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Damien Carey

Damien CareyAnnually, Damien Carey leads field trips for Houston area birding and nature groups. He’s lead field trips throughout Texas. He founded the Lake Houston Area Nature Club in 1995. In 1999, he established and compiled the Lake Houston CBC and Sheldon Lake SP (SLSP) WBC. He also compiles the Texas Colonial Waterbird Census of SLSP’s rookery islands. Carey rewrote the “Birds of Sheldon Lake SP” in 2006. He serves on the advisory board of Legacy Land Trust (LLT) and conducts habitat valuations and baseline bird surveys in support of its conservancy efforts. Sparrows are a passion of Carey’s and he conducted several surveys for Project Prairie Bird. He has served as president and a director of the Friends of Sheldon Lake SP since he founded it in 2004. He speaks on behalf of conservation, birds and birding, to civic and service clubs. He is active in advocating for more access to the outdoors for families. With his wife Caroline, he established a nature club for at-risk children at a Humble ISD elementary school. Inspired by the students’ fascination of bird song, he wrote The Stories of Mimm, an oral story that offers a fanciful answer to the riddle of “why mockingbirds mock” and a lesson about conservation. When not birding he can often be found wade fishing in the waters around Galveston. He is a business consultant and writer.

Upcoming Events

April 2023
April 18 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

In northeast Harris County, Lake Houston dams the confluence of the two forks of the San Jacinto River, Luce Bayou and Cypress Creek. The mighty San Jac watershed bottomlands hold a bounty of flora and fauna along its courses. Beaver and river otter share Lake Houston with alligator and banded water snakes to name a few. Overhead gulls, pelican and waterbirds move in groups plying the water of the lake for fish. In the spring, the dawn song from the forest is large and loud. Target local nesters include Brown-headed Nuthatch, Red- headed Woodpecker, Bald Eagle, Anhinga and Pine Warbler. Neotropic nesters we hope to encounter: Prothonotary Warbler, Swainson’s Warbler, Painted Bunting, Hooded Warbler, Purple Gallinule and Yellow-billed cuckoo. This habitat also serves the avian migration north, with respite for Blue Grosbeak, Black-throated Green Warbler, Swainson’s Hawk, Western Sandpiper and many others.

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April 19 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Sheldon Lake was created in the early 1940’s as a water supply reservoir in support of war industries along the Houston Ship Channel. In 1953 TPWD acquired the reservoir and adjacent property as a waterfowl research management area. Twenty-eight islands were created along the west and south levees to prevent excessive wave erosion on the levees. Over the years the islands have become host to one of the largest inland Colonial Waterbird rookeries on the upper Texas coast. We will leave the boat ramp as a group and work our way among the islands. Some of the birds we may see: 5 species of heron, 3 species of egrets, White and Dark Ibis, Anhinga, Roseate Spoonbill, 4 species of Hawk, and migratory and nesting passerines. We might also see Nutria, Otters, and if lucky, one of the Bald Eagles that nest nearby.

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April 20 @ 7:00 am - 12:00 pm

This Nature Conservancy preserve is 2,303 acres of coastal prairie at the intersection of urban expanse and rural beauty. The coastal grasslands found here are vital to the natural resilience of the Gulf Coast—prairies and marshlands act as a natural buffer during storms and hurricanes, absorbing and dispersing water from storm surges and floods. The sponge-like qualities of the prairie are also important for filtering the freshwater that flows into the Gulf of Mexico—more than three million gallons enter the…

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April 20 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Upper Texas Coast (UTC) birders begin their birding life chasing showy warblers; THE group of birds most responsible for turning casual nature lovers into birders. Annually, UTC birders find about three dozen or so warbler species each Spring; sometimes 25+ in a day. Though warblers can be accessible in numbers, they’re restless subjects that are hard to keep in a binocular view. Though colorfully plumed, it is daunting to tease them apart. It’s the finding and teasing apart of the warblers that makes for better and lifelong birders. Yep! Warblers can teach you birding skills.

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April 21 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am

Ever chase a bird song in the canopy of tall oaks then chase it until the bird stops singing? Ever sit in your backyard and hear a strange bird song in the distance? In both cases you had no chance to see the bird. In both cases you wondered what it was. All birds vocalize and for songbirds’ song is necessary for species survival. A unique biology found only in birds lies behind bird song and communication. The genetics that drive bird vocalizations are not very different than humans.

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April 21 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

This trip takes you to a private property owned by the Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) and not generally open to the public. GBF has conserved over 13,000 acres of critical coastal habitat in and around Galveston Bay. For decades, groundwater pumping in the region caused massive subsidence and contributed to the loss of wetlands. That coastal erosion meant wetlands around the bay sank into the water. Like many parts of Galveston Island, Sweetwater Preserve has sustained severe erosion. A 1,000-foot oyster reef project is part of larger restoration efforts in which the foundation has planted marsh along the shoreline. The reef protects the marsh from more degradation and protects the 464-acre property. This property includes a mixture of habitats including coastal prairie, estuarine marsh, salt flats, freshwater wetlands, brackish wetlands, and coastal woodlots.

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April 22 @ 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The accident of geology makes the Upper Texas Coast a beacon to weary neotropical migrants finishing a 10+ hour, nonstop flight across the Gulf of Mexico. From under an ancient sea, a salt dome emerged. After a few thousand years the dome reached just 38-feet above a pancake-flat coastal plain where it became covered with 20-30-foot oak trees, creating a vast canopy. This created High Island, which is now a beacon to weary Trans-Gulf migrants. This area provides wooded habitat…

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