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Lubbock Area Birding Summary for December - longish  Anthony Flyd
 Jan 05, 2005 14:19 PST 

DECEMBER 2004 SOUTHERN HIGH PLAINS BIRDING HIGHLIGHTS

      0.66 inches of rainfall in December brought the yearly total to 33.25 inches - almost twice the amount of rainfall we get in an average year (18.65 inches)! Playas were filling nicely and lakes in the region are as high as I've ever seen. Combined with what appears to be an invasion year for irruptives from the north and the usual burst of oberver effort centered around the CBCs, December proved quite interesting in our region.
     As always, county follows locale (in parentheses) and birds are listed by virtue of rarity during a typical December or by virtue of unexpected rarity (or abundance) this year.

ROSS' GOOSE: 1 at McCullock Park (Lubbock) on 12/4/04 (CS) the first report for the season - late.

WOOD DUCK: 3 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 12/4/04 (BB), 1 at Chas A. Guy Park (Lubbock) on 12/5/04 (AF), 1 below Lake Six (Lubbock) on 12/18/04 (AF, AH), 2 in northwest Lubbock on 12/18/04 (RL, TM, JT), 2 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 12/19/04 (AF, AH), and 3 at White River Lake (Crosby) on 12/31/04 (BB, DDC, RK, DL) - about average these days.

CINNAMON TEAL: 1 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 12/19/04 (AF, AH), 8 at Andrews Park (Lubbock) on 12/25/04 (EH, PH, WH), and 4 near Dougherty (Floyd) on 12/29/04 (JST) - after years of very low winter numbers may be on the rebound.

BLUE-WINGED TEAL: 1 at Buffalo Springs Lake (Lubbock) on 12/18/04 (AF, AH) and 23 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 12/19/04 (AF, AH).

GREATER SCAUP: 1-2 at Leroy Elmore Park (Lubbock) throughout month (JBr, AF, BW) and 1 at White River Lake (Crosby) on 12/31/04 (BB, DDC, RK, DL) the only reports.

COMMON MERGANSER: 2 in east Lubbock on 12/18/04 (JBr, BW) and 8 at White River Lake (Crosby) on 12/31/04 (BB, DDC, RK, DL) the only reports.

HORNED GREBE: 2 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 12/19/04 (AF, AH) and 1 at White River Lake (Crosby) on 12/31/04 (BB, DDC, RK, DL) the only reports.

EARED GREBE: 2 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 12/19/04 (AF, AH) the only report for the month.

AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN: 1 at Leroy Elmore Park (Lubbock) throughout the period (JBr, AF, BW) and 2 at White River Lake (fide AF) on 12/29/04.

AMERICAN BITTERN: 1 below Lake Six (Lubbock) on 12/18/04 (AF, AH) a real bonus for the Lubbock County CBC.

GREAT EGRET: 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) from 12/5/04 thru 12/18/04 (JBe, AF, CH, TH, TS) - ACCIDENTAL FOR THE MONTH.

CATTLE EGRET: 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 12/4/04 (BB) - ACCIDENTAL FOR THE MONTH.

BALD EAGLE: 1 at White River Lake (Crosby) on 12/31/04 (BB, DDC, RK, DL) the only report for the month.

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK: 1 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 12/10/04 (CK) the second report for the season, 1 east of Lubbock on 12/11/04 (AF) the third report for the season, and 1 near Shallowater (Lubbock) on 12/19/04 (AF, AH) the last report for the year - VERY SPARSE.

MERLIN: 1 near Muleshoe (Bailey) on 12/2/04 (JST), 1 at Buffalo Springs Lake (Lubbock) on 12/18/04 (AF, AH), 1 at the V8 Ranch (Lubbock) on 12/18/04 (BB, WH, LL, PM), 1 in east Lubbock on 12/18/04 (JBe, CH, TH, TS), and 1 near Circleback (Bailey) on 12/29/04 (JST) - about average.

PEREGRINE FALCON: 1 in east Lubbock on 12/18/04 (JBe, CH, TH, TS).

