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November 30 thru December 2, 2018: Central Gulf Coast
Target Species: Reddish Egret, Curve-billed Thrasher, Long-billed Thrasher, Cinnamon Teal, King Rail, Barred Owl, Great Kiskadee, Couch's Kingbird, Vermillion Flycatcher, Olive Sparrow.  Click for more...

Registration will close on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m.

Registration Fee: $75

In response to your feedback we have a new registration process for Weekenders. Registration will be open for several days. Once registration closes, participants will be randomly selected. It is recommended that you include no more than two individuals in a single registration. You will need to pay the $75 fee at the time of registration. If you use the pay later option you won't be eligible for the random drawing. If you are unable to register and pay via the website contact Catherine Winans at catherinewinans@yahoo.com to be added to the lottery. Registrants will be notified of their status on October 2, and money refunded to those who were not selected.

The Texas Coast supports many of the TOP Christmas Bird Counts in the Nation. Two of the best occur on the central Coast. Join TOS for a weekend of CBC scouting with Brent and Dora Ann Ortego. We will be visiting key places to enlarge your county list and locate seasonal rarities for three of the CBCs in Calhoun, Matagorda, Refugio and Victoria counties.

November 30 - Depart Holiday Inn in Port Lavaca at 3 p.m. to bird the TOS Magic Ridge Sanctuary and historic Indianola until sunset. This area lies within the boundaries of the Powderhorn CBC in Calhoun County which produced 169 species last year.

Birding will mostly be from vehicle with stops for scoping and occasional short walks to explore birding opportunities. Anticipate waterbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds and passerines which will be found at waterfowl impoundments, tidal wetlands, and Tamaulipan thorn-scrub habitats.

Target Species: Reddish Egret, Curve-billed Thrasher and Long-billed Thrasher.

December 1 - Depart Holiday Inn at 5:45 a.m. to bird the Guadalupe Delta Wildlife Management Area which occurs in Calhoun, Refugio, and Victoria Counties in the vicinity of Tivoli until 5 p.m. The entire WMA occurs within the Guadalupe River Delta - McFaddin Family Ranches CBC. This CBC is typically one of the Top 5 CBCs in the Nation and produced 212 species last year.

Birding will mostly be from a vehicle with stops for scoping and occasional walks up to 1/4 mile to explore birding opportunities. Ground conditions could be muddy and weedy depending on weather. Freshwater and tidal brackish marshes, riparian forests and Tamaulipan thorn-scrub habitats will be visited.

Target Species: Reddish Egret, Cinnamon Teal, King Rail, Barred Owl, Great Kiskadee, Couch's Kingbird, Vermillion Flycatcher, Long-billed Thrasher, Olive Sparrow. Anticipate from 100 to 125 species for the group.

Restroom: One scheduled break at noon.

December 2 - Depart Holiday Inn at 5:15 a.m. to bird the Mad Island Wildlife Management Area which occurs in Matagorda County near Palacios until 2 p.m. The entire WMA occurs within the Matagorda County - Mad Island Marsh CBC which is typically the Number 1 CBC in the Nation and produced 220 species last year.

Birding will mostly be from a vehicle with stops for scoping and occasional walks up to 1/4 mile to explore birding opportunities. Ground conditions could be muddy and weedy depending on weather. Freshwater and tidal brackish marshes, waterfowl impoundments, coastal prairie, and brushlands will be visited.

Target Species: Cinnamon Teal, geese, Glossy Ibis, White-tailed Hawk, cranes, rails, Burrowing Owl, Aplomado Falcon, Le Conte's Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Seaside Sparrow. Anticipate 100 to 125 species for the group.

Restroom: One scheduled break at noon.

Equipment and Supplies Needed:
1. Clothes suitable for weather conditions in early December.
2. Waterproof ankle to knee boots.
3. Insect repellant when temperature rises above 60
4. One Spotting scope and tripod per vehicle
5. One Walky-talky
6. Food and drink
7. Participants will be required to sign a liability release to enter properties.

