Going Coastal: Birding the Texas North Coast and More

 

April 14 – 20, 2019

The Texas coast is one of North America’s hottest birding destinations. The coast and adjoining habitats are flooded with migrating songbirds, shorebirds, and raptors each spring. Millions of birds wing their way across the Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatan Peninsula to the coastal regions of the United States, creating premium bird watching opportunities. Join the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin in this custom birding experience with outstanding expert bird guides from April 14-20, 2019.

We begin birding on Galveston Island, Texas, scoping its gulf coast, saltwater beaches, inland brackish marshes, and flooded spring fields. Be prepared for numerous mixed flocks of shorebirds, ducks, rails, terns, gulls, along with scissor-tailed flycatchers and many more.

We visit iconic birding sites like Bolivar Flats and High Island – possibly experiencing the phenomena of a ‘fall out.’ This weather dependent event results in spectacular numbers of exhausted migrating birds ‘falling out’ of the sky to land in coastal natural areas after an arduous 600-mile crossing of the Gulf of Mexico. During these life-sustaining landings, birds rest and eat to restore energy for their continuing northbound journey. Consumed with these activities, they are often seemingly oblivious to humans nearby, providing exceptional opportunities for birders to view unbelievable concentrations of birds, including warblers, tanagers, grosbeaks, and many more.

The following days, we move slightly inland to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge and nearby areas and to stay at Oyster Bayou Hunting Club Lodge – surrounded by fresh and brackish wetlands. Possible sightings include black, yellow and king rails, numerous herons, egrets, least bittern, and spoonbills.

Our last day segment of our Texas tour takes us to Beaumont and the Big Thicket region of East Texas. Known for its abundant pine trees, this coniferous dominated area is also known for excellent Neotropical migrants, a couple of rare birds and a few habitat specialists – a great combination for bird watchers! Target species include Bachman’s sparrow, red-cockaded woodpecker, and brown-headed nuthatch. We’ll also search for Neotropical migrants like prothonotary warbler, yellow-throated vireo, painted bunting, and Kentucky and worm-eating warblers.

This destination tour provides a great opportunity for upper Midwest birders to refine their observation skills and expand their birding knowledge and life lists.

This tour includes three expert bird guides familiar with Texas birds and leading tours. Bird guides include internationally known Kevin Karlson, Houstonian birder Glenn Olsen, and Galveston bird guide David Hanson. Naturalist Paul Regnier is tour planner and leader and is knowledgeable with the Texas experience.

 

Trip Highlights

  • Three expert bird guides familiar with Texas birds, habitats, and leading tours. Bird guides include internationally known Kevin Karlson, Houstonian birder Glenn Olsen, and Galveston bird guide David Hanson.
  • Small group experience. With three guides and small groups, all levels of birders will enjoy this trip!
  • Hot spots. Visits to birding hot spots like Bolivar Flats, High Island, Galveston Island coastal habitats, salt and fresh water wetlands, and Piney Woods area.
  • Rare sightings and life birds! Opportunities for rare and uncommon bird sightings like include Bachman’s sparrow, red-cockaded woodpecker, reddish egret, swallow-tailed kite, brown-headed nuthatch, magnificent frigatebird, piping plover, black rail, and more.

Pricing and Registration

Price per person is $1975 based on double occupancy. Single supplement is available for $350. A deposit of $500 is required to secure reservations. Final payment is due February 8, 2019.

To Register: Please send name, address phone, email, single or double and deposit to Paul Regnier, Door County Tours (address and contact info below). Make checks payable to Door County Tours.

Cost includes: The cost includes a $200 donation to the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, six nights of lodging, some meals, ground transportation in Texas, three birding guides, tour and park fees, plenty of birds and more. The tour is limited to 10 travelers and two leaders. Airfare to and from Texas is not included. The tour begins and ends in Houston.

Not included in costs: Flights to and from Houston, Texas, meals (see schedule), incidental costs and tips.

Cancellations: All cancellations must be made in writing or email and are subject to a $75 cancellation fee. In addition to the cancellation fee, the following cancellation penalties are as follows: 60-45 days prior to departure, 25% of total price; 44-15 days prior to departure, 50% of total price; 14 or less days prior to departure, 100% of total price. For questions, scheduling special needs or requests, contact Paul Regnier. See contact information below.

Deadline to register is February 8, 2019.

Paul Regnier

Paul Regnier

Door County Tours

(920) 493-1572
[email protected]

Door County Tours
PO Box 136
Baileys Harbor, WI 54202

Paul Regnier owns and operates Door County Tours LLC, which specializes in customized group travel focusing on programs highlighting natural and cultural history. He is a frequent traveler and professional naturalist. He received his B.S and M.S. from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point.