Ornithology Group (OG)

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Field Trips

NRG Cooling Ponds (Dutton Lake) Field Trip, Saturday, February 29, 7:30 am

Led by David Sarkozi

This is a rare, Leap Day birding trip! 
Meet field trip leader David Sarkozi at 7:30am at McCollum Park, 9902 McCollum Park Rd, Beach City (Baytown), TX 77523. We will leave some cars there and carpool to the property. 
We will visit the Cedar Bayou Generating Pond, San Jacinto River Basin, aka NRG cooling ponds, which serve as the reservoir for the Cedar Bayou power plant. Google Maps calls it "Dutton Lake." This is restricted, private property and we will be there by special arrangement. There can be thousands of waterfowl, including Goldeneye, Canvasback, Redhead, and Bufflehead. If there is time and interest, we can also bird McCollum Park and maybe Hugo Point Park afterward.
Limited number of spots (18 OG members) + 2 leaders.
More info: http://www.twdb.texas.gov/surfacewater/rivers/reservoirs/cedar_bayou/index.asp
Please make sure your 2020 OG membership is up to date when you sign up
RSVP required, nina.rach@yahoo.com

Cullinin Park Field Trip,  Saturday,  March 7, 7:30 am

Led by Robbin Mallett

Meet Robbin for a morning of excellent Spring birding at Cullinan Park, located at 12414 Highway 6 South in Sugar Land. This is on the north side of the Sugar Land Airport. Sunrise will be at 6:40am, and the gates off Hwy 6 should open shortly thereafter. We will meet in the parking lot at 7:30. If you arrive earlier, you can easily spend time on the boardwalk or in the tower. If there has been recent rain, boots are recommended. Some trails may be muddy. 

OG Weekender in Patricio County, Saturday and Sunday, March 14–15, 2020

Led by Ron Weeks

Join us on this weekend field trip focused on visiting Welder Wildlife Foundation's large refuge outside of Sinton, in San Patricio County. The refuge covers 7800 acres and we have arranged a private tour for 20 people. Personal cars are not allowed to drive within the refuge; we will be using their new tour bus. We will cover at least 10 miles and see a variety of habitats, ranging from upland mesquite-mixed-grass communities to freshwater wetland lakes.
Welder Wildlife Foundation is the #1 eBird hotspot in San Patricio County, with 278 species listed so far. The property contains three other eBird hot spots: the headquarters area, Hackberry Motte and Big Lake. Ron Weeks will help us identify birds.
After lunch, we will have the opportunity to see their bird specimens in the Welder natural history collections: 405 mounted birds in the Donald E. Bowman Bird Collection (taxidermy, international); and the scientific study skin collection, all from the Refuge or within the region (545 species from 21 orders). The collection includes two extinct species, Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) and Heath Hen (Tympanuchus cupido cupido), a race of the Greater Prairie Chicken. https://www.welderwildlife.org/

After we explore Welder on Saturday, we may head to Indian Point (CTC 073) for afternoon ducks and shorebirds, or go directly to Lake Corpus Christi State Park. Shelters and camping places are available for rent at the state park on Sat night, or you may choose a motel in nearby Mathis. Dinner in Mathis TBD (Smoik’s Smokehouse? Original Smolik’s BBQ? Van’s Brick Oven Pizza?). Breakfast in Mathis on Sunday (Taqueria Vallarta?-opens at 6am; Puerto De Mazatlan?-opens at 5:30am) and more birding!
Unless you enjoy waking at 3am, we recommend that you make reservations Fri evening in Sinton (~3 hour drive from Houston, only 10 miles from Welder) in order to be at the refuge by 7:00am on Saturday morning. Options include America’s Best Value Inn and adjacent Motel 6 on 77, and Economy Inn (center of town). There is also a bunkhouse at the Welder Refuge ($40/night/person, must arrange with them in advance). If you arrive in Sinton with daylight to spare, you can go birding at the Rob and Bessie Welder Park on 181, just north of town – there is a sidewalk trail through woods at the back of the park, mowed senderos (paths), golf, and a lake.
There is space for 20 people on the Welder bus which will transport us around the refuge on Saturday, so please RSVP to nina.rach@yahoo.com if you want to be included, and make your hotel or camping arrangements now – this is Spring Break time!

***Also, we recommend a $20 donation to the Welder Wildlife Foundation from each participant. They have to pay their staff and they are providing transportation around their property. If you love the experience, feel free to be even more generous, of course.***

Field Trip Charter to Matagorda Island, Sunday, April 26, 7:30am, Leaving from Port O'Connor

Led by Janey Woodley and John Berner

Matagorda Island offers fabulous spring migration birding! There are roads, runways, mowed trails and brushy areas that can be hiked around the harbor near the old U.S. Air Force base, closed in 1975. According to eBird, 277 species have been recorded at the Matagorda Island SP (CTC 034) hot spot. In April 2019, birders recorded 100+ species there daily, with a wide diversity of shorebirds and migrant songbirds.
The TPWD no longer runs a public ferry, so access is limited and we are chartering a boat to cross to the island (8-9 miles, 20 minutes), at a cost of ~$30/person roundtrip.   RSVP to Janey oodley at jwwoodley711@gmail.com. She will provide information about where to meet.

Additional trip info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1493219157514290/

April 30-May 3, 2020 - TOS Spring meeting and field trips, Beaumont


Updated: 2/29/2020