Welcome to the Outdoor Nature Club – Ornithology Group
Galveston Island Double-header Trips 10-4 and 10-5-2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Deborah Valdez   
Monday, 22 September 2014 17:03
"What's better than spending a day birding in Galveston?"--spending two days!

Field Trip Double-header to Galveston Island West End (October 4) and Galveston East End (October 5)

--Led by Mark Stackhouse


DAY 1:  Meet on Saturday, October 4 at 7:30 am at the Galveston State Park park headquarters/visitor center (near the dunes, as far south as you can go, if traveling west you would turn left at the Park entrance from FM 3005, pass the kiosk pay station--it won't be staffed-- and park. If you have a park pass or just want to support Texas parks, go in and get a day pass. Otherwise, just wait for the group to assemble. Here's a link to a map: http://mapq.st/4-SDlXJ0BA  (Looking at this map, Park HQ is inside a cute little oval road.) Most map searches will pinpoint the GISP Nature Center which is north of 3005, that's not where you want to meet and you can't buy your pass there.) We will explore hotspots all along the west end of the island from LaFitte's Cove to San Luis Pass or even further west, time and birdiness permitting. 


DAY 2: Meet on Sunday, October 5 at 7:30 am at the Galveston Island State Park HQ/visitor center (near the dunes). We will bird the east end of the island to the ferry landing, Bolivar Peninsula, perhaps as far as High Island and Anahuac NWR. We'll decide on the exact locations based on what's hot on ebird and texbirds.magnificent frigatebird


As is true with all our trips, you decide how much time you want to spend.  

Galveston Island State Park can be reached from Interstate 45 by exiting right onto 61st Street and traveling south on 61st Street to its intersection with Seawall Boulevard, and then right (west) on Seawall (FM 3005) 10 miles to the park entrance. For more information,

see http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/galveston-island.


piping plover
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 September 2014 16:35 )
October 6 2014 Mark Stackhouse, San Blas Revisited PDF Print E-mail
Written by Deb Valdez   
Sunday, 21 September 2014 21:17
San Blas Revisited: A new look at why Mexico's oldest and most famous birding destination still has North America's best birding

San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico has a long history of attracting birders. Birders were visiting long before Peter Alden's book, "Finding Birds in West Mexico," sung the praises of San Blas back in 1969, causing the fame of this small Pacific coast village to explode. Mexico's first official Christmas Bird Count was in San Blas in 1973, after many years of "unofficial" counts. The San Blas CBC still records the most species of any count in Mexico, and the highest of any count north of Costa Rica, year after year. But the ravages of time, development, habitat loss and a major hurricane in 2002 have taken their toll on this birder's paradise. Some have said that the best days of birding San Blas are in the past. Others disagree--in his recent book, "Top 100 Birding Sites of the World," Dominic Couzens included San Blas as one of only two sites in Mexico that made his list. Just last year, James Currie, host of Nikon's "Birding Adventures TV," called San Blas one of the top 5 birding destinations in the world, and the best in North America, claiming it even topped any place he'd seen in Costa Rica or Panama.
So what is the real story of birding San Blas in this day? Professional birding guide and San Blas resident, Mark Stackhouse, will give his first hand insight as to the nature of birding San Blas today, what's been lost, what's been gained, and what the future holds for one of North America's birding treasures.

About our speaker, Mark Stackhouse:

For Mark Stackhouse, birding has been his passion since he was 5 years old. Mark says, “I can’t even remember a time when I wasn’t birding.” Mark has enjoyed watching birds throughout the Americas, and especially likes to share the beauty of birds and nature with other people. For most of his life, he has done this through teaching and guiding others in the field, and in recent years, through his photography and writing as well.


Mark led his first birding tour, a trip to Crane Creek, Ohio for the Dayton Museum of Natural History, when he was only 16. He has now been guiding birding tours for 40 years, including 16 years in Mexico. He has guided birding tours in the western U.S, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama and Peru. Mark also does consulting work as a biologist for government agencies and private industry, and worked as a wildlife biologist on Utah’s largest ranch, where he also guided birders for 22 years. He was Director of Education at Tracy Aviary, a Salt Lake City, Utah bird park for 12 years. He attended Earlham College and Utah State University, earning degrees in Biology and Range Management. Mark fell in love with Mexico, its people, culture, landscapes, and of course its spectacular birding, on his first trip to San Blas 17 years ago. After 25 years of living in Utah, he now lives in San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico, with his wife, Elizabeth Oregón Gonzalez, also of San Blas. He can be reached by e-mail at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


For you Facebook users:  "like" Mark's page in order to see more about birding San Blas: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Westwings/642675622466365?ref=bookmarks

Last Updated ( Monday, 22 September 2014 16:59 )
About the "OG" PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 25 October 2008 20:13

The Ornithology Group (OG) of the Outdoor Nature Club is a group whose mission is to promote the study and appreciation of wild birds and encourage their conservation.  We are comprised of individuals of every degree of expertise, from beginning birders to experts.  Some members focus on bird identification and listing, some enjoy studying bird behavior and habitat, and some just enjoy watching birds. The OG is organized to accommodate all of these diverse birding interests.  All of these members benefit from the synergism of getting together to share knowledge and interests during the club's activities.  OG activities make learning about birds fun!

Regular monthly meetings feature a wide variety of local and nationally recognized speakers. The first 15 to 20 minutes of each meeting are devoted to club business and sharing information. The remainder of the meeting is reserved for the featured speaker. Guests and new members are always welcome and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. Monthly meetings also feature an informal discussion session called the Learning Corner to enhance member birding skills, and offer special information about local birding. It begins 30 minutes before the regular meeting and is an alternative to the always-popular activity of socializing and comparing recent birding war stories during this pre-meeting time.

Our monthly newsletter, The Spoonbill, announces group activities, reports group business, and presents articles of birding interest. The Spoonbill includes The Clearing House, a monthly record of bird sightings along the Upper Texas Coast.

Last Updated ( Monday, 30 July 2012 09:45 )
2014 Spoonbills PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vicki Sims   
Tuesday, 24 December 2013 14:11



Last Updated ( Monday, 22 September 2014 15:49 )

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