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Texas Scramble

A “scramble” is a field trip designed to find the best birds seen by other field trips throughout the festival.  If there is a “fall out” the trip will concentrate on neotropic migrants.  If there are rare birds found we will try for them.  If participants need a certain species for a lifer, we will try for as many requests as possible.

 

Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28

7:00 am to noon                                  $50 per person

“Skimmer” Boat Tour

Join Captain Tommy Moore on the Skimmer for this four hour springtime spectacular. You will visit four separate colonial waterbird rookery islands to see the magnificent spring rituals that take place there.  Many species will be courting, sparring, mating and nesting. Waterbirds- egrets, herons, pelicans, terns, and shorebirds are sure to make you come back for more.

 

This tour will leave from Fulton Harbor in nearby Rockport-Fulton. 

 

No transportation is provided, but it's only an hour from Corpus. 

 

A fun and relaxing tour to end your festival and may even be on your way home.

Sunday only, 8:00 am to  noon.

2019 Trips

 

Our field trips this festival have been planned to give you the best opportunities to see the special endemic birds, as well as to visit those locales which harbor the greatest opportunity to experience our amazing spring bird spectacle. Add to that our local experts who will guide you to our special places and you have the best of all birding trips. Our field trips have been designed with a low ratio of leaders to participants.

 

Water and snacks provided on all trips. Remember to bring your own bug spray and sunscreen. The times listed are for departure, please plan to arrive 15 minutes early. All field trips are limited, so to get your first choice, sign up early.

King Ranch

 
DH-Least Grebe WM.jpg
Becky Johnson-Vermilion Flycatcher WM.jp

Every birder needs to visit the storied King Ranch at least once in their lifetime. The 4 Divisions of the ranch span over 825,000 acres, an area larger than Rhode Island. Named as a site on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail and as a Globally Important Bird Area by the American Bird Conservancy.  the ranch boasts a bird list of 363 species.  Over the years, the ranch has also hosted a large number of rare birds including Double-striped Thick-knee, Eurasian Wigeon, Masked Duck, Aplomado Falcon, and Garganey.

The Norias Division has vast tracts of habitat that are home to a variety of South Texas specialty birds, including Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Tropical Parula, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Audubon’s Oriole, Botteri’s Sparrow, Green Jay, White-tailed Hawk, Olive Sparrow, and much more.

 

This has been the most popular field trip and sells out very quickly. This full-day of birding comes with lunch, vegetarian available.  

Space is limited to 18 per day maximum.

Thursday, April 25 & Saturday, April 27

5:30 am to 3:30 pm                $140 per person

The Laureles Division of King Ranch is the nearby northern region of the ranch and will explore a variety of coastal habitats.  Laureles contains one of Texas' largest freshwater marshes. We should have a bonanza of sparrows and hawks on its prairies- recent April trips have counted 10,000+ hawks. This trip will not look for Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Tropical Parula and some of King Ranch's other unique birds which are only found in the Norias Division of the ranch.

Wednesday, April 24

 7:30 am to 12:00 pm             $60 per person

 

The Santa Gertrudis Division  

is the third largest and was the area that Captain King first starting buying land for what would become the King Ranch.  This division is primarily in Kleberg county and has a variety of brushland habitats as well as some ponds and lakes.  This diversity of habitats and the time of year of this tour should provide a nice diversity of lingering winter residents, summer residents, and tropical bird species.  Some of the birds we will be looking for include Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Northern Bobwhite, Least Grebe, Greater Roadrunner, White-tailed Hawk, Crested Caracara, Vermillion Flycatcher, Green Jay, Olive Sparrow, and more.

Friday, April 26

7:00 am to 12:30 pm              $65 per person

Fennessey Ranch

 

This ranch consists of 4,000 acres of abundant wetlands, meadows, natural lakes, riparian woods and brushland, bordered on three sides by the Mission River. Spring migration tours on the ranch have been offered for over two decades. Over 400 bird species have been tallied here.

 

Our half-day trip will travel through the most primitive part of the ranch, encompassing prairie, riparian wetland and marsh habitats. Expect to see resident Bald Eagles. Other probable birds include Green Jay, Roadrunner and Painted Bunting.

Trip leaders will include Sally “Famous Shoes” Crofutt and other local experts.

Saturday, April 27

6:30 to 12:30 pm                    $60 per person.

 

This site is one of the Top 5 Christmas Bird Counts in the nation.  A very productive area where over 350 species of birds have been reported on the wildlife management area.  The tour will drive through freshwater marshes with Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Cinnamon Teal, Least Bittern and Purple Gallinule. 

