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Meetings and Field Trips

You are welcome to attend monthly meetings, featuring speakers on birding and natural history topics, and including a delicious member-provided evening meal -- with desserts! Our monthly field trips are fun and educational, and focus on locations along the coast, marshes, prairies, and forests of the area.

 

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Membership Meeting

Thursday April 17, 2014  7:00 p.m.

Garden Center, Tyrrell Park, Beaumont 

 

Speaker: Sandy Komito

 

Sandy Komito began birding at the age of eight but admits to not beginning keeping serious records until age eleven. During the eighties and nineties, he was the most traveled birder in North America, and regularly recorded more than 500 bird species per year, with two of the years seeing over 600 and two others seeing more than 700.

 

In 1987, he set the American Birding Association (ABA) record for the most species seen in a single year with 722. This was while he was employed full time! After retiring from business in 1992, he often thought about what he might have done to improve on the 1987 record. The year 1998 was an El NiƱo year and, in addition, access to the Aleutian Island of Attu was about to be cut off. So, in 1998, he spent 270 days away from home, and logged 275,000 miles, nearly 80 percent by air. By the end of the year, he had seen 745 species, and four others that had not, at the time, been accepted by state Rare Bird Committees, or by ABA. Over the next several years, three of these sightings were accepted bringing the total to 748.

 

He has written books about each of the two Big Years, the one about the latter being "I Came, I Saw, I Counted." The movie "The Big Year" was (very loosely and not always accurately) based on this same year. He often comes to our area to bird during spring migration, as he did during each of his big years and always includes Sabine Woods in his itinerary.

 

We will plan on having the doors open by 6:00 p.m. and the program will start at 7:00 p.m. sharp. A light supper will be available from 6:15 p.m.

 

 

Directions to Garden Center in Tyrrell Park.

From the south

Go "north" on US69/96/287 around the south side of Beaumont.

Take Texas 124 (south or west, whichever it is signed) towards Fannett (left turn under the highway).

Travel about a mile to the first light.

At the first light, turn left onto Tyrrell Park Road and go about 1/2 mile.

Turn left into Tyrrell Park through the nice new arch.

Almost immediately turn left at the conservatory into the parking lot for the Garden Center.

 

From IH10

Exit at Walden Road on the west side of Beaumont

Go south of Walden Road for about 1/2 mile to the first light

At the light go straight over Highway 124 onto Tyrrell Park Road and go about 1/2 mile.

Turn left into Tyrrell Park through the nice new arch.

Almost immediately turn left at the conservatory into the parking lot for the Garden Center.

 

Saturday April 19

Field Trip to Sabine Woods and Sabine Pass.

This trip will seek Neotropical migrants at the height of spring migration, and involves relatively easy walking on the trails at Sabine Woods to look for migrant songbirds, although another option is to sit at the drip and wait for the birds to come to you. However, Hurricane Ike completely destroyed the boardwalks, and the trails may be muddy and slippery if it has rained in the prior day or two. Armadillos are active, so there may be holes to avoid! There is a $5 sanctuary pass donation at Sabine Woods for those who are not members of Golden Triangle Audubon or Texas Ornithological Society. This field trip is especially suited for not-very-experienced birders.

Bring insect repellant. Most participants will bring lunch. Facilities in Sabine Pass are limited, although gasoline and limited food are now available.

Birding in late April can be exciting. However, we cannot promise anything, as the number of birds in the coastal woodlots is highly dependent on the weather conditions over the Gulf. Immediately after a cold front passes and the following day are usually considered to be among the most likely days to have a good concentration of migrants at favored coastal locations.

We will assemble at the entrance to Sabine Woods at 7:30 a.m. The wooded area is only 10-15 acres, and you should be able to find the group if you are late.

At Sabine Woods, there is a small parking area, with additional parking is improvised using the roadside verges. Portable toilets are available.

      Sabine Woods is on the north side of Highway 87, 4.1 miles west of the stop sign in Sabine Pass. Take Highway 87 from Port Arthur to Sabine Pass, turn right at the stop sign, and go 4.1 miles.  

 

 

 

 

 

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