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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.


Annual Meeting and Pot-luck Dinner

Thursday November 19, 2015  7:00 p.m.

Garden Center, Tyrrell Park, Beaumont 


Your favorite bird pictures


At this meeting, we will conduct our annual elections for all officer and board positions.


We will also reinstate something we did in the past –a program where you and other members can show perhaps five to ten of your favorite bird pictures. Since we last did this, technology has changed. Instead of slides, we now have digital pictures, and the opportunity to make a quicker transition from one member's pictures to those of another. Dr. Harlan Stewart has volunteered to prepare all photos submitted in advance into a Powerpoint presentation. Each member's pictures will be prefaced by an introductory "slide" giving the member's name, and any other relevant information the member wants. This could indicate where the pictures were taken, if all at the same place, or that information can be in the caption to each picture, along with other information such as the species of the bird. The contributors of the pictures may, if they desire, talk briefly about their pictures, or they can allow the pictures to stand on their own.  The pictures should be bird related, but do not need to be exhibition quality, especially if the subject is especially interesting for any reason.  In order to prepare a combined presentation, we will need to have the pictures by Monday November 16.  They can be emailed as attachments to Harlan at  If necessary, send several separate emails to avoid exceeding the limits set by your email provider.


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 November 21

Field Trip to West Jefferson County


In recent years, this has been one of our most successful field trips. The area is well known for its birds of prey, which in past years have included Bald and Golden Eagles, Crested Caracaras and White-tailed Hawks in addition to the more "normal" Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, and American Kestrels. In some years we have seen White-tailed Kites and Merlins. The area is well known as the wintering ground of what has become a large (about 1,000 strong) flock of Sandhill Cranes and is also one of the best places to see sparrows in the area. In wet years, and this is shaping up to be one, there can be lots of waterfowl including geese and many duck species as well as ibis and other waterbirds. Last year's trip found a Mountain Bluebird, which staying all winter and was visited by birders from all over the region, and a Couch's Kingbird.

     Meet at 8 a.m. at the intersection of FM365 and Johnson Road (on the “north/west” side of Johnson Road at that intersection). From the intersection of Interstate 10 and FM365 in Fannett, proceed along FM365 (towards Nome) for about six miles. Shortly after you emerge out of the woodlands, South China Road goes to the right (east then north) and immediately afterwards, on the left, is Johnson Road. There is a green sign for the G and A Turf Farm on Johnson Road at the intersection. Contact Steve Mayes, sgmayes, or call 409-722-5807 for further information.


Christmas Bird Counts


Christmas Bird Counts have long been the birding highlight of the holiday season. Here are the dates of local counts.


Monday December 14.  Johnson Bayou, LA Centered on Johnson Bayou. This area of Cameron Parish is recovering from two devastating hurricanes. This count has access to oilfield and Gray Estate properties that are not accessible any other time. Meet at 7:00 a.m. at the intersection of Louisiana 82 and Parish Road 536/Middle Ridge Road – the Bayou Convenience Store and the Johnson Bayou High School are at this intersection. Contact Ken Sztraky (409-385-2835 or


Thursday December 17. Bolivar Peninsula. High Island and Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge areas. This count was compiled by Bill Graber for fifty years, and has always been among the top counts in the nation. The count circle includes High Island, Rollover Pass and all of Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Contact Steve Mayes ( or 409-722-5807) for assignment/meeting location and time.


Saturday December 19. Turkey Creek.  Centered in the Turkey Creek unit of the Big Thicket National Preserve north of Kountze. Meet at the Big Thicket Visitor Center on Highway 69 about 7 miles north of Kountze at 6:30 a.m. Contact John Whittle ( or 409-722-4193)


Monday December 28.  Beech Creek. Centered in the Steinhagen Lake area of Tyler and Jasper counties. In addition to Steinhagen Lake, this count includes all of Martin Dies State Park, and the Corps of Engineers picnic areas and campgrounds around the lake. Meet at the Corps of Engineers Picnic area on FM92 immediately north of Town Bluff. Contact John Whittle ( or 409-722-4193.


Wednesday December 30. Trinity River. This count includes the Trinity River NWR, Tarkington Prairie and Gaylor Lake. Contact: Stuart Marcus ( or 936-336-9786) for meeting place information.


Friday January 1, 2016.  Orange County. This count includes much of Orange County between Orange and the Neches River, including Bessie Heights and the Old River Unit. Meet at the gas station at the intersection of FM1442 and FM105 in Orangefield at 7:00 a.m. Contact Ken Sztraky ( or 409-385-2835)


Sunday January 3, 2016. Sea Rim State Park.  Sabine Pass/Texas Point/Sea Rim area. This count is sponsored by the Golden Triangle Audubon Society. The count circle includes the southern part of Murphree Wildlife Management Area, all of Texas Point National Wildlife Refuge and Sea Rim State Park, the eastern part of McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge as well as Sabine Woods, the Sabine Pass area and a small section of extreme western Cameron Parish including the lighthouse. We can make much better assignments if you contact us at least two or three days in advance of the count. If not already assigned to a group, meet in the parking lot of the Sabine Pass Community Center, located at the stop sign on Highway 87 at 7:00 a.m. Contact John Whittle ( or 409-722-4193)



Houston Audubon maintains an excellent list of all Texas CBCs on their web site at default.aspx/MenuItemID/1149/ MenuGroup/CBC.htm

If you have any difficulty with this long URL, simply enter "Christmas Bird Counts" in the search box on their home page, and select 2015-16 CBCs.

Christmas Bird Counts are all day events in which participants identify and count all the birds they can find in a 15-mile diameter circle, most groups birding from dawn to dusk. Christmas Bird Counts are free and most, including all local counts, are open to anyone. However, in the case of some of the counts with many participants (Bolivar Peninsula and Sea Rim SP are in this category), it is often difficult to accommodate participants who show up without advance notice in a way that is satisfactory to all and provides the best possible experience for the participant. Such counts are organized into groups in advance and many of the groups go straight to their assigned areas. In most cases in such counts, it is easier to adjust if someone (area leaders excepted!) who has indicated their probable participation in advance is forced to withdraw than to add someone to a group on the morning of the count.

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