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Birding Clear Creek on the Mainland

April 16 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
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Clear Creek winds its way from Clear Lake through Galveston County on the mainland, providing beneficial freshwater riparian edge habitat to a wide variety of bird species and other wildlife. This pre-festival trip explores two of the hidden gems in the Clear Lake Loop of the Upper Texas Coast – Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, beginning with the beautiful Challenger Seven Memorial Park. We’ll hike along the trails there looking for spring migrants such as Baltimore and Orchard Oriole, Painted and Indigo Bunting, Summer Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and a variety of warblers and vireos. Lingering winter migrants including Osprey, Belted Kingfisher, and Cedar Waxwing are also possible, as well as residents such as Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Bluebird, and most of the possible herons and egrets. (Note: although most of the trails are well-maintained, several include portions of uneven dirt paths.)

We’ll take a break to use the indoor restrooms and eat lunch in the park, and then caravan a short distance to another hotspot along Clear Creek. Despite its urban setting, Heritage Park has a surprising level of bird activity and species variety. We’ll walk the easy trail loop around the pond watching for Tricolored Heron, Green Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, and other waders. The mostly paved trail wanders through mature trees that are very attractive to spring migrants, including lovely old oaks and mulberries that should be bearing fruit. If time allows, we’ll walk the short distance to the Clear Creek overlook, which is usually productive for American White and Brown Pelican, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Forster’s Tern, Common Gallinule, and more.

Bring: water, lunch, sunscreen, and bug spray. Hiking boots or waders recommended, especially if we’ve had wet weather prior to the trip.

Driving directions to the meeting site will be emailed prior to the festival.

Photo: Gary Seloff


Date: April 16
Time: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Cost: $65
Event Category:


Leader Name: Kristine Rivers


Skill Level All
Activity Level Moderate
Transportation Meet at Site