Johnson Bayou CBC has a rich history beginning in 1976 to present. Though the count is located just across the state line in Louisiana, most participants are from Texas and everyone is welcome. While much of the area is private, local land owners have allowed access to their property for this count, areas rarely birded and normally inaccessible From Port Arthur take Hwy 82 east for about 15 miles into Louisiana. Please contact Gary Kelley (email@example.com, telephone 409-679-1616) for more information, assignments and directions.
See below for driving directions
Native Grass Restoration at
Bob Mione, Preserve Manager
The Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve is on the border of Allen and Plan, north of Dallas. Open to the public daily from dawn until dusk, the Meadow represents 72 acres of natural habitat, rich in floral diversity that is reminiscent of the tall grass Blackland Prairie that once existed in the area.
This family land was set aside by Frances Williams in 1981 so that residents would be able to experience the unspoiled beauty of nature forever. It is owned and perpetually maintained by the Connemara Conservancy Foundation.
Bob Mione has served as the Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve Manager since 2010 and as such has been primarily responsible for all restoration activities at the Meadow, to include planning, budgeting, volunteer recruitment and management. He speaks throughout the State of Texas on the topic of restoration at various Master Naturalist and Native Plant Society chapters and was a speaker at the State of Texas Master Naturalist statewide convention in 2016 and 2019. He finished his State of Texas Master Naturalist training in 2012 and is an active member of the Blackland Prairie Chapter.
We will briefly review the results of local Christmas Bird Counts.
We plan to have the doors open at 6:00 p.m.
Directions to Hillcrest Baptist Church, our meeting location this month.
From Beaumont and the north
Take US69/96/287 south out of Beaumont to the FM365 exit, keeping left on the feeder road. Take the turnaround lane under the freeway and head back north moving to the right hand lane of the feeder road. In about 1500 feet (1/4 mile), turn right on Park Avenue (just before Carmela's restaurant) and proceed 1200 feet (2/10 mile) to the church parking lot on the left, opposite the Babe Ruth Ball Park. Enter the Gathering Hall through the door on the circular drive on Park Avenue.
From the south
Leave northbound US69/96/287 at the FM365 exit, moving to the right lane and proceeding straight across FM365. Turn right on Park Avenue and follow the remainder of the directions above.
We plan to meet at the Visitor Information Station just beyond the entrance at 8:30 a.m. There are clean public flushing toilets there, accessible even when the Information Station is not open. 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 about 11 miles to the MAIN Anahuac NWR Entrance Road on the left (south). As you drive along FM1985, check any cowbird/blackbird flocks carefully for Yellow-headed Blackbirds.
The entrance to the Main Refuge is just over 3 miles down the Entrance Road. Obey the speed limits, especially the 15 mph limit in the information station area! Watch along the entrance road for Crested Caracaras, and nearer the entrance to the refuge on the east side for White-tailed Kites.
We will probably visit both the main unit ("Old Anahuac") and the Skillern Tract, looking primarily for waterfowl and other waterbirds but also raptors and sparrows. We may also bird some of the local rice field areas.
There are usually geese and Bald Eagles on the refuge in winter. A Vermilion Flycatcher winters near the Visitor Station. Say's Phoebe and Cinnamon Teal are possibilities.
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 the road is one-car wide and there are only a few pull-offs most of which will accommodate only three or four cars. There is space to leave vehicles close to the meeting place.