 

We will walk along the road through the lush riparian forest of the Guadalupe River floodplain where we will seek Anhinga, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Barred Owl, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Prothonotary Warbler, and migrant flycatcher, thrushes and warblers.

This full-day trip comes with lunch, vegetarian available.

Friday, April 26

6:00 am to 3:30 pm                    $75 per person.

 

Driving on the beach while looking for shorebirds and seabirds is a treat for those that do not live near the ocean.  Add in a world class neotropic migrant trap and very birdy fresh water pond and marsh, plus sparrows, ducks, and waders makes this area fairly easy to see over 100 species in a single day.  

 

We are doing this field trip on the first two days of the festival because the weekend will bring hoards of people to the beach for Sand Fest.

 

Wednesday, April 24 & Thursday, April 25

7:00 am to noon                      $50 per person

Port Aransas Hot Spots

Rockport-Fulton Hot Spots

 

This field trip has it all, beaches, coastal prairie, fresh water pond and marsh, oak mottes and so much more.

Shorebirds, waders, sparrows, and of course neotropic migrants, it would be easily to say what it would not have.

This full-day trip does not come with lunch, but we will stop by Subway to pick up sandwiches (or whatever you choose) and have a picnic.

 

Thursday, April 25 and Friday, April 26

6:30 am to 3:30 pm                $65

Hazel Bazemore Park and Pollywog Pond

 

Best known for its fall hawk watch, with the largest and most diverse migration of raptors in the U.S., this park will also give you a healthy nearby taste of South Texas. Green Jays, Kiskadees, White-tipped Dove, Couch's Kingbird and Buff-bellied Hummingbirds are only a few of our special species regularly seen at Hazel. More than one person has found their “lifer” Groove-billed Ani here. The bird list for the park currently stands at 351 species.

 

Pollywog Ponds lie a stone's throw east of Hazel Bazemore Park. With its lush vegetation and marshy areas, Pollywog consistently holds remarkable birds in any season. Least Grebes are here year-round. Green Kingfishers are resident. Watch for unusual strays here- can you say Masked Duck? Piratic Flycatcher? Stay on your toes at this site. Per eBird, 325 bird species have been found at Pollywog.

 

Saturday, April 27

6:30 am to noon                                  $50 per person.

Lake Choke Canyon State Park

 

This lake is located north of Corpus Christi, at the edge of thorn-brush desert which hosts a somewhat different suite of birds. We may gain entry to the riparian area below the dam as well.

 

The diversity here is terrific, with a hundred species being possible. 325 species have been recorded in eBird for Choke Canyon. Audubon Oriole, Cactus Wren, Verdin, Black-throated Sparrow, Black Phoebe and Vermilion Flycatcher will be some of our target birds.

 

This full-day trip comes with lunch, vegetarian available.

Friday, April 26

5:30 am to 3:30 pm                $75 per person

Big Day- FULL DAY TRIP

 

This full day trip will be fast-paced, challenging and fun. Seeing and hearing as many species of birds as possible in a single day is not for everyone, but a Must when you're in Corpus Christi this time of year. We will go to as many spots as possible, based on where our advance scouting directs us that day. With good weather and even better luck you may join the 150 club! Rest assured, our best eyes and ears will be leading this trip.

Lunch (not included) will be flexible, maybe a stop at a local Whataburger (a Texas staple that originated in Corpus Christi), as we will all need a mid-day break. 

Saturday, April 27 only

6:00 am to 4:30 pm                            $75 per person

Shorebirds of the Coastal Bend

 

The numbers and variety of shorebirds in the Coastal Bend are incredible. This field trip is designed especially for those of you who find shorebirds interesting but also challenging to identify. Think of this outing as a workshop to hone your skills.

 

Target birds include Snowy and Piping Plover, Reddish Egret, and American Oystercatcher. The leaders will scout the day before to provide the best possibility for the most species.

Make sure you attend Mel Cooksey's presentation on Thursday to prepare for the trip.

Thursday, April 25 and Saturday, April 27

 7:00 am until noon.                            $50 per person.

Chasing Warblers and other Migrants!

 

For many, this is what Spring migration is all about in our region. Many April days, the sport of finding an abundance of migrating land birds streaming through our area is a fun and exhausting challenge. We know the most likely nearby hot spots to find them and these trips will get you there. Our experts will identify and choose the areas you'll see based on weather conditions. You never know what you'll turn up this time of year. On good days 20 plus species of warbler are possible….plus buntings, groesbeaks, tanagers, orioles and more!

 

Wednesday, April 24,

Thursday, April 25, & Friday, April 26

7:00 am to noon                                  $50 per person

 

 

Guadalupe Delta Wildlife Management Area