Six rail species winter or live year-round at the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. This year, with an earlier departure time than in past years, this trip provides a good possibility for seeing or hearing them all – Yellow, Black, Sora, Virginia, Clapper and King Rails.
Before the Yellow Rail Walk, the morning will begin with a search for Black Rails, which are very hard to see but can be heard calling most mornings in the spring.
Participants may then choose from two birding options while at Anahuac:
01. The Yellow Rail Walk – led by a refuge biologist who will conduct a Yellow Rail search
This search will be QUITE STRENUOUS and requires moving through marshy areas. Those wishing to add the Yellow Rail to their life list stand a good chance to do so if willing to put in the effort. PARTICIPANTS ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO BRING KNEE-LENGTH RUBBER BOOTS OR WADERS.
02. Birding onsite in roadside ditches and adjacent fields – led by a trip leader
Park roads, trails and boardwalks provide excellent viewing of several varieties of rails, herons, egrets, waterfowl, some raptors, Seaside Sparrows, Marsh and Sedge Wrens, early migrant warblers and alligators.
Note: The cost of this trip including the Yellow Rail Walk is for the FeatherFest buses and trip leaders. The Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge does not charge for any activities on the refuge.
This is a 75-mile bus trip to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge which is located on the mainland side of East Galveston Bay. With 35,000 acres of brackish and freshwater marsh, flooded moist soil units and the East Galveston Bay shoreline, the refuge offers the full range of coastal and migratory birds. Park roads, trails and boardwalks provide excellent viewing of several varieties of rails, herons, egrets, waterfowl, Seaside Sparrows, late Nelson’s Sparrows, Sedge and Marsh Wrens, some raptors, early migrant warblers and alligators. In order to search for the Black and Yellow Rails, buses must get to the refuge as early as possible. Black Rails were heard on this trip last year!
After Anahuac, time permitting, and at the discretion of the trip leaders, there may be brief stops at High Island and/or along the Bolivar Peninsula to check for migrating birds.
Bus & Walk, possibly wet, muddy, uneven ground, rough walking
The Yellow Rail Walk is Strenuous, if you do not participate in the Yellow Rail Walk, the walking will be on trails and roads.