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 September 20, 2018  7:00 p.m.

Garden Center, Tyrrell Park, Beaumont 


Smith Point Hawk Watch

and other Gulf Coast Bird Observatory programs


Susan Heath

Director of Conservation Research

Gulf Coast Bird Observatory

Sue is a native Texan who returned to the state in 2007 after being transplanted to Virginia for 24 years. She received a Master’s in Biology from George Mason University for her work on wintering waterfowl on the Northern Virginia Piedmont and a Ph.D. from the same institution in the spring of 2008. Her dissertation involved the effects of pesticides on birds that nest in agriculture in the north central states. She is thrilled to be back in her home state of Texas. At GCBO, she coordinates all conservation research including American Oystercatcher Stewardship, Beach Nesting Birds, Non-breeding Shorebirds, Motus Tower Network, Eastern Willet Migration, and the Smith Point Hawk Watch.

This will be a very timely program as our September Field Trip on September 29 will be to the Smith Point Hawk Watch. Further details on page 2.

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 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 September 15

Fall Migration Count – Jefferson County

This is a county-wide count.  Please contact John Whittle ( for more information or to volunteer to help.

Saturday September 29, 2018

Field Trip to Smith Point Hawk Watch.

 Our leaders will be there from about 8:30 a.m. Hopefully, this will be close to a peak in this year's Broad-winged Hawk migration, but there will always be some hawks. Any day from mid-September through mid or late October should produce a good number of migrating hawks.

To reach the Smith Point Hawk Watch site from Winnie, take Highway 124 south towards High Island. After 12 miles, turn right on FM1985 and follow it about 14 1/2 miles NWR) until it meets FM562. Follow FM562 14 miles to Smith Point. Continue straight until almost reaching the bay, and turn left, bearing left again to the parking area next to the Hawk Watch Tower on the Candy Abshier Wildlife Management Area. It takes at least 90 minutes from the Golden Triangle to reach the site. This Field Trip is much more a come and go as you wish trip, and help on hawk identification is always available on the tower during Hawk Watch season!

Our leaders may lead a group into the nearby woods looking for migrants, but you may stay on the tower if you wish. Mosquitoes are not normally a problem on the tower. Availability of food and fuel is essentially non-existent in Smith Point, so bring your lunch!

The Smith Point Hawk Watch is conducted every day from August 1 through the end of October by the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory.

Historically, the peak of Broad-wing Hawk migration was September 25, although in recent years at Smith Point, it has tended to be later and less uniform. In recent years there has often been a brief one-day spike in the Sep. 20-24 time frame – Sep. 22-23 last year – followed by a higher and prolonged surge Oct. 11- 19. Previous years' re­sults are at, so you can do your own analysis! The exact peak day probably depends more on the weather on the migration path from Pennsylvania down to east Texas, and particularly on the two or three days prior. Should a cold front pass through, the days immediately follow­ing usually have a north wind, and there tend to be more migrating hawks of all species on those days.

For more information, contact Steve Mayes (