Big Country Audubon Society

Stories from December, 2006

December 27, 2006 – Dyess GC

Best bird(s):

  • Wood Duck, 1 (female, in the diversion ditch behind the driving range)

List:

  • Wood Duck, 1, dd (diversion ditch)
  • Gadwall, 2 (1 in dd; 1 in Totten)
  • Mallard, 6 (Totten)
  • Northern Shoveler, 10 (Totten)
  • Bufflehead, 2
  • Great Blue Heron, 1
  • Red-tailed Hawk, 2
  • Killdeer, 12
  • Greater Yellowlegs, 3
  • Ring-billed Gull, 1
  • Rock Pigeon, 8
  • Mourning Dove, 67
  • Belted Kingfisher, 1
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker, 1
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2
  • Northern Flicker, 1
  • Blue Jay, 3
  • American Crow, 2
  • Black-crested Titmouse, 6
  • Bewick’s Wren, 2
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1
  • Eastern Bluebird, 14
  • American Robin, 2
  • Northern Mockingbird, 9
  • European Starling, 18
  • Cedar Waxwing, 8
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler, 3
  • Chipping Sparrow, 4
  • Field Sparrow, 1
  • Vesper Sparrow, 2
  • Song Sparrow, 17
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow, 12
  • White-crowned Sparrow, 16
  • Dark-eyed Junco, 24
  • Northern Cardinal, 2
  • Black Bird Species, 150
  • Red-winged Blackbird, 2
  • Meadowlark species, 27
  • Brown-headed Cowbird, 36
  • House Finch, 76
  • American Goldfinch, 10

Sightings by LP
(For those wondering what Totten is, it’s the name of the pond at the golf course)

December 22, 2006 – Dyess WSA

Best bird(s) of the day:

  • Marsh Wren, 1

Others:

  • Gadwall, 2
  • Northern Shoveler, 1
  • Green-winged Teal, 5
  • Rock Pigeon, 1
  • Mourning Dove, 23
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker, 1
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2
  • Blue Jay, 1
  • Black-crested Titmouse, 1
  • Cactus Wren, 1
  • Bewick’s Wren, 3
  • Marsh Wren, 1
  • Eastern Bluebird, 9
  • American Robin, 16
  • Northern Mockingbird, 4
  • European Starling, 23
  • Cedar Waxwings, 12
  • Canyon Towhee, 3
  • Field Sparrow, 7
  • Savanah Sparrow, 8
  • Song Sparrow, 21. The SOSPs and LISPs are more numerous than these numbers indicate. At thirty feet intervals I would walk down to the diversion ditch and find several SOSPs to one LISP’s.
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow, 8
  • White-crowned Sparrow, 20
  • Dark-eyed Junco, 28
  • Northern Cardinal, 1
  • Eastern Meadowlark, 1
  • Meadowlark species, 3
  • Brown-headed Cowbird, 20
  • House Finch, 63

Sightings by Laura Packer

December 21, 2006 – Dyess, NE

Most unexpected bird:

  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 1

Others:

  • Gadwall, 1
  • Northern Shoveler, 4
  • Bufflehead, 5
  • Mourning Dove, 12
  • Ladderbacked-Woodpecker, 1
  • Blue Jay, 4
  • Black-crested Titmouse, 2
  • Cactus Wren, 6
  • Bewick’s Wren, 2
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 1
  • Eastern Bluebird, 6
  • American Robin, 4
  • Northern Mockingbird, 8
  • Curve-billed Thrasher, 3
  • European Starling, 10
  • Spotted Towhee, 2
  • Canyon Towhee, 1
  • Field Sparrow, 4
  • White-crowned Sparrow, 37
  • Dark-eyed Junco, 5
  • Northern Cardinal, 5
  • Great-tailed Grackle, 10
  • House Finch, 2
  • American Goldfinch, 3
  • House Sparrow, 8

Sightings by Laura Packer

December 17, 2006 – Lake Kirby

  • Bonaparte’s Gull

Not a rare bird, but something of a break from the Ring-billed Gulls. Most range maps portray Abilene as either at the western edge of the winter range or just to the west of the western edge.

