Date: 9/6/20 9:12 am From: Christian Walker <christian.icapadjuster...> Subject: [texbirds] Comanche, Hamilton, & Mills Co bird - Marbled Godwit, 2 1st eBird co records
I met up with Jay and Amy Packer yesterday to work on some county birding in Comanche, Mills, and Hamilton county.
We started at Proctor Lake in Comanche, where we had Forster’s and Black Terns, White-faced Ibis, and the probably the best bird of the day a flyby Marbled Godwit. This guy flew right over the dam and disappeared south - second county record per eBird. Other Comanche highlights were incredible views of an Olive-sided Flycatcher in town (of Comanche), and Rufous-crowned Sparrow and the first county record per eBird of Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay, on CR 235 in prime hill country juniper habitat that just extended over the county line into Comanche County. Even though it was almost noon, a little playback soon had one calling and we were able to get pics and recordings.
We continued south on CR 235 into Mills County (turns into CR 143 here) and also got Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay and Rufous-crowned Sparrow. Mills was a little slow as we were hitting it at the hottest part of the day, but we did have Rock Wren at the Aguado Stone Quarry, Verdin and another Rufous-crowned Sparrow on CR 430, and Swainson’s Hawks migrating at the Goldthwaite Cemetery.
We went back up to the north-east into Hamilton county, driving through heavy thunderstorms. As we got north through the city of Hamilton the rain eased off and we were noticing birds flying across the road. We only birded along CR 211 and the CR 211 Wetlands, but we stayed for two hours because the bird activity was pretty decent. Highlights included Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Traill’s and Least Flycatchers, both orioles, and apparently the first per eBird county record of a Mourning Warbler, an immature that gave us just incredible looks as it responded to owl whistle. No pics unfortunately, but honestly we were not expecting this to be a county record as it’s rarity is more of a reflection of lack of birder coverage in the area; I’m sure MOWAs move through this area with some regularity.
Anyway, a good day for sure despite the heat and humidity.