** Doris Winship of Rockport, with whom the editor chatted briefly at High Island
last month, passed along some distressing information about the "birding climate" in
the Rockport area. Rockport, almost solely due to Connie Hagar, became famous as a
Mecca for birds and birders, and the residents were quite proud of their town's fame.
However, that bloom is fading rapidly due to the gross ineonsideration of some people
who are so eager to "see the birds" they ignore all courtesy and consideration due
property owners. And we alI suffer because of the lack of manners of a few. Please,
do not enter property without permission; if you have permission do not abuse it by
thoughtless acts (for Instance, what farmer would be happy with a bunch of birders
straggling across his freshly planted field).
PLACES TO GO
** Unfortunately, this is news of a place to not go. Due to construction activities
at the Dow Wilderness Trail in Lake Jackson, visitors are asked to not enter. At
this time it is not known whether Dow will reopen a portion of the Trail when construction is completed. We will keep you informed of any new developments.
** Rice fields, In preparation or planted, can still be rewarding. For instance,
Margaret Anderson and the_editor found 17 Hudsonlan Godwits in a puddle in a muddy
field on Stockdick Road in West Harris County on May 4. And that same day, while
checking a rice field where the rice was already 10 or 12 inches high, Margaret Anderson caught a quick but convincing glimpse of a Black Rail as It rose, fluttered a
few feet, then dropped out of sight (the editor, to her chagrin, was looking the
other way!). There were many White-rumped Sandpipers (one Baird's) that day, also.
** In checking past Clearing Houses it seems the beaches and the parks (Memorial,
Bear Creek, Spring Creek, etc.) were birded the most in late May and during June.
Probably picnicking and birding were being combined! Looking for nesting birds,
newly fledged birds, particularly marsh and shore birds, can provide a delightful
RESULTS OF HAS' BIG DAY RUN April 23, 1977
Pa rtIcI pa nts:
Total species: 221
Team I: Jim Morgan, Bob Moulton,Glenn Cureton, Penny Cureton — saw 167 species
Team 2: George & Jane Clayton, Ted & Janet Eubanks, Rich. Goldfarb — saw 168 species
Team 3: Holly Hobart, Debbie DeKeyzer: saw 142 species
"Team 4": Noel Pettlngill: saw 140 species
Team 5: Judy & Roger Novak: saw 88 species
Team 6: Jamie Leverette, Cindy Howard (novice birders): saw 52 species
"Team 7": Tom Collins: 128 species
Every team had "exclusive" sightings,
High Island, Houston south to coast.
area covered was from Freeport area east to
NEW BIG DAY ROUTE PRODUCES ONE-PARTY TOTAL OF 178 SPECIES by Noel PettingelI
On April 30 David Dauphin, Ted Eubanks, Jr.', Paul Nimmons, and the writer attempted
an all-out assault on the Upper Texas Coast Big Day Record of 194 species (incl. Rock
Dove and Boat-tailed and Great-tailed Grackles) established on April 22, 1971 by a
party of 5 (182 species identified by every observer). But instead of following the
traditional Sheldon/Anahuac/High I./Bolivar routes, the 1977 group began their Big
Day at the battleship "Texas" where two "staked-out" owls were confirmed by 4:45 a.m.
(CDT)—Barn (nesting in the ship) and Screech. Next stop was the Houston Lighting &
Power Cooling Ponds and Cotton Bayou marsh area in NW Chambers County where two more
owls were found (Horned and Barred),, along with unusually late Ring-necked and Canvas-
back ducks, and both cormorants. White Memorial Park at 1-10 and Tex. 61 was next
along the route and here essential woodland species were added among which were a late
Brown Creeper and 8 kinds of warblers, including Swalnson's, Anahuac NWR was the next
major birding area and, thanks to a 45-minute marsh buggy tour (with Ed Jackson at the
wheel), we saw 5 rail species which included 3_ Black and J_0 Yel low! Two beautiful mal
Ring-necked Pheasants were also seen, one just inside the entrance and another just
after we left the Refuge. From about noon until 2:30 p.m. we birded the High Island
area where we found late Worm-eating and Myrtle Warblers and an elusive bird briefly
flimpsed by David Dauphin which he feels could only have been a Black-throated sparrow.
Ironically, what may have been the best bird of the day got away before either Dauphin
or others in the party could substantiate the sighting, so we reluctantly decided to
consider it as an unconfirmed report. (It should be noted "For the Record" that John
and Gloria Tveten saw a Black-throated Sparrow at High Island (!) on April 18, 1965,
as reported !n THE SPOONBILL, May, 1965 (pp.3 & 15) and Audubon Field Notes, Aug., 196
(p.497).) As we left High Island heading west along the beach toward Bolivar Flats we