Oystercatcher Diaries 2018: Field Week 9

By Susan Heath Alan and I were joined by two special visitors this week. Kay Hale is a former GCBO board member and long-time supporter of the oystercatcher project and Judy Boyce is the Executive Director of The Hershey Foundation which has been very generous to GCBO over the years. Both of these wonderful women have supported us for years … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2018: Field Week 8

By Susan Heath On Monday I went out to the Texas City Prairie Preserve sand/shell spit with volunteers Paula Kennedy and Joey Barnes. They found that P5 & unbanded had a nest last week and we planned to trap the unbanded bird today. Sadly when we arrived we found the nest had overwashed. The eggs were still there but they … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2018: Field Week 7

By Susan Heath On Monday this week I had the pleasure of joining our Experiences Auction winners to check out the oystercatchers nesting in Tres Palacios and parts of Matagorda Bay. Maureen Wilde was the winning bidder on this auction item which included a day on the water checking out oystercatchers with local Bob Friedrichs, a gourmet dinner cooked by … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2018: Field Week 6

By Susan Heath On Wednesday I was joined by Alan Wilde, John Wright, and Stennie Meadours for my weekly tour of West Galveston Bay. Last week the pair near the boat ramp had a new nest and one of them is unbanded so I had hoped to use the box trap to remedy that situation. The nest is up on … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2018: Field Week 5

By Susan Heath On Tuesday Robin and I headed up to Dickinson Bay in hopes of trapping and banding some of the birds at the Texas City Prairie Preserve (TCPP) sand/shell spit. Two of the volunteers that monitor those birds joined us – Paula Kennedy and Joey Barnes. It’s hard for them to tell what’s going on because so many … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2018: Field Week 4

By Susan Heath The weather bit us this week and we had rearrange things. I had planned to do West Galveston Bay on Wednesday and East Matagorda Bay on Thursday but there was a small craft advisory on Wednesday so that was a no go. We moved West Galveston Bay to Thursday and scrapped East Matagorda Bay. We weren’t able … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2018: Field Week 3

By Susan Heath The weather was on our side for a change and we were able to get out to both West Galveston Bay and East Matagorda Bay this week. Woohoo! On Wednesday I headed out to West Galveston Bay with Alan Wilde and John Wright. No fog! Sadly I forgot to get the banding toolbox and the nest box … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2018: Field Week 2

By Susan Heath Another exciting week of oystercatchering! I had planned to do West Galveston Bay on Wednesday and East Matagorda Bay on Friday but Manomet is doing an aerial survey for American Oystercatchers in the U.S. to get a population count and they wanted people to count birds from boats so they could ground truth the aerial survey. It’s … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2018: Field Week 1

By Susan Heath It’s time! I was joined on Wednesday by Robin Bjork, GCBO’s new Avian Conservation Biologist, and master naturalists Alan Wilde and John Wright to conduct our first official oystercatcher monitoring trip of the season. We made a short foray in January just to make sure there were no early nests but we didn’t check on all the … Read More

Smith Point Hawk Watch 11/15/17 (59 raptors)

Bob reports 59 migrating raptors today. Broad-winged Hawk 15 Swainson’s Hawk 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk 6 Cooper’s Hawk 3 Turkey Vulture 14 Black Vulture 15 American Kestrel 1 Peregrine Falcon 1 Northern Harrier 3 Lots of white pelicans today and a few cranes. And on this last day of the hawk watch, the Tern-billed Dipper showed up! See the GCBO Facebook … Read More

Smith Point Hawk Watch 11/14/17 (94 raptors)

Bob reports 94 migrating raptors today. Broad-winged Hawk 45 Red-tailed Hawk 2 Swainson’s Hawk 2 Sharp-shinned Hawk 4 Cooper’s Hawk 1 Turkey Vulture 32 Northern Harrier 6 Bald Eagle 2 One adult Bald Eagle and one third year. Lots of pelicans and cranes. Tomorrow is the last day of the hawk watch! Come out and say goodbye to Bob!

Smith Point Hawk Watch 11/13/17 (148 raptors)

Bob reports 148 migrating raptors today. Broad-winged Hawk 77 Red-tailed Hawk 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk 5 Cooper’s Hawk 3 Turkey Vulture 53 American Kestrel 1 Northern Harrier 8 Lots and lots of American White Pelicans, some Sandhill Cranes, and lots of geese.