Submitted by Gary Hunter

December 16, 2006 – Cedar Creek, NE Abilene

Best bird(s) of the morning:

  • Great Kiskadee, 1 (heard along the 1700 block of Cedar Crest)
  • Winter Wren, 1 (boldly marched …OK, hopped… past me from 3 feet away while cussing …OK, giving his alarm call… and working his way downstream)
  • Hermit Thrush, 1 (h)

Complete list:

  • Gadwall, 8
  • Mallard, 12
  • Northern Shoveler, 5
  • Ring-necked Duck, 2
  • Great Blue Heron, 1
  • Red-shouldered Hawk, 1 (h)
  • American Kestrel, 1
  • Greater Yellowlegs, 1
  • Ring-billed Gull, 12 (flying overhead)
  • Rock Pigeon, 36
  • White-winged Dove, 53
  • Mourning Dove, 36
  • Belted Kingfisher, 1
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 1
  • Northern Flicker, 2
  • Eastern Phoebe, 1
  • Blue Jay, 10
  • Black-crested Titmouse, 1
  • Carolina Wren, 1
  • Winter Wren, 1 (maybe 2, another heard downstream an hour later but could be the same bird)
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 6
  • Hermit Thrush, 1 (h)
  • American Robin, 16
  • Northern Mockingbird, 2
  • European Starling, 48
  • Cedar Waxwing, 24
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler, 12
  • Spotted Towhee, 3
  • Field Sparrow, 1
  • Song Sparrow, 5
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow, 3
  • White-throated Sparrow, 1 (h)
  • White-crowned Sparrow, 1 (h)
  • Dark-eyed Junco, 60
  • Northern Cardinal, 6
  • Red-winged Blackbird, close to 100 flying overhead
  • House Finch, 36
  • American Goldfinch, 25

All sightings by Laura Packer

December 15, 2006 – Lake Fort Phantom Area

Birds of note:

  • Wood Duck, 4 at Lake Fort Phantom
  • American Pipit, 7 at SeaBee Park
  • Verdin, 1 near the westside boat dock in Johnson Park

The most interesting thing was a roadkill javalina on West Lake Rd between Ambler and I-20. Not a feral hog – I took a second look.

All sightings by Lorie Black

December 14, 2006 – Abilene S.P., South Abilene

Abilene State Park:

  • Mallard, 6
  • Black Vulture, 50+
  • Turkey Vulture, 1
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 1
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 1
  • Black-crested Titmouse, 9
  • Carolina Wren, 4
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1
  • American Robin, 10
  • Spotted Towhee, 2
  • Dark-eyed Junco, 20
  • Northern Cardinal, 2
  • Meadowlark species, 2

South Abilene:

  • Northern Harrier, 1
  • American Kestrel, 1
  • Eurasian Collared Dove, 30+
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker, 7
  • Blue Jay, 2
  • Verdin, 3
  • Curve-billed Thrasher, 1
  • European Starling, 1
  • Canyon Towhee, 3
  • White-crowned Sparrow, 25+
  • Pyrrhuloxia, 2
  • Red-winged Blackbird, 15+
  • Meadowlark species, 4

Greater Abilene:

  • Rock Pigeon, 50+
  • Common Grackle, 100+
  • Great-tailed Grackle, 100+

All sightings by Sean Young

Merry Christmas

gifts

Thanks to everyone for making our Christmas gathering fun, festive, surprising, and tasty! The food was delicious, the entertainment informative, and the surprise unexpected. I enjoyed seeing everyone; you are a special group of friends that I can share my enthusiastic joy of birding with. Thank You All for the goodies you brought. A big Thank You to my non-birding spouse for providing the entertainment. I know the hours it took to produce twenty minutes of video. A huge Thank You to Kim for allowing me and John to run around on base and bring you images of the birdlife there. And another Thank You to John for always having a camera handy. I’ve posted a few pictures; they’re in the Christmas Social, 2006 album under Club Activities. Because these photos are candid and not posed (well, one of them was posed), I took the liberty of being a tad creative with captions. I love you all, see you in the field on CBC!

December 8, 2006 – Dyess AFB

Best bird(s) of the day:

  • Buffleheads, 5
  • Marsh Wren, 2 (one heard at the low water crossing in the golf course and the other seen in the diversion ditch south of WSA)
  • Eastern Bluebirds, 27 (highest count to date)


List Seen at the Golf Course:

