The Purple Gallinule, one of America's most beautiful birds, was becoming scarce locally
due to lack of safe breeding sites, but is now abundant on Shoveler's Pond in the refuge.
The undisputed king of the Coastal marshes,
domain still reigns here. Three were seen
giant six (6) footer.
the Alligator, long gone from most of his
on the tour in Shoveler's Pond, including one
Another reptile seen was the Cottonmouth Moccasin,
poisonous snake as they wanted.
Everyone had as close a look at this
An introduced alien from South America, the Nutria, was seen, including one with 5 young.
This giant rodent finds our marshes an ideal habitat and Is common on the refuge.
Russ informed us that the two Red Wolves and Coyote, caged on the refuge, are to be
studied to determine the Red Wolf's status as a full species. These animals had been
trapped in Chambers County.
A total of 85 speeies was reported in Dave Marrack's listing, along with his note that it
was a clear, sunny day with a/AiS-H wind behind a northern front.
Most interesting and the cause of much discussion were the three Masked Ducks Russ found
for the group. Russ's information that three had also been seen at the new Brazoria Refuge was welcome news.
What at first was thought to be a Mockingbird chasing a Hawk in the distance turned out to
be a Marsh Hawk chasing a Golden Eagle!
Other birds of interest seen were Sora Rail, Long-billed Marsh Wren, Long-billed Curlew,
Ameriean Bittern and a Peregrine Falcon that made his appearance after most of the group
had departed. Snow and Blue Geese numbering in the thousands were feeding in the fields
throughout the refuge. A few White-fronted and Canada Geese were also seen.
This refuge was established primarily as a waterfowl sanctuary and is obviously serving
A beautiful day, literally thousands of birds, old and new friends meeting, made this a
most enjoyable day for all. The following signed the attendance book: E. E. Davidson
and wife, Ruth and Cecil Faris, Levy and Sharon Davis, Peg and Jack Smith, Betsy Perry,
Estelle Bryan, Marjory Lewis, Harry and Avis Brister, Dirk Hagemeyer, Sue M. Buck, Melba
Drake, Sarah Gordon, Edward and Marion Taylor, Dan and Marion Washbum, Gwendolyn Smith,
Gladys Galbreath, Mabel Smith, Jane Dodge, Tess Barry, Helen Eberspacher, Mildred
Elkins, Marilyn Crane, Louise Rogers, Mabel Knotts, Johanna Grabbe, E. S. Smith, Paul
Marrack, David Marrack, Jean and Bill Harwell, Mrs. J. B. Entrikin, Wallace C. Mebane, Jr.,
Wallace C. Mebane III, Russel W. Clapper, James K. Luce, Holly Larpenter.
Speaking of books: We regret to inform our readers that the book described on Page 1
of the October, 1968 Spoonbill, "BIRD HOUSES," is no longer in print. It was, in print when
we last checked with the publisher, but one of our members has told us that his check was
returned from the publisher recently and that it is out of print at this time. However,
it can be obtained from the Central Library, 500 McKinney, and the Loosoan Branch Library,
2510 Willowiok Drive. We haven't taken the time to check all the branches but we are
sure about these two places.
We now have a leader for our Christmas Bird Count! Wallace Mebane Jr. has volunteered to
assume this arduous task, busy as he is with all his other activities. Anyone wishing to
participate in the count, contact him at his home, PR 4 9435 after 6:00 P. M. The date
of the count is Saturday. December 21st.
SUMMARY OF 1967 CHRISTMAS COUHTS by Noel Pettingell
(Source: Audubon Field Hotes, 68th Christmas Bird Count Edition, April 1968)
Total Counts: 839 (837 Horth American and 2 Hawaiian)
Total Valid Species: 555 (532 Horth American and 23 Hawaiian)