Sharpstown Roost

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Patrick W. Dusek
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 9:35 pm
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

No birds shopping at the mall!!! :-( Went on 6/10. Later Patrick
Spring time yet???
Guest

Patrick: Do you live close by? If so, can you check again now? I live up on the north side of Houston in Spring and go to the roost at the Willowbrook Mall area (see my other post about that). But the Willowbrook roost is smaller than this one...

The radar images I was looking at sure seem to indicate that the PMs are back at Sharpstown Mall this year...

Thanks, ClaireM
Patrick W. Dusek
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 9:35 pm
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

ClaireM, I past bye last night on 59 south, and did not notice any in the trees. Unless they moved to a different part of the parking lot. If you really think they are at or around the mall I can take a look. Patrick
Spring time yet???
Guest

Patrick: Thanks so much for going by to check. Since you didn't find anything, I worked on this more today using the wunderground radar (which is only available for four hours -- no history past that available that I can find).

Patrick & Everybody: I created a Word doc & a PDF with several radar images in it & some speculation about where the roost southwest of Houston may be... However, I can't attach it in this forum. So, I made some pictures out of the doc & have attached them to this post.

The roost southwest of Houston is definitely too far out of town to be Galleria – and using Wunderground and zooming in, I see that it is even too far out to be Sharpstown – maybe originating somewhere between South Kirkwood Road and Dairy Ashford Road (?) near Highway 59 South...? Take a look at the pictures below especially picture #3 below and see where you think the roost might be...? And if you are nearby that area, maybe you can head out about 30 minutes before sunset & see if you see them coming in...?

Thanks for the help.

-- ClaireM
Attachments
Picture #5:  Last radar image of roost dispersal at 6:30 a.m.  Also, another image after all PMs have left.
Picture #5: Last radar image of roost dispersal at 6:30 a.m. Also, another image after all PMs have left.
Purple Martin roost southwest of Houston - 5.JPG (83.93 KiB) Viewed 9572 times
Picture #4:  Radar images at 6:21a and 6:26a showing the "donut" confirguration as the PMs leave the roosts in Houston area.
Picture #4: Radar images at 6:21a and 6:26a showing the "donut" confirguration as the PMs leave the roosts in Houston area.
Purple Martin roost southwest of Houston - 4.JPG (110.36 KiB) Viewed 9568 times
Picture #3:  Radar image and close-up at 6:16a of roost southwest of Houston with possible general location indicated.
Picture #3: Radar image and close-up at 6:16a of roost southwest of Houston with possible general location indicated.
Purple Martin roost southwest of Houston - 3.JPG (112.36 KiB) Viewed 9603 times
Picture #2:  Radar image at 6:11a showing two areas in Houston area where PMs are leaving their roosts.  Location in northwest Houston is known (just to the north of Willowbrook Mall in the Room Store parking lot at 7690 FM 1960 Rd West), but the one sout
Picture #2: Radar image at 6:11a showing two areas in Houston area where PMs are leaving their roosts. Location in northwest Houston is known (just to the north of Willowbrook Mall in the Room Store parking lot at 7690 FM 1960 Rd West), but the one sout
Purple Martin roost southwest of Houston - 2.JPG (72.06 KiB) Viewed 9609 times
Picture #1: Two initial radar images.  First one at 5:17a before any activity.  Second at 6:01a when the PMs are first starting to leave their roosts in the Houston area.
Picture #1: Two initial radar images. First one at 5:17a before any activity. Second at 6:01a when the PMs are first starting to leave their roosts in the Houston area.
Purple Martin roost southwest of Houston - 1.JPG (74.7 KiB) Viewed 9633 times
Guest

In trying to recall my days in the military in which I was a radar oprator there was a situation of temperature inversion that would make ground clutter appearing on the screen to do some crazy things.I can't remember all the details but are we sure the doughnut you are searching for is not just that?T he radars of to day should be greatly advanced over the ones I operated ,its been a while,I was discharged in Feb 1963 :grin:

dick
Don Troha
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:14 pm
Location: Texas/Houston

