would not have been noticed or would have been confused with the booby, whieh was also
circling in our wake. The size of the Gannet was quite spectacular, being accentuated
by the whiteness of the bird and the good lighting. In less than a minute almost everybody had seen one lifer, a; good substitute for another and morale correspondingly jumped
The journey continued until we reached the snapper banks where the engine was cut
and four fishing poles immediately activated. The only significant catch was an unusual,
yellow seal.plant which was 3ater the subject of some photography. Meanwhile, some had!
noticed that gulls had been "homing in" on our boat from a distant point to the SE. As
we started up again and headed toward aidrilling platform, the gulls continued behind us,
but oddly enough now mostly Laughing Gulls. Perhaps they lived from scraps from the platform. As we neared the rig, Frank Oatman became excited over a dark colored bird flying
low over the water from the SE. The bird rounded up over our stern with the ease of a
"■rail hawk as it attacked a Laughing Gull. It caught the food which the L.G. had been
forced to drop and settled down in the water less than 75 feet off our stern. By this
time identification was positive: it was an adult POMARINE JAEGER. As the bird rose
again, it showed quite distinctively the blunt twisted tail feathers and the white lining
of the quills of the primaries. The bird returned two more times to our stern and between
visits it was seen as a silhouette in the distance, distinctive3y harrying Laughing Gal's.
(It never attacked a Herring Gall). Momentary panic was caused on board when the captain
announced that another, different bird was circling at the bow; however, quick identification proved it to be a whirlibid landing men at the oil rig. All this occurred
approximately 32 miles off Galveston.
The return trip was quite pleasant but uneventful. With the wind now coming over
the stern, the apparent temperature rose 10°, and extra articles of clothing were removed.
It was dark by the time we reajshed the jetties. A moon stubbornly peered through the,
fleecy clouds which portended inclement weather for the next dayo The general consensus
was that this was the most rewarding and informative field trip the O.G.'s had ever had.
It was made so by an almost perfect chain of events, beginning with the good weather which
minimized seasickness and ending with the good birds. We sincerely express our appreciation to Leota Stilwell and all the others who helped plan the trip and hope that further
pelagic trips will be p3anned and will be as successful.
The lucky twenty-six aboard were Je: y Baker, Fran Guchereau, Norma Oates, Ruth
Moorman, Thelma Smith, Edgar Kincaid, Hazel Nichols, Ann LeSassier, Billy LeSassier,
Carl Aiken, Vic Emanuel, Katrinas Thompson, Nancy & Jerry Strickling, Linda S: Clinton
Snyder, Elizabeth Blount, Mabel Smith, Frank Oatman, Eva & Clayton Gilman, Virginia-
Parker, George Sibley, Leota Stilwell, and Rosanne and John Bowlette.
+T+ + + + + + + + + +
ORNITHOLOGY GROUP FIELD TRIE
by Fran Guchereau
At 7:30 a.m. on a very dismal March 26, seven optomistio souls (Jerry Baker, Darris
Massengill,,- I5eggy Smith, Bette Ramsey, Fran Guchereau, and 2 guests, Mr. 0„. C„. Sheffield
and Miaa-.Lucille Mendezv left from Sears Parking Lot to go to Sheldon Reservoir and Lake
Houston, led by their energetic leader, Jerry Baker! They had placed their orders for
Nuthatches' and Wood Dueks, so with sunshine in their hearts and "heavy precipitation"
on their windshields they set out — all 4 ears.
On the way to Sheldon Reservoir our resourceful leader obtained permission for us
to go onto a farm. We birded for an hour or so and saw many Cardinals, a Chickadee,
Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Mockingbird, Tufted Titmouse, Brown Thrasher, both Red-eyed and
White-eyed Vireos, Black and Turkey Vultures, a Myrtle Warbler, Red-bellied Woodpecker,
and the White-throated Sparrows were out in force. We finally headed back for the cars
and food, but with Mr. Sheffield's promise of Wood Ducks, a Pileated Woodpecker and a
Solitary Sandpiper we,retraced our steps and were just3y rewarded. We also found a
Nuthatch beginning a nest in an old 5 gallon oil drum..
We then went on to Sheldon Reservoir and Lake Houston. Some of the birds seen
were Anhingas, an American Bittern, Red-winged Blackbirds, American Coot, Cormorants,
Brown-headed Cowbird, Common Crow, a Mourning Dove, Common Egrets, a Scissor-tailed Flycateher, Canada, Snow and White-fronted Geese, Boat-tailed Grackle, Pied-billed Grebe,
Ring-billed Gull, Marsh, Red-shouldered, and Sparrow Hawks, both Great Blue and Little
Blue Herons, Killdeer, Eastern Meadowlark, Water Pipit, Golden Plover, Pectoral Sandpiper, Loggerhead Shrike, Common Snipe, Lincoln's and a> Swamp Sparrow, Blue-winged Teal,
Parula and Orange-crowned Warblers, Red-headed Woodpecker. The dueks were plentiful
and we saw the Canvasback, Mallard, Pintail, Ruddy and Shoveler Duoks.
Between showers, we ate lunch and birded at Lake Houston. Some of the species
seen there were a Bluebird, Blue Jay, Belted Kingfisher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and a-
Carolina Wren. We also heard a Barred Owl. Having become waterlogged, and as I had
added 12 new birds to my life-list, Miss Mendez and I left and wished the hardier souls -