December 2014 Newsletter and Minutes of November Meeting

Editor Kathy Griffith has listed the area Christmas Bird Counts, the dates for helping at the Jones Sanctuary and other items of interest.

Eight monthly meetings are held at the Corpus Christi Botanical Gardens and Nature Center.
8545 S Staples, 6:45 -  9:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month, October through May.
Picnics take place in June and September at the Fred Jones Nature Sanctuary, which is west of Portland.  Call 361-443-6799, Judith Reader, if you need directions to the Sanctuary.
No meetings are scheduled for July/Aug.

                              CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNTS IN THE COASTAL BEND AREA
Aransas NWR (TXAR) (not known at this time)
Corpus Christi (TXCC) December 20, Saturday
Corpus Christi - Flour Bluff (TXCF) December 14, Sunday
Guadalupe River Delta (TXGF) December 18, Thursday
Kenedy County Wind Turbines (TXKW) December 23
Kingsville (TXKI) January 3, Saturday
Port Aransas (TXPA) December 15, Monday
Rockport (TXRO) December 28, Sunday
Welder Wildlife Refuge (TXWW) December 19, Friday

Call or email Larry Jordan, 361-443-0744, lawrencemjordan@hotmail.com for information regarding contact persons for each count.

                                        BLUCHER PARK WORKDAYS
We meet at 4:00 - 6:p.m. or until sundown. We have tools and gloves, or bring your own along with some bug spray. After we work, we sit outside the Blucher House and enjoy a picnic meal. We call this our "chat and chew," a time to visit and share birding stories..
Come on out for a lot of fun and meaningful work in the best nature park around!

Karen Smith

                                  SOUTH TEXAS BIRDING, KIII-TV 3 NEWS
This short segment is part of the "First Edition," Channel 3 News.  The birding segment is on the  second Saturday of each month. This popular program airs during the news hour 6:00 to 7:00 a.m. at approximately 6:43 a.m. and features birding information and well-known area birding figures. Member Larry Jordan was the guest in November. It is sponsored by Coastal Bend Audubon Society and UT Marine Science Institute with KIII News.

                            FRED JONES SANCTUARY SCHEDULED WORK DAYS 
All workdays are on a Sunday, 9:00 till noon. Water and snacks are provided.
December 7th (only workday scheduled for December)
January 4th and 18th
February 1st and 15th
Hope to see you on one or more workdays. After finishing the morning's work, Bob and I go to Sinton to eat at the Butter Churn which has a buffet 11 AM to 3PM. We go grimey as we are. Come join us after we work. Many trees have fallen down in the last two weeks, including a whole grove of hackberries along the roadway just outside our gate. Hope you can help.
Thank you all.  Jo and Bob Creglow

                                                       DUCK STAMPS
You can buy Federal Duck Stamps and Junior Duck Stamps from the United States Postal Service, at most major sporting goods stores and large chain stores that sell hunting and fishing licenses. You may also buy Duck Stamps and Junior Duck Stamps at many national wildlife refuges. For every $15 stamp sold, the federal government retains $14.70 for wetlands acquisition and conservation, so very little gets lost in the system for overhead.

                                         TOS MEETINGS AND FIELD TRIPS
For information on the Texas Ornithological Society's (TOS) twice yearly meetings and fund-raising field trips, visit www.texasbirds.org.

                                                          MEMBERSHIP
Please welcome new members:
     Rotramble, Albert and Frances
     2842 Panay
     Corpus Christi, TX 78418
     361-947-1473   Email: racecar2406@yahoo.com

                             BIRD WALKS AT LEONABELLE TURNBULL BIRDING CENTER
We meet in Port Aransas at the Picnic Bench every Wednesday at 9 a.m. -Nan Dietert

                                                         CLUB SALES
Out of town: Send stamped self-addressed envelope with check or money order to:
Audubon Outdoor Club, P O Box 3352, Corpus Christi, TX 78463-3352
Whistling-duck patch $3.00 members, 4.00 non-members
Whistling-duck decal $1.00, Hats: Cotton hats, “safari” with brim all-around: ballcap with visor, both hats have the patch, $10.


                                                 AOC BIRD RECORDS
Maintained by Nancy Devlin & Marge DiClemente, 949-3552, mitchmillerA1A2@yahoo.com. Report all sightings. Sightings reported here will be posted to ebird.org.

                                                         WEB SITES
www.audubonoutdoorclub.com This is our club's website.
www.ccbirding.com This is a website that also has information on the Hawk Watch and Whooping Cranes
Rockport, www.aransasbirdandnatureclub.com
Coastal Bend Audubon, www.coastalbendaudubon.org
Port Aransas, www.portaransas.org/birds
Kingsville, www.kingsvilletexas.com (Click birding)

                                               GENERAL MEETING MINUTES
                                                      NOVEMBER 11, 2014
President Leah Pummill called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m. at the Botanical Gardens. Thirty-one members and four guests were in attendance. Leah opened the meeting by welcoming our guests and encouraging them to become AOC members.

Leah announced that our club has received an award from the City Parks Department for our outstanding work at Blucher Park. The award is called the "Active Heroes Award." Of the 150 volunteer groups, AOC was one of a handful to receive this extra recognition.

Beth Hoejke is this year’s recipient of the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation Stewardship Award. She was nominated by Vice-President Karen Smith for her dedication not only to the environment and its preservation but to her work as an advocate for those issues and for the almost 30,000 Coastal Bend students who have benefited from her instruction. 

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Our guest speaker, Carol Goolsby, the Environmental Education Supervisor at the Quinta Mazatlan Birding Center in McAllen, next presented a moving program called “Why Plants Matter.” Carol stated that the Rio Grande Valley, because of its geological location, is the most biologically diverse area of the United States. She demonstrated how native plants (i.e. those local to within 200 miles) harbor the insects that feed on them. This creates a control mechanism preventing excessive reproduction of that plant. She demonstrated that invasive plant species attract very few insects that would constitute a controlling factor, allowing them to spread and choke out the natives. Carol was animated and passionate in her descriptions of how native vegetation in South Texas has been extirpated to 3% of its original range. She used a simple but effective visual aid to show this, turning the “bad news” into “good news” by encouraging residents of the area to re-introduce these native plants into their gardens and yards as a way to recover some of the variety of plant life, in turn increasing insect populations and hence improving habitat for birds. For a list of vegetation appropriate to plant in our region, Carol encouraged us to visit the plant database on the USDA’s website.

Leah reminded us of Saturday’s field trip to Rockport and the work day at Fred Jones on Sunday from 9:00 to 12:00.

Adrienne Kerr showed a (only used once) digital 35 mm Nikon camera that has been donated to the club. She said that it will be raffled off to raise funds. It was suggested the drawing be held on Earth Day, 2015. Books of tickets will be distributed at the next meeting for AOC members to sell.

Libby Even offered Hawkwatch and Raptor Research Convention items for sale.

The club has received a water bill in the amount of $2,730 for Packery Channel. We will approach the water department and advise them that the switch was malfunctioning, in hopes of an agreeable settlement.

Larry Jordan announced the dates of our local Christmas Bird Counts. Corpus Christi will be held on Dec. 20 and Flour Bluff will be on Dec. 14. He also asked for volunteers to lead a group of new birders, should there be a need. Additionally, Larry said that Jimmy Swartz, who is now residing at the Villa South nursing home, would be grateful for visitors at any time.

Leah reminded us that the Blucher Park work crew will meet at 4:00 p.m. next Monday. She also advised us that Kathy Griffith, who recently had some medical issues, is now recovered and doing well.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.
_______________________________________________
Judy Kestner, Recording Secretary