Date: 9/5/20 5:16 pm From: Brush Freeman <brushfreeman...> Subject: [texbirds] Re: the story of Travis County's first Red Phalarope
That's the first time I have seen the picture. Cool. I doubt Harry O. ever saw or even knew of this bird. He died a bit over three months later and I am sure Kincaid, the Rowlett's and the other contributors to BLOT made sure it was included in that tome. Murky waters.
On Sat, Sep 5, 2020 at 5:02 PM Tim Fennell <tfennell...> wrote:
> If you want to see a photo of what is probably this bird, you can check > out the photo in the eBird checklist at: > > https://ebird.org/checklist/S44311205 > > I added the Signal Smoke account to the species details in the checklist. > > Tim Fennell > Round Rock,TX > > On Saturday, September 5, 2020, 09:44:49 AM CDT, <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...> > > www.bafrenz.com > > > > >