Sunday, 17 July 2016

Texas connections

THREE days to go to the verdict from my specialist. I can then hopefully begin my recovery. Anyway enough of that.
I've received a couple of extremely encouraging e-mails regarding a couple of Texas targets, one SMITH'S LONGSPUR being an ABA tick to boot. I tried for this bird on the Denali Highway in August 2007. I was too late as the birds had already bred. I couldn't go any earlier as I was teaching then. It was Louise's second trip with me. We'd not been together long and I had great difficulty getting her on the same plane. It worked out well however as I found out a few weeks later that we'd won a competition and her ticket would cost £1 instead of £900! Result.
Smith's Longspur is a cracking if rare and localised species. I would have loved to have seen it in it's summer Alaskan finery (maybe I still will?)...
It winters in Texas and adjacent states but is still difficult to find, so to receive an e-mail from a Texan Birder (Richard Kinney) yesterday informing me he was willing to help me find it was obviously great news. It won't look like the bird above though.
The second e-mail was from Lorna Clevenger. The great news is that "her" Calliope Hummingbird...Clyde had returned for another year!! You may recall I missed him by a day in March. This species is a West Coast bird that breeds in the north of the US and southern Canada and winters in Central America. This little chap (ABA's smallest breeding bird at 3.25 inches) has flown way east to New Braunfels.
I look forward to finally seeing him and adding him to my Texas list...

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