Well, not that big, but bigger than I had really expected. There ended up being three of us. The final numbers equated to 16 hours and 180 miles for 134 species. I don't think we ever settled on a team name, but the top contenders were "See Birds, Hear Birds, Drink Booze", "Ivory-billed or Bust", and something about a possum.
|A Painted Bunting's song is as loud and stunning as its plumage. Many were heard before they were seen.|
|Rock Wren is a one shot bird in Travis county. An extra 30 seconds of patience provided us with this bird. The patience did not come from me.|
This being our first big day, there was a relatively steep learning curve. Here are some lessons that I will need to apply next year.
1. Time ended up running out faster than I had anticipated, and I had anticipated it moving pretty fucking quick. Not enough hours in the day.
2. Migrant passerines are unreliable and hellish. Sure, you could probably get good numbers of warblers, vireos, etc., but if you've got a uncooperative wind and a short amount of time for each spot, odds are you aren't going to clean up on these birds. We did not.
3. Everything is better in the morning. If we could have hit every spot that we hit for the day before 10am, we'd probably have another 10 or 15 birds. By the time we got to the east side of the county, we were missing easy, easy birds.
|Baird's Sandpiper was the sole consolation from a stop at Windy Point.|
|The only Eastern Screech-Owl of the day was a 3 minute stop. I've been informed that the bird's name is Francisco.|
|Barred Owl is relatively reliable in one spot. This is one of three fledglings.|
|We had a solitary Solitary Sandpiper on the day.|
|Killdeer was very effective at calling loudly enough to block out the songs of other birds we were looking for.|
|Semipalmated Sandpiper helped us get the "peep sweep."|
|Lesser Yellowlegs were more abundant that Greater, but on a big day, one is enough.|