goldfinches, and 100/ White Pelicans. Robins were numerous on Bolivar but
the only shorebirds were several hundred Dunlin and a few Piping Plover,
Another visit to Kempner gave us an opportunity to view the oriole again
and added the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, In the Duck Lake area we found
Sprague's Pipits, Common Loons, and Eared Grebes. Our total was 85 species,
Steve Williams (compiler) and Lawrence Tabony did well covering the
parts of the mainland in the circle,where they added several speeies that
don't reach the island, and part of the island where they added several
Rough-winged Swallows. Their total was 94 species.
Perhaps the biggest finds of the count came from the third party,
Norma Oates, Leota Stilwell, Ruth Moorman, and Mr. and Mrs. Henry hoffman,
covering the western part of-the circle on the island. They not only
observed 6 GROOVE-BILLED ANIS for over half an hour but found 4 CATTLE
EGRETS on~S Road. The Cattle Egrets were first seen only abouf twenty
yardaaway among some cattle which seemed accustomed to their presence.
The final total for the 1957 Galveston Christmas Count was'114
species, a new record for the Galveston Census,
Firgt__Freeport Chr 1 stmas Census' - . (Vlo Emanuel)
Due to our interest In the Galveston, Govs, Sheldon, and Western
Harris County areas, Houston birders have somewhat neglected the interesting
Freeport area. In the past there has been considerable conjecture about a
Freeport Christmas Count and several O.G. trips to this area have resulted
in good birding.
On December 31, Carl Aiken, Ronald Fowler, Josephine Wilkin, Leota
Stilwell, Margaret Stilwall, and I, participated In the first Freeport
Count. The 15-mile circle centered near Round Lake and included at its
extremes! Lake Jackson, the Angleton Gun Club, Swan Lake, Bryan Beach,
and Perry Landing.
We met at the Angleton Gun Club about 7§30 a.m. The owner refused us
permission to cover the club because of alleged abuse of this privilege by
our group in the past, but we were able to cover the area fairly well from
the railroad tracks. Here we added numerous waterbirds and marshbirds but
the area was much poorer than last year. We did add 5 American Bitterns,
Ruddy and Canvasback Ducks, Snow and Canada Geese, a Vermilion Flycatcher,
a Red-headed Woodpecker, Yellowthroates, Swamp and Lincoln's Sparrows, and
an Eared Grebe, In the field and woods across the road, which Mr. Frank
kindly gave us permission to cover, we added several snipe, 2 Solitary
Vireos, a Catbird, a Pileated Woodpecker, 2 Hermit Thrush, and several
common woods-birds. Just as we prepared to leave this area we spotted a
black speck in a faraway tree, which the 0,G. sqope proved to be an adult
Bald Eagle. In the woods between there and Clute, we added thousands of
Robins as well as Cedar Waxwings and Common Goldfinches. At a lake near
Clute, we found an Anhinga and another Pileated Woodpeeker.
Visibility remained very poor during most of the morning, but by
10;30 a.m„ it was considerably clear. At Lake Jackson we found very few
birds as compared with last year but a few Lesser Seaup and 4 Ring-necked
Ducks did appear, (Shortly before 9sOO a.m. we had 53 species)
When we left the lake at about llsOO a.m, we split into two parties.
Carl, Ronald, and I, were to cover the part of the circle west of the
Angleton-Freeport Road (No, 288) and Leota, Margaret, and Josephine covered
the part east of the road.
A trip to Perry Landing proved fruitless and we arrived at Bryan Beach
about noon. The flats behind the beach produced several species but wading
in a marsh failed to add'anything but a Seaside Sparrow. It was warm and
sunny as we crossed the Intereoastal Canal but when we reached the beach
we saw a dark cloud approaching from the northwest. Soon cold winds and
scattered drops of rain hit the Gulf,■causing it to become very calm.
Despite the weather we added 2 Red-br. Mergansers, Royal and Caspian Terns,
and several common shorebirds. In a nearby pond we added 2 Common Loons
and a flock of Blue-winged Teal. Our list now stood at about 90 speeies
but the going was getting rough with the strong winds and darkening skies.
Near the Dow Chemical Go. we found 6 Mourning Doves (the only ones
seen on the count) and our last speeies, the Brewer's Blackbird. At
about 4:30 with 95 speeies, we called it quits in the face of the bad
The other party quit about the same time. They had seen Shovelers,
Snowy, Ringed, and Piping Plovers, and two Immature Tree Swallows. The
final total was 104 speeies, not so bad for the firsFTreeport"Count
considering what-conditions it was made under.