Volume XVIII, No. 9
"He clasps the crag with hooked hands:
Close to the sun, in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls."
Lines on eagles by Tennyson
PUBLISHED BY THE ORNITHOLOGY GROUP, OUTDOOR NATURE CLUB, HOUSTOH, TEXAS
W00DHAM RANCH FIELD TRIP - by Louise Rogers, Sunday, December 14, 1969
Hot coffee and freshly baked cookies, compliments of Mr, and Mrs. J. D. Woodham,
welcomed the 16 birders who showed up between 7800 and 7:30 AM at the Woodham's
ranch near Dickinson, The earliest arrivals, the birder-photographers, set up shop
in the blind located a few hundred feet from the house while the rest of the group
roughed it on the Woodham's enclosed back porch, complete with front row seats lined
up at the picture window,
A dozen bobwhites were already feeding in the field a couple of hundred yards from the
house and somewhat closer to the blind when the prairie chickens began flying in at
7:50, The chickens joined the quail briefly and then began to move toward the house.
During the next 50 minutes approximately 12, mostly females, took up positions in
front of the picture window, wandering through the yard, flying up into the trees,
perching on stumps and fence posts* A couple of older males displayed and out stomped
a few younger ones„,but .there was no coamings. The chickens flewoff as they had flown
in, a few at a time, until by 8;40 all had departed. The birders in the blind, having
been pretty well bypassed by the prairie chickens, rejoined the rest of the group on
the porch who had enjoyed first-rate viewing of the birds.
After some more cookies, coffee and conversation with the hospitable Woodhams, several
birders headed back for Houston and Christmas festivities while the rest went on to the
Texas City and the water on both sides of th§ dike along its entire length was
studied carefully. The weather was fine with no wind and intermittent clouds. A
total of 33 species was arrived at following lunch on the dike, but THE GULL was not
sighted. Most interesting of the birds along the dike were, of course, the white
pelicans plus an estimated 75 eared grebes so thightly bunched on the water that they
resembled a school of fish. No one recalled having such a formation of grebes before.
Oddly, only one duck was sighted, a lesser scaup.
Following lunch jand ths countdown, the birders went their separate ways. In addition
to Mr. and Mrs, Woodham, the day's list of birders included Wallace C„ Mebane, Jr.,
Louise Rogers, David Marrack and Ma_y Marrack, Mr, and Mrs. Harry L. Brister, Loyd
Nelson and Violet Nelson, Tommy Barnes, Florence Barnes, and James Barnes, Marilyn
Crane, F. T. Saadeh, and Alfred Schultz.
THE "600" CLUB" by Bessie G. Cornelius
I have never seen anything written about the "600 Club" in the Spoonbill. Perhaps
this would be interesting and informative to.the new birders.
Of the several million birdwatchers in the United States, a relative few have achieved
life lists of 600 or more North American species seen north of the Mexican border. Please
note I have said North American species and north of the border. Many people have
impressive lists of birds seen from all over the world. The area we are speaking
of includes Lower California, the original 48 states, Alaska, Canada, Bermuda and Greenland, being th§ regions considered by top ornithologists of the country to be North
America from an avifaunal viewpoint. The North American species are those appearing
on the American Ornithological Union 1957 Checklist,
Those who have achieved the 600 birds or more listed by A.O.U, may qualify for the
mythical "600 Club", Ho dues, no meetings!,