  • Mallard, 19 (15 onTotten, 4 on Eff. pond)
  • Northern Shoveler, 12 (Totten)
  • Lesser Scaup, 1 (Eff. pond)
  • Buffleheads, 5 (Eff. pond)
  • Great Blue Heron, 1
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1
  • Red-tailed Hawk, 2
  • Killdeer, 18
  • Greater Yellowlegs, 8
  • Ring-billed Gull, 15 (Eff. Pond)
  • Rock Pigeon, 6
  • Mourning Dove, 21
  • Belted Kingfisher, 1 (Eff. Pond)
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2
  • American Crow, 2
  • Bewick’s Wren, 3
  • Marsh Wren, 1 (heard)
  • Eastern Bluebird, 22
  • Northern Mockingbird, 7
  • European Starling, 27
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler, 2 (1 Audubon’s and 1 Myrtle’s)
  • Chipping Sparrow, 1
  • Field Sparrow, 1 (by Totten)
  • Vesper Sparrow, 1
  • Song Sparrow, 1
  • White-crowned Sparrow, 9
  • Dark-eyed Junco, 7
  • Meadowlark sp., 33
  • Brown-headed Cowbird, 6
  • House Finch, 5
  • American Goldfinch, 40
  • House Sparrow, 12


List seen around WSA:

  • Eastern Bluebird, 5

List seen in the diversion ditch south of WSA:

  • Marsh Wren, 1
  • Orange-crowned Warbler, 1
  • Savannah Sparrow, 3
  • Song Sparrow, 7
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow, 1
  • White-crowned Sparrow, 8
  • Dark-eyed Junco, 3
  • Meadowlark sp., 2
  • House Finch, 40
  • American Goldfinch, 1

Coyote, 2

Sightings by Laura Packer

December 5, 2006 – Lake O.H. Ivie – Eurasian Wigeon

Lake O.H. Ivie in Coleman/Concho Counties is host to thousands of ducks this winter. Tens of thousands of ducks!

Best bird(s):

  • Eurasian Wigeon, 1. First found by Jay and Amy Packer 12-2-2006. For directions to the lake go to Birding Locations. For extra tips on how to find this duck among the thousands present, look at the blog entry, Eurasian Wigeon’s Point of Reference.
  • Vermilion Flycatcher, 2
  • Say’s Phoebe, 3
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 4
  • Mountain Bluebirds, flock of 48. Found on RR 11 close to the intersection of CR 1929.
  • Common Loon, 2
  • Osprey, 1
  • Bald Eagle, 2

Complete List: (with the vast quantity of ducks present, it is difficult to estimate species numbers. Where the species number is known, it is so indicated.)

  • Gadwall
  • American Wigeon
  • Mallard
  • Northern Shoveler, 6
  • Northern Pintail, 4
  • Green-winged Teal, 11
  • Canvassback
  • Redhead
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Bufflehead
  • Common Loon, 2
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Horned Grebe
  • Eared Grebe
  • American White Pelican
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret, 6
  • Black Vulture, 5
  • Turkey Vulture, 1
  • Osprey, 1
  • Bald Eagle, 2
  • Northern Harrier, 3
  • Cooper’s Hawk, 1
  • Red-tailed Hawk, 26
  • American Kestrel, 9
  • American Coot
  • Killdeer, 2
  • Spotted Sandpiper, 1
  • Greater Yellowlegs, 5
  • Wilson’s Snipe, 1
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove, 5 (in Ballinger)
  • Mourning Dove, 6
  • Great-horned Owl, 2 (in Abilene at Industrial and Maple)
  • Belted Kingfisher, 2
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker, 2
  • Northern Flicker, 3 (both the Yellow Shafted and Red Shafted)
  • Eastern Phoebe, 1
  • Say’s Phoebe, 3
  • Vermilion Flycatcher, 2
  • Loggerhead Shrike, 12
  • Common Raven, 1
  • Verdin, 2
  • Rock Wren, 1
  • Bewick’s Wren, 2
  • Marsh Wren, 1
  • Rubby-crowned Kinglet, 2
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 4
  • Mountain Bluebird, 48
  • American Robin, 4
  • Northern Mockingbird, 12
  • Curve-billed Thrasher, 2
  • European Starling, 15
  • American Pipit, 1
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler, 3
  • Canyon Towhee, 3
  • Field Sparrow, 2
  • Savannah Sparrow, 1
  • Song Sparrow, 1
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow, 1
  • White-crowned Sparrow, 6
  • Northern Cardinal, 2
  • Pyrrhuloxia, 1
  • Red-winged Blackbird, 90
  • Meadowlark species, 26
  • Great-tailed Grackle, 100’s (coming in to roost in south Abilene)
  • Brown-headed Cowbird, flock of 50
  • House Finch, 6
  • House Sparrow, 10

All sightings by Kathy Hampton, Bill Hughes, and Laura Packer