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.

Membership Meeting

Thursday February 15, 2018

Garden Center, Tyrrell Park, Beaumont  7:00 p.m.


Birding Fundamentals

John Mariani


John grew up in Northern California, where he started birding as a teenager. Since then he has traveled all over North America in search of birds, taught birding classes and led field trips for Santa Clara Valley (better known as "Silicon Valley") Audubon Society, and have been on so many pelagic trips that he claims he can't remember them all. After 40 years of living in California, he moved to Southeast Texas in 2003. He is also an artist who paints birds and other wildlife.


John plans to share tips for beginning birders about equipment, technology old and new, how to develop birding skills, identification pitfalls, and how to approach a difficult group of species (warning: little brown birds might be involved).


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. At this meeting, a chocolate cake will be provided by one of long-time members, Lu Skillern. Lu has provided a Barbara Bon Bon delicious chocolate cake almost every year even though she lives in Oklahoma now.  Her husband was Grady Skillern who the "Skillern Tract" at Anahuac is named after because they put in a tremendous amount of volunteer hours for many years.


Directions to 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 1/2 mile to the first light.

At the first light, turn left onto Tyrrell Park Road and go about 3/4 mile.

Turn left into Tyrrell Park.

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 3/4 mile.

Turn left into Tyrrell Park.

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


Saturday February 17, 2018

Field Trip to Anahuac NWR

We plan to meet at the Visitor Information Station just beyond the entrance at 8:30 a.m. There are clean public flushing toilets there, accessible even when the Information Station is not open. To reach Anahuac NWR from Winnie, take Highway 124 south to FM1985. (It is 11.0 miles from IH-10 and half a mile less from Highway 73.) Turn right (west) on FM1985 and proceed about 11 miles to the MAIN Anahuac NWR Entrance Road on the left (south). (Do not be tempted by your GPS to enter the East Unit which is only about four miles from Highway 124.) As you drive along FM1985, check any cowbird/blackbird flocks carefully for Yellow-headed Blackbirds.

The entrance to the Main Refuge is just over 3 miles down the Entrance Road. Obey the speed limits, especially the 15 mph limit in the information station area! Watch along the entrance road, especially the west side, for Crested Caracaras, and nearer the entrance to the refuge on the east side for White-tailed Kites.

We will probably visit both the main unit ("Old Anahuac") and the Skillern Tract, looking primarily for waterfowl and other waterbirds but also raptors and sparrows. We may also bird some of the rice field areas in Chambers County.

There are geese and Bald Eagles in the refuge area this winter. Earlier in the winter a Vermilion Flycatcher stayed near the Visitor Information Station. Say's Phoebe (also near the Visitor Information Center) and Cinnamon Teal (in Shoveler Pond) are possibilities.

While it is not anticipated that this field trip will necessitate extensive walking, it is a 400 yard (1/4 mile) walk from the Skillern Tract parking area to the observation platform. All roads that we will use will be easily passable in ordinary vehicles. However, car pooling is very desirable, especially for the drive round Shoveler Pond because the road is one-car wide and there are only a few pull-offs most of which will accommodate only three or four cars. There is space to leave vehicles close to the meeting place.