THE CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE
It was a dark and stormy night ... thank God not
too dark nor too stormy, but enough to cause Bayland
Park and Community Center to close its gates early
for the day. Ed Rozenburg was on his toes and
called KTRH when he found out our meeting was
canceled. We hope no one was at the meeting place
to find it vacant. At meeting time the weather in
Southwest Houston appeared normal enough, but with
a foreboding air. Some parts of town had been
severely drenched, while others were relatively
unaffected. Braes Bayou at that hour was a raging
river little more than a meter from cresting.
A trip along the path of Chantal's eye on the
day after revealed little major damage—a few power
lines downed, signs flattened, tin roofs partially
turned up. The willow stand at Anahuac NWR caught
a good beating. There was a large pecan tree
downed at Smith Oaks, but that was the only whole
tree seen destroyed. There were plenty of branches
cut though. When Mother nature trims trees she
goes after'em all at once. There'll be some cleaning up to do at the Audubon woods. Let's watch
for an announcement of their needs; we may have
a chance to be more friendly with our friends there.
On a more positive note was the appearance of
the beach. There was only one evidence of storm
surge washover along Hwy 87 between High Island
and the ferry. The surge and extended wave action
had swept the vast bulk of accumulated beach trash
up to the vegetation line. That may be good news
for "Beach Buddies" at the annual fall cleanup on
September 23 this year. It will be an interesting
'experiment to see how much new trash will be
deposited on our beaches in the 53 days from storm
surge to volunteers' cleanup.
The Ornithology Group and the Outdoor Nature
club have been active participants in this project
in the past. We birders are looking for a good
showing again in 1989, and we are asking you to
help. Celeste and George Hinds will serve as our
OG coordinators. Please call them for details (984-
1634) or meet us on the beach at Bolivar Flats at
9:00 a.m. We've had a good bit of fun at this
work in years past.
Can you really believe that? Are you willing to
see our beaches in the kind of shape we've never
known them in? Bring gloves, comfortable footwear
and perhaps some insect repellent. Experience has
shown that that you, and a bunch of our friends,
will make a real difference. Oh, you extra hardy
types, don't forget to bring binoculars and a lunch
also. You may wish to join me to study shorebird
migrants when the work is done. Please plan on
coming to Bolivar Flats on the 23rd and bring a
friend or two. We'll be looking for you.
Richard Uzar, Chairman
FOR OG information, checklists, maps, contact
Maxine Davis. 10602 Cedarhurst, Houston
SEND bird sightings for Clearing House to:
Clearing House (OG), P.O. Box 271374, Houston
TEXAS RARE Bird Alert Tape, sponsored by Piney
Woods Wildlife Society and Houston Audubon
Society: (713) 821-2846.
FOR LOCAL nature societies' meetings and field
trips call the Audubon Society's "Voice of the
Naturalist" tape: 932-1392.
SEND material for Spoonbill to Editor, Libby Price.
3715 Sunset, Houston 77005, 665-1159.
SEND dues, subscriptions and address changes to
Jerry Patrick. 814 St. Francis, Houston 77079.
Members' annual dues: $15 (ONC $5, OG $10).
Spoonbill subscriptions for non-members: $13.
ATTWATER'S PRAIRIE CHICKEN
A report by Stephen E. LaBuda, Jr., Manager
of the Attwatter NWR, presents a gloomy picture
of the present status of the Attwater's Prairie
Chicken. The weather in recent years has been disastrous for the chickens during their nesting season,
and predators have done their share to reduce nesting success. The total population has dropped to
432, and it is most likely that the species will be
extinct by the year 2003, even though efforts are
being made to address their needs. Anyone who
would like to read the entire report will find it in
the library at the September meeting.
THE SPOONBILL STAFF
Clearing House Editors:
Checklist Committee: Noel
and Ed Rozenberg
Lynne Aldrich and Peter
and Andrew Franks, and
Pettingell, David Dauphin
The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is
offering a full schedule of programs, classes (birding
as well as plants) and birding trips. The schedule
is on the literature table at meetings for your information, or call 681-8433 to learn what is offered.
Some are free and some require a fee. Birding
classes are taught by staff member Doug Williams;
trips are led by Doug and Bob Honig. The Arboretum is a good birding spot within Houston and beginners can improve their skills with the help of
these experienced instructors.