Big Country Audubon Society

Stories from October, 2009

Haskell Wild Goose Chase

Wild Goose Chasers

“WGC”–October 31,2009
On a chilly, calm Saturday morning, eleven birders gathered at Towne
Crier.  Most had breakfast before traveling to Haskell County to view
the geese at and coming to Winchester Lake.  Since the lake is on
private property, we birded from a gravel read near by.  This made a
good place to set Joe’s telescope and the club scope between the three
vehicles.  We tried to encourage the geese to land on the near shore of
the lake, but they refused to cooperate.  At least, we had “optics” to
help to see them better.
Birders were Kim Berry, Linda Collins, Kathy Hampton, Bill Hughes, Bera
Johnson, Larry Millar, Edna Ross, Dan Symonds, Bonnie and Joe Thompson,
and Charlene Wheeler.  Some were rather new birders.  Everyone enjoyed
sharing “optics” and pointing pictures in guide books to identify birds
and help some to get several new life birds.

The most common bird was the Greater White-fronted Goose.  There were
hundreds of them.  They are very graceful and show beautiful colors as
they circle the water with wings and tail spread.  Then they put down
their yellow landing gear and oh so gently settle on the water without a
splash!

Two coyotes and a deer attracted much attention.  Larry Millar was
delighted to find a nanny goat’s head and horns, and one ram’s horn to
take back to school for his art students to draw.

Oct 31, 2009 – Haskell Wild Goose Chase

Location: Haskell County, TX, US
Number of species: 34

  • Greater White-fronted Goose –  5000
  • Snow Goose – 80
  • Ross’s Goose – 2
  • Cackling Goose – 4
  • Canada Goose – 1000
  • American Wigeon – 20
  • Blue-winged Teal – 10
  • Northern Shoveler – 20
  • Northern Pintail – 6
  • Green-winged Teal – 50
  • Lesser Scaup – 2
  • Great Blue Heron – 2
  • Northern Harrier – 3
  • Red-tailed Hawk – 4
  • Sandhill Crane – 10
  • Black-bellied Plover – 1
  • American Avocet – 2
  • Spotted Sandpiper – 2
  • Greater Yellowlegs – 3
  • Lesser Yellowlegs – 1
  • Least Sandpiper – 50
  • Long-billed Dowitcher – 40
  • Franklin’s Gull – 1
  • Ring-billed Gull – 1
  • Herring Gull (American) – 3
  • Mourning Dove – 25
  • Loggerhead Shrike – 2
  • Horned Lark – 10
  • Northern Mockingbird – 10
  • European Starling – 50
  • Lark Bunting – 10
  • Savannah Sparrow – 5
  • Western Meadowlark – 20
  • Great-tailed Grackle – 100

Location: Lake Fort Phantom (PHP 001)
Number of species: 10

  • Northern Shoveler – 20
  • Great Egret – 4
  • Snowy Egret – 20
  • Red-tailed Hawk – 5
  • American Coot – 200
  • Willet – 1
  • Ring-billed Gull – 20
  • Mourning Dove – 20
  • American Pipit – 1
  • Brown-headed Cowbird – 200

Sighting by Kim Berry, Linda Collins, Kathy Hampton, Bill Hughes, Bera Johnson, Larry Millar, Edna Ross, Dan Symonds, Bonnie and Joe Thompson and Charlene Wheeler.

Oct. 18, 2009 – Lake Abilene

Number of species: 33

  • Gadwall – 20
  • Pied-billed Grebe – 1
  • Double-crested Cormorant – 10
  • Great Blue Heron – 2
  • Great Egret – 1
  • Black Vulture – 11
  • Turkey Vulture – 2
  • Northern Harrier – 1
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – 2
  • Cooper’s Hawk – 1
  • Red-shouldered Hawk – 1
  • American Coot – 52
  • Killdeer – 3
  • Greater Yellowlegs – 1
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove – 11
  • White-winged Dove – 340
  • Mourning Dove – 10
  • Belted Kingfisher –  3
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker – 2
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker – 2
  • Eastern Phoebe – 6
  • White-eyed Vireo – 1
  • Blue Jay – 7
  • Carolina Chickadee – 4
  • Carolina Wren – 2
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 2
  • Eastern Bluebird – 4
  • American Robin – 22
  • Northern Mockingbird – 3
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – 4
  • Spotted Towhee – 4
  • Northern Cardinal – 4
  • Eastern Meadowlark – 1

Sightings by Dan Symonds

Oct. 17, 2009 – Haskell County

Number of species: 18

  • Greater White-fronted Goose – 1500
  • Snow Goose – 8
  • Cackling Goose – 2
  • Canada Goose – 50
  • Gadwall – 24
  • American Wigeon – 4
  • Northern Shoveler – 12
  • Northern Pintail – 6
  • Pied-billed Grebe – 2
  • American White Pelican – 4
  • Great Blue Heron – 2
  • White-faced Ibis – 9
  • Red-tailed Hawk – 3
  • American Kestrel – 3
  • American Avocet – 4
  • Greater Yellowlegs – 2
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher – 23
  • Common Grackle – 2000

Sightings by Kathy Hampton and Dan Symonds

Oct. 17, 2009 – SeaBee Park

Number of species: 23

  • Gadwall 16
  • Double-crested Cormorant 9
  • Great Blue Heron 5
  • Snowy Egret 5
  • Red-tailed Hawk 2
  • American Kestrel 2
  • American Coot 50
  • Sandhill Crane 16
  • Wilson’s Phalarope 4
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove 4
  • White-winged Dove 10
  • Mourning Dove 6
  • Black-chinned Hummingbird 1
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker 1
  • Eastern Phoebe 1
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 10
  • Vesper Sparrow 20
  • White-crowned Sparrow 4
  • Northern Cardinal 2
  • Western Meadowlark 2
  • Common Grackle 20
  • Great-tailed Grackle 20
  • House Sparrow 10

Sightings by Kathy Hampton and Dan Symonds

October 4, 2009 – Abilene – Lake Kirby

Number of species: 22

  • Pied-billed Grebe – 3
  • American White Pelican – 101
  • Double-crested Cormorant – 42
  • Great Blue Heron – 23
  • Great Egret – 47
  • Snowy Egret – 36
  • Red-tailed Hawk – 1
  • American Coot – 62
  • Killdeer – 2
  • Spotted Sandpiper – 1
  • Least Sandpiper – 39
  • Rock Pigeon – 4
  • Mourning Dove – 16
  • Belted Kingfisher – 2
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker – 2
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher – 2
  • Cave Swallow – 7
  • Northern Mockingbird – 3
  • Northern Cardinal – 4
  • Red-winged Blackbird – 120
  • Common Grackle –  600
  • Great-tailed Grackle – 400

Sightings by Dan Symonds