Hotel: A block of rooms has been reserved at the Holiday Inn in Port Lavaca, and arrangements have been made for cold breakfast items to be available early on the weekend. The rate is $124/night king or double queen. You may call the hotel or book online using TOS as the rate code. Rate expires November 15. Cancellation policy is 24 hours before day of arrival.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Port Lavaca
2629 Highway 35 N, Port Lavaca, TX 77979
361.552.5700
Hotel Web Site.

Updated!! January 24-27, 2019: Winter Meeting 2019, Galveston, TX
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May 2-5, 2019: Spring Meeting 2019, Location: San Antonio, TX
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June 2 thru 16, 2018: TOS Returns to Alaska
Byron Stone and Randy Pinkston will co-lead a birding trip for TOS members to Alaska Click for more...

Registration will open Thursday, Nov. 15 at 6 AM. Return to register here on that date.

The trip largely follows the "Trip-of-a-Lifetime" itinerary pioneered by TOS Past-President Jim Hailey on his 11 trips to Alaska for TOS. Birding destinations will include Anchorage, Barrow, Nome, Denali Park, and a boat trip for near-shore pelagic birds out of Seward. That trip last summer (2017), co-led by Jim Hailey and Byron Stone, including Randy Pinkston as a participant, encountered 174 bird species, including 20 species that are very hard to find anywhere in North America other than Alaska. A partial list of such specialty birds includes Arctic and Aleutian Terns, Harlequin Duck, Pacific Loon, Red-necked Grebe, Arctic Warbler, 10 species of alcids, Eastern Yellow Wagtail and the amazing Bluethroat! And then there is the scenery - there is nothing like it in the lower 48. And mammals, including muskoxen and caribou. And the incomparable polygon tundra of Barrow.

This is a rigorous birding trip, with long birding days and lots of travel. Much of the travel will be in isolated backcountry with no facilities. Much of the birding will be along gravel roads or improved trails, but a few locations will require hiking over uneven ground on steep hillsides in order to maximize the prospects for birds.

The trip fee is $3,850 for TOS members and $3,950 for non-members (which includes a one-year TOS membership). It includes ground transport to birding locations in large vans or SUV's, airfare to and from Nome and Barrow, and the fee for the Seward boat trip. Participants will be responsible for airfare to and from Anchorage. In addition participants will be responsible for lodging, meals, tips, drinks and incidentals estimated at $2250 to $2500 per person. Single rooms will be available only in Anchorage and possibly Seward. The minimum number of participants is 9 and maximum is 12.

Initial payment due with registration is $1,925 ($1,975 for non-members), with final payment of $1,925 (members) or $1,975 (non-members) due on February 28, 2019. If you have questions, contact Byron Stone at Drbirdie@aol.com

Current TOS members will be given priority registration. In the event that the trip does not fill by December 15, 2018, then non-members will be given a chance to register for the trip and become TOS members.

TOS Trip Cancellation Policy
This policy applies to TOS field trips or other events that require non-refundable deposits to retain guide services, hotel rooms or transportation.

In the event you have to cancel, refunds are made according to the following schedule:

  • If cancellation is made more than 90 days before departure date, your deposit less $100 will be refunded.
  • If cancellation is made between 60 and 90 days before departure date then 50% of the trip fee is refundable.
  • If cancellation is made fewer than 60 days prior to departure date, there will be no refund of the trip fee.

Note: If you cancel late (less than 90 days before departure), but you are able to find a substitute to take your place (or we have a substitute on a waiting list), once the substitute has paid Texas Ornithological Society in full for the trip, a refund of your deposit less $100 and any non-refundable reservations tied to a specific individual's name (such as internal airfare) will be made.

Other Information
For your protection, the purchase of trip cancellation insurance should be considered. If you take out trip insurance the cost of the insurance is not refundable. Therefore it is best to purchase the policy just prior to making full payment for the trip or at the time you purchase airline tickets, depending upon the airline's restrictions. TOS reserves the right to cancel any tour prior to departure, in which case full refund of the trip fee will constitute full settlement to the participant.

We strongly advise that you wait to purchase non-refundable airline travel until you receive notice from the TOS trip leader or coordinator that the trip meets minimum participation requirements.


© 2017 Texas Ornithological Society -- JG Designs


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