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May 29, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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May 29, 2019
 

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l rporter May 29, 2019 WE HAVE IT COVERED IF IT'S PLAYED % Mercer will make its fourth NCAA Division I Baseball L Championship appearance in the last 10 years as it was named the No. 4 seed in the Athens Regional during the ESPNU-broadcasted selection show on Monday. Mercer (35-26) clinched its third automatic bid to the NCAA Toumament with an impressive seven-game run through the Southem Conference Champi- onship, induding five consecu- tive wins in elimination contests. The Bears will make their first NCAA appearance since 2015; they have played in regionals in 2010 and 2013 as well. Mercer opens the regional on Friday, May 31 against in-state rival and regional host Georgia at Foley Field in Athens. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. (ET) first pitch on the SEC Network. No. 2 Florida Atlantic and No. 3 Florida State are also in the Athens Regional. The Bears have faced all three regional foes in the past, some more recently than others. Mer- cer has not played Georgia (44- 15) since a 4-3 extm4nning win in Athens on March 14, 2017. Mercer made a trip to Tallahassee in March to face the Seminoles this season. Mercer and FAU, for- mer ASUN Conference foes, have not met since 2006. The winner of the Athens The Mercer Bears baseball team won five straight next face top-seeded Georgia at 7 p.m. on Friday Regional will face the winner of the Baton Rouge Regional, which features host LSU, No. 2 Arizona State, No. 3 Southem Miss and No. 4 Stony Brook. Super Regional play is set for June 7-10. For more information on the full elimination games to capture the program's sixth-ever in Athens. (Photo/Mercer Athletics) 64-team bracket, visit NCAA.com. Athens Regional tickets went on sale online the afternoon of Monday, May 27 or by calling the Georgia ticket office starting Tuesday, May 28 during normal business hours at (706) 542-1231. conference tournament title. Mercer will All session pricing includes Game 7 for free, if applicable. All chairback seats inside the regular Foley Field seating areas will be Reserved Seats during the postsea- son. General Admission seating will be located in the right field bleachers. Reserved Seat Ticket: $15 single game / $56 all-session; General Admission Adult Ticket: $10 / $42 all-session; General Admission Student/Youth Ticket: $5 single game. Mary Persons sophomore Justin Wachtel, leading the pack, finished third among all state runners in the 3,200 meters at the Georgia High School Meet of Champions in Marietta on May 17. (Photo/Kip Burdette) e m By Richard Dumas forsyth@mymcr.nef Mary Persons sophomore track star Justin Wachtel placed fourth out of 20 high school racers in in the one mile at the Wingfoot Mile competition in Atlanta on Tuesday; May 21. Wachtel finished with a time of 4 minutes, 16 sec- onds at the race sponsored by the Atlanta Track Club and held at Emory University. Four days earlier, on May 17, Wachtel, who cap- tured the GHSA AAAA state championship in the 3,200 meters on May 9, faced off with state champi- ons from other dassifications at the Georgia High School Meet of Champions in Marietta. Wachtel placed third out of 20 boys runners in the 3,200 meters, finishing in a time of 9 minutes, 11 seconds. Zach Jaeger of Mcintosh was the boys 3,200-meter champion with a time of 9 minutes, 6 seconds, followed by Marietta's Kamari Miller, who took second with a time of 9 minutes, 8 seconds. MONROE OUTDOORS by Terry W. Johnson tl II 2019 Monroe County edition of: the Spring North American Mi- gration Count was staged Tuesday, May 21. The count began long before most Monroe Countians were stirring from their slumber in the bewitch- ing hours between midnight and dawn. As usual the first two birds recorded were the whip- poor-will and chuck-will's- widow. TERRY W. Neither of these noctumal birds has ever been sighted during a count. Yet, like most of the birds tallied each year, they were identified by their dis- tinctive calls. This year five whip-poor-wiUs and one chuck-wilrs-widow were heard. The count ended in the dying light of the after- noon as I watched a pair of chimney swifts flutter down my chimney. By the time the count ended 851 individual birds representing 71 species were recorded. You might be scratch- ing your head wondering why anybody would go to the trouble of spending so much time counting birds. Actually the answer to this question is quite simple. For well more than two de- cades, biologists and citizen scientists alike have been monitoring the progress of the spring bird migra- tion. One of the ways in which this is accomplished is through the Spring North American Migration Count. The goal of the count is to record as many b'trds as possible in one calen- dar day. Our local count encompasses all of Monroe County. When the counts are carried out in the same area within the same window of time over many years, the data collected helps biolo- gists determine the timing of the migration as well as the effects of weather on bird migration. It also aids in assessing the status of both resi- dent and migratory bird populations. During the history of the count, 154 JOHNSON species of birds have been sighted by vol- unteers conducting the Monroe County Count. This year's survey effort lo- cated only 46 percent of the total birds that have been recorded here. Here is a list of the 10 spe- cies most often encountered during the 2019 count: cliff swallow (268), northem mockingbird (60), northem cardinal (41), mourning dove (35), American crow (33), eastern bluebird (25), chipping sparrow (23), common grackle (23), house sparrow (23) and European starling (23). What is most notewor- thy is not what was seen as much as what was not found. Although 12 species of waterfowl have been seen on the count, this year this group of large birds was represented only by the Canada Goose. Similarly no wild turkeys or quail were located. No hawks were spottod. None of the 11 species of shorebirds seen in years past was seen this year. In addition only eight (pine warbler, Black-and- white warbler, American redstart, Swainson's warbler, Kentucky warbler, corn- O The male American Goldfinch was one of the beautiful birds seen in Monroe County during the Spring North American Migration Count on May 21. (Photo/Terry Johnson). mon yellowthroat, hooded warbler and yellow-breasted chat) of the 21 species of warblers that have been found over the years made this year's tally. There are a number of factors that could have con- tributed to the paucity of birds encountered this year. One explanation might be birds might have migrated through Monroe County earlier this year due to our balmy spring weather. Another factor was pos- sibly weather conditions on the day of the count. This year, Monroe County is in the throes of dry, hot weather. By afternoon the temperature peaked at 94"F with a heat index of 96*F. It was obvious to the counters bird movement and vocal activity dipped precipitously as the temperature soared. The count results might also be linked to habitat changes that have been tak- ing place in Monroe Coun- ty and elsewhere along the migratory pathways of migrants returning from their wintering grounds. It is impossible to know what happened until the data collected on the Monroe County Count are compared with similar counts hdd elsewhere. In the meantime, as the folks that took part in the 2019 Monroe County North American Migration Count ponder the count results, they will know their efforts helped in the conser- vation of our precious b'trd populations. Terry Johnson is retired Program Manager of the Georgia Nongame-Endan- gered Wildlife Program. He has written the informative column 'Monroe Outdoors' for the Reporter for many years. His book, "A Journey to Discovery" is available at The Reporter. Email him at tjwoodduck@bellsouth.net.