Birding & Nature Club

  • Contact: Tom Stone

  • Meets: 1st Monday each Month @ 7 PM (Nov - March)

  • Location: Library

  • Details:

    • Do you have an interest in nature (expertise not required)?

    • The Sunshine Birding and Nature Club is open to all residents of our community.

    • We typically host a community-wide potluck and bring in a featured speaker for a very enlightening program in January. Watch for notices to be in the Sunshine Newsletter and SEPO
      E-mails for more information closer to that time.

    • Later in the spring we try to have a field trip related to the program, which is also open to the community to participate. Some past trips have included; Port Aransas to see the whooping cranes, South Padre Island Birding boat tours, Laguna Atascosa tour, the Turtle center and the National Birding center.

    • Occasionally a birding walk through our community is hosted by someone with experience in identifying birds. Watch the Sunshine Newsletter and SEPO E-Mails for announcements.
       

    • Background on the Club:

      • The Birding and Nature Club is an offshoot from the volunteers who cleared the area along Texas avenue after hurricane Dolly (July 2008).

      • Prior to hurricane Dolly the brush and trees grew up all the way to the chain link fence in the area past the front gate. Further the swamp and bushes grew up along much of Texas avenue to your left as you drive into our neighborhood.

      • After hurricane Dolly the residents / volunteers decided to clean up the area significantly. Besides clearing the area of brush and broken trees they also raised the money to plant 56 new trees.

      • Those same volunteers built and funded the pergola, the gazebo and the park benches that you now see and enjoy. As you look at the gazebo you will notice that there are a group of panels below the railing. All of the birds shown in those panels have been seen in our Sunshine swamp.

Tap HERE for Meeting Minutes

Tap the timeframe you are interest in for Activities: Additional Details.
 

Meetings and Other Info

Newsletter 2022-02: 

The Sunshine Birding and Nature Club will meet in the library at 7:00pm on Monday, February 7, 2022.  All are invited. We will be discussing the rescheduled field trip and planting trees. Questions?  Text Debi Warner at 956-357-8999.

Sent via SEPO E-News E-Mail 2021-08-29: Blackie has come back - 

We are in luck. An old friend has decided to come back and visit our neighborhood. Blackie has been seen a few times around the neighborhood recently and we haven't seen blackie for some time. That's really unfortunate because blackie is perhaps one of the best friends in nature that we can have.
 
Blackie is officially known as a Texas indigo snake. Now you are probably repulsed by the idea of a snake being our best friend. But do not fear but rarher respect blackie because blackie eats other snakes, poisonous ones as well as a wide variety of other small creatures.  Blackie is neither poisonous nor aggressive but really a very placid creature.  Blackie is the subject of a Texas Parks and Wildlife brochure from which I will share some excerpts with you.
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https://tpwmagazine.com/archive/2015/mar/scout5_wildthing_indigo/
 
"Indigo snakes are big snakes. Most adult indigo snakes grow to between 5½ and 6½ feet in length. The longest recorded indigo snake was nearly 8½ feet long.  Texas indigo snakes are diurnal predators, meaning they are active during the day.  They will eat almost any vertebrate animal they can subdue with their strong jaws, including toads, frogs, salamanders, lizards, turtles, birds, small mammals and other snakes.  One specimen was found with three mice, two Mexican burrowing toads and two juvenile snapping turtles in its stomach.  They are also known to eat rattlesnakes and copperheads, which can be three to four times heavier than an indigo snake.

“It’s a gorgeous snake, and it’s not aggressive,” says Andy Gluesenkamp, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department herpetologist. “If you’re nice to the snake, it’ll give you a chance to look at it.”

Texas indigo snakes are listed by the state as a threatened species, and because of its protected status, it is illegal to harm, kill, collect or sell Texas indigo snakes.

The Texas indigo snake is revered in South Texas, where many ranchers are aware of its propensity for eating predatory rattlesnakes.  Ranchers have a fondness for the Texas indigo snake,” Gluesenkamp says. “It’s a true South Texan snake: charismatic, big and tough.”
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So - since we have seen Blackie around the Estates lately, I would ask you to "just let it be" if you see it.  It is your friend, even if it is a snake.

Take Care     Pat Harvey   Birding and Nature Club

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From: SEPO Community <sepoenews@gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2020 6:40 PM
To: sepoenews@gmail.com
Subject: Birding and Nature

 

Birding and Nature Club will be meeting on Monday, Nov. 2nd at 5:00 p.m. in the gazebo on Texas Avenue.  Please, wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and wear your name tag. You may remain in your golf cart, if your prefer.  A microphone will be used. Business to be discussed includes appointment of two officers, Christmas Bird Count, and plans for 2021. This group is open to anyone in Sunshine who enjoys birds and nature. No expertise is necessary.  After the business meeting, we will stroll through the Texas Avenue area discussing whatever birds and vegetation we encounter. Perhaps, a brief history of the part the Birding and Nature Group played in the creation of this area will be given. Newcomers are always welcome. See you there.     Jean Burgoine

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From: SEPO Community <sepoenews@gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 11:13 AM
To: sepoenews@gmail.com
Subject: Birding and Nature Enthusiasts

 

The Birding and Nature Enthusiasts will hold their monthly meeting in the library on Monday, February 3rd at 7:00 p.m.  Anyone interested is invited to attend.  Items on the agenda include our February field trip and the upkeep of the Texas Avenue area.  The fountain in the butterfly garden needs attention.  See you at the meeting.     Jean Burgoine

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From: SEPO Community <sepoenews@gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 5, 2019 2:28 PM
To: sepoenews@gmail.com
Subject: Texas Master Naturalist

 

Joyce Hamilton of the Texas Master Naturalists will be giving a “BIRDS OF THE VALLEY/SPI” presentation on Thursday, March 7th, at 2 pm in Lakeside Main Room.  Residents of SCCE are invited to attend. Light refreshments will be served. Questions can be directed to Ralph Peterson.

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From: SEPO Community <sepoenews@gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2019 5:25 PM
To: sepoenews@gmail.com
Subject: Monarch Butterflies

 

In our new Butterfly Garden at the former log site the Birding and Nature Club planted native milkweed. The photos, displayed below show Monarch caterpillars which have been feeding on the plants. If left alone by people and birds they will become Monarch Butterflies! Hurray!     Mark Warner