Christmas Bird Count season is upon us. This area has more CBCs than almost any other with 20 counts conducted within 100 miles. All birders are welcome to participate in all local counts, although some compilers require that you contact them in advance to obtain an assignment. It is a good idea to contact the compiler in advance in any case. A complete list of all Texas CBCs is available on the Houston Audubon website at http://houstonaudubon.org/birding/bird-surveys/christmas-bird-counts/upper-texas-coast.html Details of close-by Southeast Texas counts are given below or on page 3.
The first Christmas Bird Counts were conducted in December 1900, and last season (2015-16) over 2500 counts were conducted worldwide, with 1902 in the United States. Each count is conducted in a 15-mile diameter circle on a single day between December 14 and January 5 selected by the individual organizers.
Please contact John Whittle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 409-722-4193 (H), and let us know you plan to attend so we can make the best possible area assignments. Otherwise, Meet in Sabine Pass at 7:00 a.m.at the intersection of Highway 87 and FM3322 in Sabine Pass if not preassigned to an area. This is at the stop sign in Sabine Pass, where Highway 87 turns west. Countdown dinner at 6:00 p.m., location to be confirmed. This count has been sponsored by Golden Triangle Audubon Society since 1995.
Contact Gary Kelley at email@example.com or 409-679-1616 or meet in Orange at 7:00 a.m.at the Service Station at the intersection of Highway 105 and FM1442.
Contact Steve Mayes at firstname.lastname@example.org for assignment. This count covers the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge and the High Island area, and has been conducted since December 1962. Dr. William Graber compiled this count for its first 50 years.
Listed below are all counts in Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Tyler, Jasper and Liberty Counties and the Johnson Bayou count in Cameron Parish. We thank Houston Audubon for compiling some of the information shown below.
Johnson Bayou in SW Louisiana: Wednesday, December 14, 2016
While much of the area of this count is private, local land owners have allowed access to their property for this count, areas rarely birded and normally inaccessible to birders at other times offering a good chance for rarities. Johnson Bayou is located off Hwy 82 in Louisiana just across from Pleasure Island, TX (east of Sabine Pass). From Port Arthur take Hwy 82 east for about 15 miles into LA. Please contact Gary Kelley (email@example.com, telephone 409-679-1616) for more information, assignments and directions.
Turkey Creek: Saturday, December 17, 2016
This count in Hardin and Tyler Counties includes the Turkey Creek and Hickory Creek Savannah Units of the Big Thicket National Preserve. Meet at the Big Thicket Visitor Center on US69 at FM420, about 7 miles north of Kountze at 6:30 AM. Sponsored by the Big Thicket National Preserve. Contact John Whittle (firstname.lastname@example.org, 409-722-4193) for more information.
Beech Creek Tuesday: December 20, 2016
This count takes places in Tyler and Jasper Counties and includes Steinhagen Lake, the Beech Creek unit of Big Thicket National Preserve and Martin Dies State Park. Meet at the Corps of Engineers Picnic Area on FM92 immediately north of the intersection with FM1746 in Town Bluff at 6:30 AM. Sponsored by the Big Thicket National Preserve. Contact John Whittle (email@example.com, 409-722-4193) for more information.
Galveston: Thursday, December 20, 2016
This count is open to anyone who would like to participate and all areas need more observers. This count undoubtedly produces the most species for the available land area (much of the count circle is water) of all U.S. CBCs. To participate please contact Richard Mayfield (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Bolivar Peninsula: Thursday, December 22, 2016
This count circle in Chambers and Galveston Counties includes High Island and Anahuac NWR. Newcomers are welcome to join! Compilers this year are Steve Mayes and David Sarkozi. If you are interested in participating, please contact Steve Mayes at email@example.com.
Old River: Tuesday, December 27, 2016
The count covers all points within 7.5 miles of Lake Charlotte. Running through the count area is the Trinity River providing diverse habitat near water. For more information contact Count Compiler David Hanson: DHanson139@aol.com.
Sea Rim State Park: Thursday, December 29, 2016
This count in Jefferson County includes Sea Rim State Park, Texas Point NWR, and parts of J.D. Murphree WMA and McFaddin NWR as well as the Sabine Pass area. Please contact us in advance, as most groups go directly to their assigned areas. Sponsored by Golden Triangle Audubon Society. Contact John Whittle (firstname.lastname@example.org, 409-722-4193) for details.
Trinity River: Thursday, December 29, 2016
Areas in Northern Liberty County to be counted include the Trinity River NWR, Tarkington Prairie, and Gaylor Lake. Some folks will bird the "bottoms" so be sure to bring a sack lunch, rubber knee boots and other appropriate outdoor clothing. Hosted by the Trinity River NWR. If you have any questions you can contact the compiler Stuart Marcus at 936-336-9786 or email@example.com.
Orange County: Monday, January 1, 2017
Habitat covers marsh, woodlands, and the Cow Bayou watershed. All are invited, even if you are n only able to bird for part of the day. Feeder watchers are welcome to participate. Let us know in advance and we will find a suitable group for you to join. Contact Gary Kelley (firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 409-679-1616), for more information.