With a break in the weather up north and not too much homework this weekend I decided to make the long trip up to Lake Tawakoni east of Dallas to look for the reported Arctic Loon, a darn rare bird anywhere in the USA. So I got out of school a little early and was on the road by 3:30 PM, spent the night in Waco and was on the lake shore at 8:30 AM after about 600 miles of driving. A few other birders were already there. Loons were about. Problem was they were a good quarter of a mile away. Even at this distance we were able to pick out the light grey Red-throated Loon with its bill up in the air. We could also pick out a Pacific Loon from the Common Loons by its smaller size and crisper face pattern with smaller bill. Nothing resembling the Arctic Loon ever showed up. I don't think I could have callled it at that distance anyway. So I had to be content with two new birds for my Texas list. I spent the rest of the day looking for stuff that is rare or absent from south Texas. I grew up in Missouri with Red-bellied Woodpeckers but they seem exotic now.
Sparrows are hard to find in the Valley so I enjoyed such common birds as Field, Song, Fox, White-throated, White-crowned and Harris' Sparrow's' Here's a Harris' Sparrow.
I walked some fields chasing what I thought were longspurs but could never get close enough to them. So I headed for home and was in bed shortly after 2 AM. 1200 miles and a full day's birding in 34 and a half hours. Talk about looney!