ClaireM, I've also been watching the radar on that SW Houston roost for
the past couple of days trying to get a better reading on the location.
I agree, it appears to be further out, maybe near the intersection of 59 & 90A.
This is nearby so I'm planning to head out there tonight to take a look.
Don
2020 - 16 pair, 70 fledged
2019 - 14 pair, 61 fledged
2018 - 15 pair, 63 fledged
2017 - 11 pair, 46 fledged
2016 - 5 pair, 22 fledged
2015 - 3 pair, 13 fledged
2014 - 3 pair, 12 fledged
2013 - 3 pair, 12 fledged
2012 - 2 pair, 8 fledged
2011 - 1 pair, 2 fledged
Patrick W. Dusek
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 9:35 pm
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

I FOUND IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Radar does not lie. Its at The Fountains at Hwy 59 south Hwy 90. The line of trees that feed up to the store called Rack Room Shoes, is the place to be. Right next to Old Navy. Park out in front of Old Navy. This is about 7 Mins. from my house, this is GREAT. I will be taking many people to see this. A worker at Old Navy said they have been there about 3 weeks. Thanks for the tip Clairem!!!! Don, did you find them. See you there!!! Patrick in Sugar Land :grin: :grin: 8)
Spring time yet???
Guest

Patrick: FANTASTIC! Thanks so much for finding it! I can't wait to visit.

Would you mind going to the following site and submitting a roost report for this?

http://purplemartin.org/roost/roostdetail.php?roost=333

If you could include the address for Old Navy (12634 Fountain Lake Cir, Stafford, TX), that would help people with GPS to find the exact location.

FYI, I have sent an email to PCMA asking them to change the name of that roost from "Houston East Side" to "Southwest Houston" -- last year it was at KBR (just east of downtown), but now it has moved out to Stafford.

GREAT JOB!!

-- ClaireM
Don Troha
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:14 pm
Location: Texas/Houston

Yep. I found it too. Except I found them at the park behind the Fountain Lake shopping center.
There are thousands of Martins perched on the power lines back there, and a swarm of birds
skimming across the pond getting sips of water. I'll try to post some pics.
Thanks ClaireM, Lavergne, and Patrick for the radar tips.

No luck getting any pics to upload here. So I put them on FB and opened up viewing permissions to all.
You do not have to have an account to view these.
http://on.fb.me/qTxJei

Sorry I don't have a public place to post videos. These are on FB and open to all but you must be logged in to view.
http://on.fb.me/qRr3T0
http://on.fb.me/qvR19f
http://on.fb.me/psSgeK
Last edited by Don Troha on Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2020 - 16 pair, 70 fledged
2019 - 14 pair, 61 fledged
2018 - 15 pair, 63 fledged
2017 - 11 pair, 46 fledged
2016 - 5 pair, 22 fledged
2015 - 3 pair, 13 fledged
2014 - 3 pair, 12 fledged
2013 - 3 pair, 12 fledged
2012 - 2 pair, 8 fledged
2011 - 1 pair, 2 fledged
Guest

good glad to hear it,,,,I know exactly where you are referemcing....

is there any rhyme or reason to the selection of a roost site by the Purple Martins?

dick
Laverne
Posts: 2216
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: TX/Alvin
Martin Colony History: Erected 1st house in 1997. Birds were checking it out before Mike got down from the ladder. Six cavities had a little colony 1st year. Grown to 88 cavities all gourds with near 100% occupancy. Most important factor for success is rain = bugs.

Good job, everyone! You are all a great bunch of detectives!!

Now... when I look at the radar this morning I find a bloom down old 90 between Rosenberg and Eagle Lake. It appears to be originating just east of Eagle Lake. Is this the same spot y'all are talking about? Or could this be an auxillary roost to the big one in Stafford?

If anybody lives near Eagle Lake -- or Dick, maybe you could run out there this evening about 30 minutes before sunset and let us know what you find. Trust me, these are not ground clutter (unless you call 100,000 Purple Martins ground clutter)...

Enjoy...

I hope to get out there and have a look myself one day soon before they are all gone.

Sincerely,
Laverne
Sincerely,
Laverne
Guest

Dick: In Houston this group of PMs seems to consistently choose oak trees near water usually with some nearby mercury lights shining down on the trees. Maybe the lights & being around people help with predation?

Patrick & Don: How many PMs would you say were at the roost?

