leadership by holding back the more eager birders until those in the rear cars could
arrive. Then we marched en masse down the road, but despite the precaution the
finches were reticent about showing themselves. We then proceeded across Katy Road
to our lunch and rest stop on Saums Rd. Perhaps only those who had business in the
woods could truly sympathize with the birds. After lunch we turned north toward
Longenbaugh Ranch on the Katy-Hockley Rd., passing a large flock of geese on the way.
At Longenbaugh we left the cars to hike over the brown prairies, peeking carefully
over the levee to catch glimpses of the many ducks.
With that we went home to warming food and drink. The total count was 73
birds, including such goodies as Bald Eagle, Great Horned Owl, and Bonaparte's Gull.
The equally interesting count of birders was 33 including Katrina Thompson, George
Sibley, Thelma Smith, Kathleen Lewis, Jim and Pat Ellis, Bob Braden, Mabel and Bob
Deshayes, Karen Morse, Joe Farrell, Noel Pettingell, Louise and Henry Hoffman, Mike
Butler, Harvey Patten, Ralph Hunter, Mary Sears, Helen Via, Jean and Bill Harwell,
Bill Harwell, Jr., Bob and Frances Dugan, Bobby, Mike, Jerry and Ann Dugan, Frank and
Mary Belle Kokesh, Linda Snyder and Dave Marrack.
BALD EAGLE CENSUS
Jan. 4-21, I963
reported by Jerry and
The O.G. cooperated with the National Audubon Society's Mid-winter Eagle
Inventory. This is a part of the Continental Bald Eagle Project headed by Sandy
Sprunt. Our report was as follows:
Roberts Cemetery Area
Other likely areas were covered but no eagles were found.
La Porte, Smithers Lake, Herman Lake and Mallard Lake.
May we thank the entire O.G. group for their cooperation in this project
which we headed again. We would particularly like to express appreciation to some
"hard core" birders who were out in some cold harsh weather: Jim Ellis, Steve
Williams, Harvey Patten, Barney and Johny Faye Barnette, Noel Pettingell, Joe Farrell,
Louise and Henry Hoffman (our intrepid leaders) and to you whose names we omitted,
we're just careless - but we appreciate it no less.
WOOD DUCKS UNLIMITED
reported by Linda Snyder
I have had several reports from Arlie K. McKay of large numbers of Wood Ducks
in the Old River-Big Caney Creek area. He also quoted Amos Tilton as saying there were
thousands at the Champion Paper place on Dayton Rd. and over the Trinity River. In
this area of piney and oak woods the ducks evidently feed on acrons. On Jan. 1,
Mr. McKay invited me on an interesting tour to observe his ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER,
some Beaver dams on Big Caney and the aforesaid ducks. The trip was a great success
though we only saw about 150-200 Wood Ducks (along with Mallards and Pintails) flying
low across the road. Of course, that was about 10 times my life number! The woods
also abounded with Robins and great flocks of Icteridae streamed by. On Jan. 27,
Clint and I stopped at the same place for 5_ minutes at dusk and counted some 300 Wood
Ducks overhead. It was a most impressive sight - the ducks, emitting their characteristic squeal, were flying in typical "heads low" fashion against a startlingly
beautiful winter sunset!
PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT
The bitter January cold and its subsequent effect on the bird life in the
area. Some species, such as Bluebirds, Cedar Waxwings,'Robins, finches, and Icteridae,
increased while others decreased in numbers or disappeared completely. As usual, it
was the insectivorous species which was hardest hit. Phoebes, House Wrens, Brown
Creepers, kinglets, and warblers diminished and Blue-gray Gnatcatehers disappeared
altogether. The seed-eaters seemed to be in trouble, too, for even the sparrows are