Explore the mainland beyond the western tip of Galveston Island, along Bluewater Highway, and in route to Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, with guides who know this very pleasant trip well. BNWR is a 40,000-acre refuge famous for its spectacular birding.
Snooze for the first part of the trip, then leave Galveston Island by way of the San Luis Pass toll bridge as the sun comes up behind you. If the tide is low, take a quick look for shorebirds on the sand flats of Follets Island, on the west and north side of the bridge (or make a note to stop there on the way back.) Then move west along Bluewater Highway where there are small lagoons on the beach side of the road with salt cedar brush, nesting herons and usually some remnant wintering waterfowl. The land on the north side is flat and you can see from beach to bay. Keep an eye open for raptors and then make tracks for Brazoria NWR and a broader range of birding.
This year we have an entry permit into the Roger’s Pond Area on Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge where visitors cannot normally visit.
A number of rare bird sightings have been reported from this refuge. In winter, thousands of migrating ducks and geese stop over, relishing the fresh water marsh habitats, and some are likely to still be present. Neotropical migratory birds will also be on view, plus late wintering raptors. It is also a place to see alligators and many marsh animals. The return journey, along the coastal highway, close to the sea and bay in the afternoon, will again be spectacular under a different light, with some predictably “birdy” stops along the way, as time permits.
Targets: Purple Gallinules, Seaside Sparrow, Sora , Least Bittern, Northern Harrier, White-tailed Kite, Black-crowned and Yellow-crowned Night-Herons, White and White-faced Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Blue-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Mottled Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Common Gallinule, American Coot, “peeps,” gulls, terns, and early migrant songbirds
Note: The cost of this trip is for the Festival buses and trip leaders. The Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge does not charge for any activities on the refuge.
Bring water, snacks, lunch
Bus & Walk