NOTES ON FIELD BEHAVIOR
In the past, +he SPOONBILL has carried some suggestions for enhancing the enjoyment
of birding by observing the virtues of thoughtfulness and consideration when in the
field. (Remember the parental admonition one used to hear when leaving for a party,
"Now mind your manners so you'll be asked again? Most of us know the don'ts: don't
trespass on private property without the owner's permission, don't play tapes of
bird calls during breeding season, don't persist In photography efforts when It Is
distressing the bird, and when In a group, cto keep voices and gestures down, do stay
near the group so your thoughtless plunge1 ahead doesn't deprive the majority of a
sighting, etc. In a recent issue of THE WESTERN TANAGER, Arnold Small, president of
the American Birding Association, discusses some of the dividends and drawbacks encountered In the rapid Increase In popularity of birding. He ends the article by
saying "...Most of the problems arising from birding activities can be avoided by
employing some simple common sense and common courtesy while birding. It devolves
upon the field trip leaders of large groups to explain a few "ground rules" before
venturing Into the field. These ground rules should relate to the birds themselves,
the environment, and +o +he o+her birders in a+tendance. We are faced wi+h a burgeoning population, one which is daily growing more and more active In the out-of-
doors—and In this group are many future birders. If we wish to continue to enjoy
the hobby we all love, then we must learn +o police ourselves—by Imposing certain
restrictions upon our own activities before they are Imposed upon us by others."
NOTES ON CHECKLISTS
Texas Parks and Wildlife has a preliminary bird list for the Lake Livingston State
Recreation Area, and Larry Lodwlck, with whom OG members on the Hale Ranch survey
team have worked closely. Is asking us for any additional sightings if we visit that
park. The SPOONBILL Is sent to Bruce Bunn, Superintendent of the park, so he Is familiar with the OG; make yourself known to him when next you go there, and be sure to
turn In any additional sightings you can contribute.
With blossoming spring, the Houston Arboretum will be a lovely place to visit, and
when you do, remember our checklist for that place must be finished by May 1st. Be
sure to send any sightings you have to Wesley Cureton.
The Sanctuary Ts also supposed to be finished by May 1st, so be sure to send Alfred
Chandler any March or April sightings you have on visits during that time.
The Hale Ranch State Park bird list will be an on-going thing for some time yet. It
hasn't had any additions for some time...mucky weather has made it impossible for
any members of the survey team to enter on days planned. At last count 222 species
had been sighted there. Nesting information will be a primary objective in the coming season. The fall was so extremely dry, waterfowl were very scarce there.
PLACES TO GO
Reprints are available of SPOONBILL maps of East and West Galveston (Includes Texas
City Dike and Bolivar Flats), a corner of Brazoria County and West Harris County.
They include many familiar birding spots regularly mentioned in the SPOONBILL pages.
If you desire a set, send a long self-addressed, stamped envelope to Maxine Davis,
10602 Cedar Hurst, Houston, Texas 77096, with your request for the map(s) you want.
*x Ted Eubanks suggest an evening owling trip to West Harris County. Park near a
stream such as S. Mayde Creek on Clay Road, or Katy-Hockley Road at Cypress Creek,
and play your owl tape, or give an'owl call If you are accomplished at that. Ted
and several others recently had about 15 Screech Owls, a number of Barn Owls, as
well as Short-eared Owls and Great Horned Owls answering and/or making an appearance.
** Bolivar Flats is nearly always a good place to go. John Trochet tells about a
recent day there that will make your eyes water! "Sunday, 2/25/79, at Bolivar was
just super. The tide was so far out that one could walk from the Flats to the jetty
(well out onto the Jetty) and not step in water. The great concentrations of shore-
birds and gulls were quite close to the je+ty and the proximi+y afforded great observation opportunity, with the sun at the observer's back. A few of the avocets
were in very good breeding color and several more were in transition. It was a greai
treat to watch them feeding together In such a large flock. I studied the large
number of Bonaparte's gulls In hopes of finding a Black-headed or Li++le gull among
+hem, but no such find was made. Still, the hours so passed were quite enjoyable.
When I think that the best shorebird migration Is yet ahead, I can't help but smile!"
For those of you who don't know this spot (are there many who don't?), go four miles
beyond the Bolivar ferry slip, turn right at FM 2612, when you'get to the beach,
turn right again and drive to the end. If you are not familiar with driving on