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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.


Membership Meeting
Thursday January 15, 2015  7:00 p.m.
Garden Center, Tyrrell Park, Beaumont 
 
Southeastern Brazil: The Birds of Espírito Santo
 
Kelley Sampeck

 

Brazil is the largest country in South America, and the fifth largest country in the world. The eastern coast borders the Atlantic Ocean, and along this coastline is the small state of Espírito Santo. In this state is some of the last remaining Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest. Once spanning 1.2 million square kilometers, only 10 percent (less than 100,000 sq. km.) of Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest still remains today. There are around 170 regional endemic bird species found only in this habitat and nowhere else in the world.

This talk outlines the highlights of an 11 day tour organized by VENT in October 2012. Much of the birdwatching on this tour occurred in lowland Atlantic rainforest, but also included a few montane sites. One of the main target birds of the tour was the Cherry-throated Tanager, a bird long thought extinct and only recently rediscovered. It has a known population of fewer than 15 individuals, making it one of the rarest birds in the world. Seen on this tour were more than 70 regional endemics, including the critically endangered Red-billed Curassow, Ochre-marked Parakeet, Red-browed Parrot, Plumbeous Antvireo, Black-headed Berryeater, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, 22 species of hummingbird, and 20 species of tanagers. Photos taken on the tour will be presented.

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 January 17, 2015
Field Trip to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge.

On this trip, we will visit both the main unit and the Skillern Tract, looking primarily for waterfowl but also raptors and sparrows. We may also bird some of the rice field areas in Chambers County, mostly north of IH-10. On one memorable occasion (2012), this trip was spectacularly successful in finding more than 35,000 geese, seven Bald Eagles and one Golden Eagle among other species. There are lots of geese and a good number of Bald Eagles in the refuge area this winter.

We plan to meet at the Visitor Information Station just beyond the entrance at 8:30 a.m. 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 there are only a few pull-offs and most will only accommodate only three or four cars. There is space to leave vehicles close to the meeting place.

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 11.0 miles to the well-marked Anahuac NWR Access Road on the left (south). The entrance to the Refuge is just over 3 miles down the access road.

For more information, contact Steve Mayes at sgmayes@hotmail.com or 409-722-5807 

 

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