Volume XXV, No. 9
PUBLISHED BY THE ORNITHOLOGY GROUP, OUTDOOR NATURE CLUB, HOUSTON, TEXAS
There will be no Visitors Day in January at the Little Thicket Sanctuary.
OG regular meeting, 7:30 PM at Fonde Recreation Center, Sabine at Memorial
Drive. Wayne Shifflett, formerly at Santa Ana NWR, and now at Eagle Lake
Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR, will present "Birds of the Rjo Grande Delta
and Where To Find Them". Remember to bring your aluminum for Jerry Baker.
Audubon field trip for beginner birders to West Harris Co., led by Margaret Anderson. Meet at church on Hwy 6, just north of 1-10. Bring lunch.
ONC regular meeting, 8:00 PM at Garden Center, 1500 Hermann Drive. The
Herpetology Group has a number of enthusiastic junior members, who will
present a "Show & Tell". This Is a good opportunity for us birders to
find out what Is "down under" while we walk around with our eyes "up
Sat. 0G regular field trip to Jones Forest. Meet at 8:00 AM on left hand side
Feb. 12 of FM 1488 near headquarters (north on 1-45, exit at FM 1488, turn left
and go west about 2 miles). Bring lunch and Insect repellent.
** 0G field trip to HL&P Cooling Ponds: On Saturday, December 4, approximately 35
birders met at the roadside rest area on I —10 east of San Jacinto River. While wailing for all to arrive and assemble, several birders entertained themselves by checking the 50+ Ruby-crowned Kinglets In the rest area trees, hoping to find a stray
species of another sort. Once on our way, our abte leader, David Dauphin, led us
through the heavy fog to the cooling ponds. Dave had obtained a key to the locked
gate which leads out onto a long levee where we consolidated into fewer vehicles.
Birding the entrance roads, the ponds, the rocks and marshes along the levee, and
the woods at the levee's end, the group turned up 91 species for the trip list. Included were 3 species of Grebes, both area- Cormorants, 12 species of ducks, 2 accipi-
ters, and 8 species of sparrows. The most notable observation was the finding of
100+ Bufflehead. Though this trip did not turn up a rarity like the Oldsquaw of the
previous year's trip, a good time was had by all. In the early afternoon the group
dispersed and many of the birders took the opportunity to scout various OG Christmas
Count areas as did Bob Moulton and myself.- The trip list Is being submitted to the
Clearing House for publication. —Jim Morgan
** Christmas Counts:
Eagle Lake 138
Old River 150
(Jonelle Buckels says
this is the highest count In both
species and observers for this count, and thanks all the
SPOONBILL readers who assisted In making this possible).
FREEPORT BREAKS 195 ON A RAINY DAY! by Victor Emanuel, Count Director
In many ways the twentieth annual Freeport Christmas bird count was the most remarkable of them all. After a long drouth this summer and early fall, the Freeport ares
was deluged with twelve Inches of rain In the past two weeks. It was mostly clear
and mild for the last few days before the count. Counters up at midnight the night
before the count (they got a Barn Owl just after midnight!) saw stars and at 6 AM I
watched a new moon rise over the gulf, a beautiful orange sliver, but it disappeared
quickly into clouds.