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Golden Triangle Audubon Bird Alert -- 19 December 2010

The Turkey Creek CBC was held Saturday, Dec 18.  The preliminary total is 75 species, tying the all time high from 1986.  New to the count were Ring-necked Duck and Blue-winged Teal.  Species of interest included American Woodcock (a total of 11 by four parties!), Purple Finch (two parties), and Red-breasted Nuthatch.  Wilson's Snipe was seen for the first time in a long, long time.  Full details will be posted as a News Item on the website in a day or two.


The Eagles in Jefferson County has not been seen recently.  However, a adult or near adult Golden Eagle has been seen several times since Thanksgiving around the periphery of the wet area east of Teal Slough at Anahuac NWR, probably around 29 deg 35.0 min N  94 deg 30.5 minW.  It has usually been at extreme scope range.  On December 19, two Bald Eagles one an adult the other a young bird were in the moist field west of Jenkins Road about halfway between IH-10 and FM-1663 in Chambers County.  The bird were at about 29 deg 51.0 min N;  94 deg 32.8 min W.  The field south of that field has more water and had thousands of Green-winged Teal and Northern Shovelers, with smaller numbers of Gadwall and a few Northern Pintail.


In Jefferson County up to 10,000 Geese have been in the area of FM365 north of the intersection with FM1406.  They move around quite a bit.  On December 19, most were in a field north of Blair Road halfway between FM365 and the LNVA Canal.  (The location where the Bald Eagles were seen on the November Field Trip, 29 deg 59.7 N  94 deg 25.4 min W.)


The Sandhill Cranes have not always been easy to find recently.  However, on December 19, between 3 and 4 p.m. large numbers came in from the west and landed in a field north of Willis Road, and west of Old League Road at about 29 deg 55.9 min N  94 deg 23.6 min W.  There were about 375 when they had all arrived.  Another 100 at least landed in the location east of the north part of Ebner Road where they were seen on the November Field Trip.  In the early years of cranes in west Jefferson County, they used to leave to the west around 4 p.m. to roost elsewhere.  It appears that they have reversed this and now are returning to Jefferson County to roost.


While out in west Jefferson County, check the blackbird flocks as many of the smaller flocks are Brewer's Blackbirds.


For those who want to see a male Vermilion Flycatcher this year, there is one that has take up residence west of Griffith Road in Jefferson Count at out 29 deg 53.41 min N  94 deg 11.38 min W.  To reach this location, take LaBelle Road South from FM365 for about 2.3 miles, turn right (west) on Burrell-Wingate Road.  Proceed 1.62 miles and turn right (north) on Griffith Road,  Go 0.30 miles along Griffith Road almost of the end of the line of pines and look left (west) at the fence lines and other perches perhaps 100 yards in from the road.


John A. Whittle


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