Big Country Audubon Society

Stories from November, 2008

November 1, 2008 – Haskell-Jones-Taylor County

Haskell County

Highlights:

  • Greater White-fronted Goose – 5,000
  • Snow Goose – 1,500
  • Ross’s Goose – 6
  • Canada Goose – 3,000
  • Cackling Goose – 1,000
  • Merlin
  • Prairie Falcon
  • Brewer’s Blackbird – 15


Complete List:

  • Greater White-fronted Goose – 5,000
  • Snow Goose – 1,500
  • Ross’s Goose – 6
  • Canada Goose – 3,000
  • Cackling Goose – 1,000
  • American Wigeon – 1
  • Gadwall – 1
  • Mallard – 1
  • Northern Pintail – 1
  • Blue-winged Teal – 1
  • Northern Shoveler – 1
  • Redhead – 2
  • Ruddy Duck – 53
  • Northern Bobwhite – 6 calling coveys
  • American White Pelican – 1
  • Great Blue Heron – 2
  • Northern Harrier – 4
  • Red-tailed Hawk – 12
  • American Kestrel – 22
  • Merlin – 1
  • Prairie Falcon – 1
  • American Coot – 25
  • Killdeer – 2
  • American Avocet – 19
  • Rock Pigeon – 12
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove – 1
  • Mourning Dove – 24
  • Great Horned Owl – 1
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker – 3
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker – 2
  • Northern Flicker – 2
  • Eastern Phoebe – 1
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher – 1
  • Loggerhead Shrike – 15
  • Blue Jay – 1
  • American Crow – 1
  • Chihuahuan Raven – 2
  • Horned Lark – 25
  • Black-crested Titmouse – 2
  • Bewick’s Wren – 2
  • Eastern Bluebird – 1
  • Northern Mockingbird – 8
  • Curve-billed Thrasher – 1
  • European Starling – 6
  • Spotted Towhee – 1
  • Vesper Sparrow – 22
  • Savannah Sparrow – 6
  • White-crowned Sparrow – 45
  • Northern Cardinal – 3
  • Red-winged Blackbird – 80
  • Eastern Meadowlark – 200
  • Western Meadowlark – 6
  • Brewer’s Blackbird – 15
  • Great-tailed Grackle – 162
  • Brown-headed Cowbird – 1,000
  • House Sparrow – 3

Haskell sightings by LgPacker, DSymonds, HTrudell

Jones County: Lake Fort Phantom Hill:

Highlights:

  • Great Egret – 3
  • Snowy Egret – 5
  • Osprey – 1
  • Great Horned Owl – 1
  • American Pipit – 7

Taylor County: Kirby Lake:

Highlights:

  • Eared Grebe – 12
  • Pied-billed Grebe – 4
  • Common Loon – 2
  • Herring Gull – 3
  • Ring-billed Gull – 45
  • Canvasback – 2
  • American Wigeon – 4
  • Ruddy Duck – 25
  • Northern Shoveler – 8
  • Osprey – 1
  • Marsh Wren – 3

Lake Ft. Phantom and Lake Kirby sightings by Lorie Black

That’s Not a Red-tail!

So there we were Saturday morning, happily cruising along a Haskell County road when perched atop a double utility pole was a hawk-like shape:

PRFA

“Stop the car!” “That’s not a Red-tail!” Screech! Everyone grabs their bins and sees:

PRFA

“Oh, Wow!” We gotta get the scope on this one!”

PRFA

A Prairie Falcon! A life bird for Dan and only the third sighting for me! Looks sorta like a Peregrine, doesn’t it? But the sandy-brown color and that area of dark on its flanks (sides) along with the white behind the eye is diagnostic. We take a few minutes to admire this little (16″) falcon of open grasslands and quickly get our cameras on it. Heidi’s digiscoped image wins hands down against my itty-bitty 400mm zoom lens. Before our admiration expires, however, it takes off and flies farther away from us, leaving us too soon.

“What a great find!” “This will be the birding highlight of our trip!” But what we saw next redefined highlight:

Geese

We watched with our mouths open as thousands and thousands of geese settled on top of a local lake. Every geese that came in for a landing had to announce that he was about to land so make room! By the time they all landed, Dan shot some great video and there was a little empty patch of blue water left.

Yes! We are planning another field trip to this area to give all a chance to see this marvel of nature. Watch for upcoming announcements. To view what other species of birds we saw, please see our November 1, 2008 list.