Announcements

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 18, 2016 7:00 p.m. Garden Center, Tyrrell Park, Beaumont

Ecuador 2015: Mindo Feeder Patrol Photographing the West Slope’s Common Birds

Gerald Duhon

With the fifth highest bird list of any country on Earth numbering in excess of 1600, (almost twice that of the continental USA) in a land area the size of Colorado, including over 100 hummingbirds and tanagers each, a well developed tourist infrastructure and a new international airport it’s no wonder Ecuador has become one of the world’s premier birding destinations. Especially attractive are the primary cloud forests of the country’s west slope, where truly world-class birding draws tour companies and individual travelers from around the globe. Starting at over 9,000 feet and descending in a series of orchid and bromeliad clad foothill ridges and valleys, the binocular (or in this case camera) toting bird watcher can view and photograph over 400 species. The hub of all this activity is Mindo, a small but bustling village of around 4400 souls. Accommodations ranging from basic but entirely adequate on up to pricey spas are on tap. Great food and excellent birding right around town are part of Mindo’s appeal, but the real draw for the bird photographer lies in the city’s close proximity to a number of premier feeder installations. At places like Satchiatama Lodge, Milpe Bird Sanctuary and the Mirador at Los Bancos, spectacular range-restricted birds including Sparkling Violetear, Velvet Purple Coronet, Toucan Barbet and Flame-faced Tanager come in close enough to touch. Join GTAS member Gerald Duhon as he journeys to the land of Toucans, Hummingbirds and Tanagers to patrol fruit and sugar-water feeders, seeking to photograph the exotic common birdlife in and around Mindo, Ecuador, South America!

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 February 20, 2016
Field Trip to Cattail Marsh in Tyrrell Park, Beaumont

Meet at the parking lot for Cattail Marsh at 8:00 a.m. The parking lot is accessed from the loop road round the main picnic areas in Tyrrell Park in Beaumont. Some birds can be seen with minimal walking, but the group will probably make a leisurely three-or-so-mile hike round the various cells in the marsh. If you are unable to walk that far – there are no shorter loops – someone will remain near the entrance to help you identify the birds in the near cells. Walking is on the levees; the main ones are graveled, but some of the interior ones are mowed grass. This will be a good trip for beginning to intermediate birders, as most of the waterfowl and wading birds are relatively easy to study in the open water areas.

Cattail Marsh is probably the easiest place to see good numbers of a great variety of wintering ducks. Cinnamon Teal, a species not easy to see anywhere else close to the Golden Triangle, have been resident in an easily accessible cell near the entrance this winter. In addition, there is an active Bald Eagle nest that, while across a bayou, can be seen quite well from one of the levees. Southern Bald Eagles typically nest from late December, and by the time of this field trip, the pair at Cattail will probably be feeding chicks.

Directions to Cattail Marsh

From the south

Go "north" on US69/96/287 around the south side of Beaumont. Take Texas 124 (west 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. Continue past the Garden Center on your left, past the clubhouse for the golf course further along on your right, and proceed about two-thirds of the way round the loop road. The Cattail Marsh parking area is accessed by means of a signed shell road on your right.

From IH-10

Exit at Walden Road on the west side of Beaumont; Go south on Walden Road for about 1/2 mile to the first light. At the light go straight across Highway 124 onto Tyrrell Park Road and follow the directions above.