of deep sludge and could not get back to shore...This was before cell phone and he had sat out there all day hoping he could flag someone down....That's another story though.. Then the "It's a dirty job but someone has to do it" guy....It is amazing how many people have purposely entered that realm of sludge.
>
> On Sat, Sep 5, 2020 at 11:11 AM <bertf...> <mailto:<bertf...>> wrote:
> You are correct. The birding group was Alan Brook, Bill Murray, Frank Oatman, John Louis Rowlett, and Rose Ann Rowlett. The bird was photographed and some suggest that Mary Anne McClendon was the photographer. I have not seen the photograph and do not know if it still exists. The captured bird was later released, but then recaptured again when it was found emaciated and later died 18 Sep. --- Bert
>
>
>
> From: <texbirds-bounce...> <mailto:<texbirds-bounce...> <texbirds-bounce...> <mailto:<texbirds-bounce...>> On Behalf Of Fred Dalbey (Redacted sender "fdalbey" for DMARC)
> Sent: Saturday, September 5, 2020 11:03 AM
> To: <bertf...> <mailto:<bertf...>
> Cc: <texbirds...> <mailto:<texbirds...>
> Subject: [texbirds] Re: the story of Travis County's first Red Phalarope
>
>
>
> Of course, the “John” swimming in the sewage pond to capture the phalarope was John Rowlett, one of the founders of Field Guides Birding Tours.
>
>
>
>
> On Sep 5, 2020, at 9:43 AM, <bertf...> <mailto:<bertf...>> <bertf...> <mailto:<bertf...>> wrote:
>
>
>
> Texbirders,
>
> I have been reading old issues of Signal Smoke and came across this interesting account of Travis birders attempting to identify a new species for the county.
>
> Signal Smoke, October 1963, "Birding with The Beavers. The afternoon of September 15, found us at the Sewage Ponds, ... Then we noticed two phalaropes swimming close together in the center of the largest pond. We immediately recognized that they were quite dark-backed and generally had the appearance of Northern Phalaropes; but one of the birds was obviously much larger than the other. During the next hour of close scrutiny from the bank, we became more and more suspicious of that larger, grayer, stouter-billed phalarope.
>
> "At last, suspicion grew into near conviction; and since a 'sanitary' reputation is worth even more points among birders than an eager one, we knew we must prove our potentially dangerous suspicion. In an act of utmost 'eager beaverism' John stripped to his underwear and went after the phalarope in its own element. John's slowly moving head must have looked like a duck, for the two phalaropes showed virtually no alarm at his approach. They simply swam slowly away, keeping just beyond arm's length.
>
> "After about 40 minutes of dog-paddling, John was inches closer. He reached slowly upward beneath the bird and -- and he had it! What wild, ecstatic joy, what cries and leaps into the air from the beavers on the bank accompanied his grasp of that bird, of that Red Phalarope. And a Red Phalarope, indeed, it was, as Kincaid was soon to certify after careful measurement and comparison with Ridgeway. A search of the literature revealed that this normally pelagic species had been recorded but 7 or 8 times in Texas and, of course, never in Travis County. - The Beavers"
>
> Bert Frenz
>
> Oaks & Prairies of Texas
>
> eBird reviewer, Central Prairie of Texas
>
> eBird reviewer, Belize
>
> NAB subregional editor, Central Oaks & Prairies of Texas
>
> <Bert2...> <mailto:<Bert2...>
> www.bafrenz.com <http://www.bafrenz.com/>
>
>
>
>
> --
>
> Brush Freeman
> <http://www.biospatialsevices.com/>Utley & Cedar Park, Texas
>
>
>
>
>
> --
>
> Brush Freeman
> <http://www.biospatialsevices.com/>Utley & Cedar Park, Texas
>
>
>


 
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