SORA: 1 at Lake Six (Lubbock) on 12/12/04 (AF) and 1 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 12/19/04 (AF, AH).

WHOOPING CRANE: 1 bird seen flying near Plainview (Hale) on 12/2/04 (KM) - ACCIDENTAL FOR THE MONTH - well described by an experienced wildlife biologist.

SPOTTED SANDPIPER: 1 at Ransom Lake (Lubbock) on 12/18/04 (JHa, PH, CR, MR, LS) and 1 along the Canyon Lakes (Lubbock) on 12/18/04 (CB, SC, PK) the only reports for the month.

LONG-BILLED CURLEW: 5 east of Lubbock on 12/11/04 (AF) and 10-12 near Muleshoe (Bailey) throughout the period (fide MD) - ACCIDENTAL FOR THE MONTH.

HERRING GULL: 1 at Leftwich Park (Lubbock) on 12/5/04 (AF), 1 at Leroy Elmore Park (Lubbock) on 12/11/04 (AF), and 1 in west Lubbock on 12/18/04 (JBr, BW).

LONG-EARED OWL: 1 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 12/19/04 (AF, AH).

SHORT-EARED OWL: 1 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 12/19/04 (AF, AH).

BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD: 1 in a Lubbock yard from 11/18/04 through 12/6/04 (AF, BW) - SECOND DECEMBER RECORD FOR THE REGION.

BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD: 1 in a Lubbock yard from 11/18/04 through 12/18/04 (JBr, AF, BW) - SECOND DECEMBER RECORD FOR THE REGION.

RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD: 1 in a Lubbock yard on 12/27/04 (MJ) - ACCIDENTAL FOR THE MONTH.

RED-HEADED WOODPECKER: 1 in a Muleshoe yard (Bailey) on 12/23/04 (MD) - unusual in our western counties.

YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER: 1 at the Lubbock Cemetery on 12/11/04 (BB), 2 east of Lubbock on 12/18/04 (JHa, PH, CR, MR, LS), and 3 along the Canyon Lakes (Lubbock) on 12/18/04 (CB, SC, PK).

DOWNY WOODPECKER: 1 at the V8 Ranch (Lubbock) on 12/18/04 (BB, WH, LL, PM), 1 along the Canyon Lakes (Lubbock) on 12/18/04 (CB, SC, PK), and 1 in northwest Lubbock on 12/18/04 (RL, TM, JT).

EASTERN PHOEBE: 1 at the V8 Ranch (Lubbock) on 12/18/04 (BB, WH, LL, PM) the only report for the month.

BUSHTIT: 1 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 12/19/04 (BB, HB, MD) the only report.

RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH: 1 at Buffalo Springs Lake (Lubbock) on 12/11/04 (AF), 10+ at the Lubbock Cemetery on 12/11/04 (BB), 7 at the Lubbock Cemetery on 12/18/04 (CB, SC, PK), 1 in a Lubbock yard on 12/21/04 (GJ), and 3 at a Lubbock yard throughout the month (EH, PH, WH) - MUCH MORE ABUNDANT THAN USUAL.

BROWN CREEPER: 3 below Lake Six (Lubbock) on 12/18/04 (AF, AH) and 3 along the Canyon Lakes (Lubbock) on 12/18/04 (CB, SC, PK) - MUCH MORE ABUNDANT THAN USUAL.

WINTER WREN: 1 at the LEAS Nature Trail (Lubbock) through the month (AF, AH).

SEDGE WREN: 1 at the LEAS Nature Trail (Lubbock) through the month (AF, AH) - ACCIDENTAL FOR THE REGION - possibly the same bird that wintered at the trail last year.

WESTERN BLUEBIRD: 1 at White River Lake (Crosby) on 12/31/04 (BB, DDC, RK, DL) - ACCIDENTAL FOR THE REGION.

TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE: 2 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) thru the month (JBe, BB, AF, CH, TH, TS), 3 at the Lubbock Cemetery thru the month (BB, AF), and 2 below Lake Six (Lubbock) thru the month (AF, AH) - A LITTLE ABOVE AVERAGE.

SAGE THRASHER: 2 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 12/19/04 (AF, AH) and 1 in northwest Lubbock on 12/19/04 (JBr).

CEDAR WAXWING: MUCH MORE COMMON THROUGHOUT REGION THAN IS TYPICAL - an example: 1586 seen during the Lubbock County CBC obliterated the previous record of 351!

COMMON YELLOWTHROAT: 1 at the LEAS Nature Trail (Lubbock) throughout the month (AF, AH).

BREWER'S SPARROW: 1 at White River Lake (Crosby) on 12/31/04 (DDC, DL) - ACCIDENTAL FOR THE MONTH.

LARK SPARROW: 3 at the V8 Ranch (Lubbock) on 12/18/04 (BB, WH, LL, PM) and 3 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 12/19/04 (BB, HB, JC, MD, JHo, PK, RL, TM) - better than average for the month.

LECONTE'S SPARROW: 2 at the V8 Ranch (Lubbock) on 12/18/04 (BB, WH, LL, PM) - ACCIDENTAL FOR THE MONTH.

FOX SPARROW: 1 at the LEAS Nature Trail (Lubbock) on 12/11/04 (AF) the second report for the season - from then on slightly more abundant than is typical.

HARRIS' SPARROW: 2 at White River Lake (Crosby) on 12/31/04 (BB, DDC, RK, DL) the only report for the month.

WHITE-THROATED SPARROW: 1 at Lake Six (Lubbock) on 12/12/04 (AF) the only report for the month - A TRIFLE LOW.

GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW: 1 at Lubbock Lake Landmark on 12/18/04 (RL, TM, JT) did not remain for other observers - ACCIDENTAL FOR REGION - a report will be submitted to the TBRC.

CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPUR: NOT A SINGLE REPORT OF THIS USUALLY COMMON SPECIES.

MCCOWN'S LONGSPUR: 24 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 12/19/04 (AF, AH, JHo, PK) and 75 near Floydada (Floyd) on 12/29/04 (JST) the only reports for the month - LOW.

YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD: 1 below Lake Six (Lubbock) on 12/18/04 (AF, AH) the only report for the month.

RUSTY BLACKBIRD: 6 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 12/19/04 (HB, BB, MD, JHo, PK) - CONSIDERED ACCIDENTAL FOR REGION ... BUT BECOMING SOMEWHAT REGULAR DURING WINTER.

RED CROSSBILL: 8 at the Lubbock Cemetery on 12/18/04 (CB, SC, PK) - ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE PRESENCE OF IRRUPTIVES THIS WINTER.



Observers: JBe-June Bearden, HB=Harold Beierman, BB=Brandon Best, CB=Clint Boal, JBr=John Brunjes III, SC=Shirley Couch, JC=Jim Crites, DDC=DD Currie, MD=Manuel De Leon, AF=Anthony Floyd (soon to be Hewetson), JHa=Jill Haukos, EH=Ed Hellman, PH=Pam Hellman, WH=Will Hellman, AH=Aveline Hewetson, CH=Caroline Hinkelman, TH=Travis Hinkelman, JHo=Jason Hodges, MJ=Mark Jones, GJ=George Jury, CK=Chris Kellerman, PK=Phillip Kite, RK=Rich Kostecke, LL=Linda Lang, RL= Rob Lee, DL=Dell Little, PM=Patsy Malin, EM=Ellen McBride, TM=Toby McBride, KM=Keith More, CR=Cindy Reinhardt, MR=Marla Riddlespurger, LS=Leanna Smith, TS=Tom SoRelle, CS=Cliff Stogner, JT=Julie Thomas, JST=Jo-Szu (Ross) Tsai, BW=Bill Wenthe.

Anthony Hewetson, Bird Records Compiler
terrv-@yahoo.com
Llano Estacado Audubon Society
www.leas.bizland.com








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