Volume 6 No„ 9
* VULTURES - William Davis Gallagher *
* Against the Hazy sky *
* The thin and fleecy clouds, unmoving*
* re st. *
* Beneath them far, yet high *
* In the dim distant west, *
* The vulture, scenting thence its *
* carrion-fare, *
* Sails, slowly circling in the summer*
* air, *
January 19 - Sunday - Field trip to the Sugarland area. Meet at 9:00 a.m,
in front of the Sugarland shopping center. This is a relatively
new area for most Houston birders and should prove very
February 6 - Thursday - Bi-monthly meeting of the Ornithology Group to be
held at the River Oaks Garden Center, 2503 Westheimer,
ORNITHOLOGY GROUP REPORTS
1957 Houston Christmas Count - (Steve Williams, Compiler)
For the first time since its beginning eighteen years ago, there was
a drastic change made in the Houston Christmas Count area. This area
formerly included Sheldon Reservoir, what is now much of Lake Houston, San
Jacinto Ordnance Depot, and the wooded area adjoining Beaumont Highway
(U.S. 90). Due to property restrictions, flooding, settlement, and
encroachment of industrial plants, much of the former area is no longer
available or desirable for birding. Part of the former area was kept.
This includes San Jacinto Battlegrounds, the area between Baytown and the
San Jaeinto River, the Baytown Tunnel, and Hog Island. The rest is new.
This new area includes much land north of Baytown, Cedar Bayou, Mont
Belvieu, and land on the northern and northwest shores of Galveston Bay,
Also there Is new land made accessible by the recently-built Houston-
Port Arthur-Beaumont route (Texas 73),
The eastward shift of the count area brought it into much of the area
regularly canvassed by A. K, McKay. This is the first Houston Count in
which Mr, McKay has taken part. It is also the first that has ever gone
beyond 150 species. Without him, the Houston Count could certainly not
have done so well. The "Spoonbill" would like to take this opportunity to
welcome Mr. McKay as a participant on this and future Houston Counts, and
to thank him for his valuable observations.
There are a number of outstanding characteristics to the 1957 Counts
(1) The most outstanding is record high number of species (154).
(2) Record high species count for one party (105).
(3) A total of seven species not ordinarily found in the area in
winter, but occur at other seasons of the year.
(4) Four species reported which are not regularly found at any season
of the year (Least Grebe, Groove-billed Ani, Western Meadowlark, and Clay-