I can't wait to get there -- I'm hoping to be able to go tonight. :grin:

Thanks, ClaireM
Laverne
Posts: 2216
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: TX/Alvin
Martin Colony History: Erected 1st house in 1997. Birds were checking it out before Mike got down from the ladder. Six cavities had a little colony 1st year. Grown to 88 cavities all gourds with near 100% occupancy. Most important factor for success is rain = bugs.

dicklaxt wrote:good glad to hear it,,,,I know exactly where you are referemcing....

is there any rhyme or reason to the selection of a roost site by the Purple Martins?

dick
Nobody knows how to predict where a roost will form - only the PMs who start it know that for sure...

But, if you read this information, you will know as much as the rest of us do... :wink:

http://purplemartin.org/roost/
Sincerely,
Laverne
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

The one at Stafford where 59 meets 90 was very easy to see on radar this morning. It must be large. Thanks for finding the exact location, we may go see it this weekend.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Guest

Laverne wrote:Good job, everyone! You are all a great bunch of detectives!!

Now... when I look at the radar this morning I find a bloom down old 90 between Rosenberg and Eagle Lake. It appears to be originating just east of Eagle Lake. Is this the same spot y'all are talking about? Or could this be an auxillary roost to the big one in Stafford?

If anybody lives near Eagle Lake -- or Dick, maybe you could run out there this evening about 30 minutes before sunset and let us know what you find. Trust me, these are not ground clutter (unless you call 100,000 Purple Martins ground clutter)...

Enjoy...

I hope to get out there and have a look myself one day soon before they are all gone.

Sincerely,
Laverne


Laverne: This looks to be a small auxiliary roost to me -- seems like it starts on Farm Road 1875 halfway between Tavener and Beasley. Looks like Beasley is about 5 miles WSW of Rosenberg. The only thing I see there is some farms, so maybe they are roosting in some of the oaks along 1875?

How many PMs do you think are in the roost in Stafford?

-- ClaireM
Guest

Golly Laverne I just asked a question :grin:

dick
Don Troha
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:14 pm
Location: Texas/Houston

Patrick & Don: How many PMs would you say were at the roost?
I'm a novice bird observer, so I can't say that I'm very good at counting birds.
That stretch of power lines is maybe a quarter of a mile long and the Martins are occupying the two top wires.
Doing some simple math, if there are 3 birds per foot, that comes out to about 8000 just on the power lines.
There were plenty more in the air, in the towers, and in the trees below. As Patrick reported, there were more
in the shopping center parking lot nearby. I did not make it over there so I did not get a feel for how many might be there.
Hope this gives you a feel for the number of PMs at this roost. btw, i think i finally figured out this picture attachment thing. :)
Don
Attachments
PMs in the power line structure at Gordon Park behind The Fountains, Stafford TX, 07/21/11.
PMs in the power line structure at Gordon Park behind The Fountains, Stafford TX, 07/21/11.
P7210061small.JPG (140.98 KiB) Viewed 9572 times
PMs on the power lines over Gordon Park behind The Fountains, Stafford TX, 07/21/11.
PMs on the power lines over Gordon Park behind The Fountains, Stafford TX, 07/21/11.
P7210062small.JPG (96.55 KiB) Viewed 9585 times
2020 - 16 pair, 70 fledged
2019 - 14 pair, 61 fledged
2018 - 15 pair, 63 fledged
2017 - 11 pair, 46 fledged
2016 - 5 pair, 22 fledged
2015 - 3 pair, 13 fledged
2014 - 3 pair, 12 fledged
2013 - 3 pair, 12 fledged
2012 - 2 pair, 8 fledged
2011 - 1 pair, 2 fledged
Patrick W. Dusek
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 9:35 pm
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

Its hard for me to pick a # on how many birds. All I know its thousands and thousandssssssssss. Please come see them this is great! Patrick
Spring time yet???
Guest

Patrick W. Dusek wrote:Its hard for me to pick a # on how many birds. All I know its thousands and thousandssssssssss. Please come see them this is great! Patrick
I'll be there tonight in my maroon Prius -- come by & say "hi".

-- ClaireM
Laverne
Posts: 2216
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: TX/Alvin
Martin Colony History: Erected 1st house in 1997. Birds were checking it out before Mike got down from the ladder. Six cavities had a little colony 1st year. Grown to 88 cavities all gourds with near 100% occupancy. Most important factor for success is rain = bugs.

dicklaxt wrote:Golly Laverne I just asked a question :grin:

dick
I'm sorry, Dick -- I get excited, but never said anything that I meant to hurt your feelings. Please forgive me...?

Sincerely,
Laverne
Sincerely,
Laverne
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