Rockport-Fulton Field Trips
Linda S. Castro Nature Sanctuary
This 4 1/2 acre sanctuary contains 3 distinct habitats…a live oak motte, a remnant of a coastal prairie, and an ephemeral pond. Native shrubs and plants make up the understory. Oak mottes are valuable stopover habitats for migrating songbirds. This coastal prairie consists of native grasses and wildflowers, an ephemeral pond and a Texas native plant garden.
Herons, Egrets, and waterfowl can be found in this area. We will search the salt marshes. Shorebirds, including American Avocet, Marbled Godwit, Long-billed Curlew, Black-bellied Plover, Dowitchers, Dunlin, and Least Sandpiper frequent the acres of exposed mudflat. The shallow waters of Egery Flats attract Caspian, Royal, Sandwich, Gull-billed, Forster’s, and Least Terns. Black Terns may also be seen here in migration.
Cape Velero Drive
This is a windy road with marshes on both sides. We will look for a myriad of shorebirds including Pectoral Sandpiper, American Golden Plover, Roseate Spoonbill, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, and Clapper Rail.
Rockport Beach Park
Upon entering Rockport Beach Park, Little Bay is to the left and Aransas Bay is to the right. At the end of the park there is an observation platform overlooking Bird Island, which is spectacular in the spring with numerous nesting birds. This is a nesting area for many birds including Black Skimmers, Tricolored Herons, Reddish Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Least Terns, Laughing Gulls, Killdeer, and Clapper Rails. Common Spring and Summer Species include Black Tern and Magnificent Frigatebird. Resident birds include Caspian, Royal, and Forster’s Terns, Roseate Spoonbill, and Brown Pelican.
Rockport Demo Garden and
Tule Marsh East
This 5-acre site includes a roadside park, boardwalk, demonstration garden and pond in the back of the property. Common Spring Species include Scarlet and Summer Tanagers, Blue Grosbeak, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo and Painted Buntings, Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, 27 species of Wood Warbler including Ovenbird, Prothonotary and Canada Warblers, as well as Brown-crested and Great-crested Flycatchers, Couch’s and Tropical Kingbirds, and Spotted and Solitary Sandpiper.
Goose Island State Park
The park covers 321.4 acres and is surrounded by both St. Charles and Aransas Bays. The park has a variety of hiking trails, paved roads, feeder stations, and water drips as well as a wildlife viewing area and pier. It also has an area of Live Oak trees with understory, grassy areas, and marsh. There is a wide assortment of spring migrants. Most of the area’s 27 regular Wood Warblers can be found here at the water drips, along with Grosbeaks, Tanagers and Orioles.