discouraging to anyone as the bird(s) had been found later than this date
in other years. Dr. Bill Harwell covered much the same ground the next
Thursday (3-28) and Margaret Anderson, Peggy Smith and I retraced his
steps the next day (3-29). No Eskimo Curlew(s) and very few Whimbrels
were seen these two days. Our trip led us to the beach where we found a
dead Gannet which was dutifully measured and pretty thoroughly studied.
It was agreed that this bird was about four years old. Nancy Strickling,
on the trail the next day, found two more dead Gannets farther West toward San Luis Pass but no Eskimo Curlew(s). At 8:00 AM the next day (3-
31) Jerry, Nancy, Jim and I met Whitney and Karen Eastman and proceeded
to scan all accessible areas with a feeling of certainty that finally we
would produce the Curlew(s), but our hopes had vanished by dark. Fellow
birders ahead, behind, and all around us included Linda Snyder, John
Tveten, Noel Pettingell, Steve Williams and Dr. Bill Graber. As we met
up with one another,a familiar facial expression preceeded the familiar
question: "Have you found it?" At day's end, the Eastman's led Jerry to
the pond at the West end of the Municipal Golf Course to show him the
Least Grebes they had found the previous day. Steve and Noel had found
one of these Grebes that Sunday and the word went out via the Bird Call
for these little birds in their unfamiliar location.
Gannets and Grebes-very well-but where is the Curlew? The Eastman's reported no find on their final day on the Island (4-1) and headed back to
Minnesota. Friday (4-5), Nancy and I arrived at the Firecracker Field
by 9s00 AM and began a day-long search. We met Louise Hoffman, Peggy
Smith and Margaret Anderson and exchanged reports. Nancy and I found only
1 Girl-watcher (with a Bausch and Lomb zoom lense scope,) several Warblers
after a cool and short lived rain, 3 least Grebes, and by dark still no
sign of the Eskimo Curlew(s). That next day, Steve phoned us his negative
Sunday (4-7) Jim and I reached the Island by 8s00 and cheated a bit by
finding several migrants in between Curlew fields. When we met up with
Jerry and Nancy, we learned their secret and where they had found all
their goodies. Jack and Peggy Smith joined forces and by now the Curlew
fever was waning and Warblers were providing a soothing comfort with
their dazzling colors and vibrancy. But the search was still on and we
found Dr. Marrack, Thelma Smith, Pat Sullivan, Mary Sears, Noel Pettingell,
and Joe Farrell looking, asking, and hoping as we all had. On our way
back from as far our as Sea Isl0, the Stricklings and Ellises played
leap-frog all the way in until darkness overtook us and an occassional
short billed or dark Whimbrel gave us a start. We hoped so strongly.
Moments ago, Edna Miner phoned us her report of birding on Galveston Island
today and she too had declared it void of Eskimo Curlews.
This is April 10th, and, of course, the search continues but we wonder—
did the Curlew arrive early and due to our bland weather, linger only
briefly before beginning the long flight North—did it by-pass Galveston
entirely this year—is it feeding on some inaccessible land on the Island—
or has something happened to this bird on the long, perilous 8,000 mile
journey made since last we enjoyed the sight of this small stranger.
THE ONC WHOOPS IT UP
The Outdoor Nature Club Threw a well attended and enjoyable fortieth birthday party for itself last April 6th with a reception and banquet at the
Houston Engineering and Scientific Society, Jerry Strickling rose from his
sick bed to master the ceremonies. John A. Lomax, Jr. provided musical entertainment with a selection of folk songs. Clayton Gilman presented the President's message and Olever S. Ferguson, past president and now Director of
Sancturies, described the history of the Little Thicket Nature Sanctuary.
The main speaker of the evening, Mr. Howard Dodgen, Executive Secretary of
the Texas Game and Fish Commission, talked about the impending merger of
the Game and Fish Commission and the Parks Board. Well deserved recognition was given to Chairman Edna Miner and the rest of her banquet committee.
These people did an excellent job of organizing a fitting and enjoyable