Don’t miss this popular field trip to the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, which is designated an Internationally Significant Shorebird site and contains more water than land within its 44,000+ acres.
We’ll leave dark and early on our bus trip to the refuge, crossing San Luis Pass at sunrise and making a quick stop to check for rails in the lagoons. As we continue westward along the Bluewater Highway, we’ll check the small lagoons along the way for nesting herons and keep an eye out over the wetlands for raptors. We’ll continue along the levee road that follows Oyster Creek, offering the possibility of Ospreys, White Pelicans, and lingering winter waterfowl.
Once in the refuge, we will enjoy the boardwalk and short trail looking for neotropical migrants before taking the auto tour with frequent stops at birdy areas. Bay waters, saltwater marshes, fresh and salt water estuaries, mud flats, ponds, and winding bayous provide ideal wintering grounds for raptors, shorebirds, and thousands of migratory waterfowl, and some are likely to still be present. In addition, we should see other wildlife including alligators, nutria, and other marsh animals.
We’ll enjoy seeing the seascape along Bluewater Highway in a completely different light on our return trip, stopping along the way to continue birding as time allows.
Potential Sightings: Purple and Common Gallinule, Seaside Sparrow, Sora, Least Bittern, Northern Harrier, White-tailed Kite, Crested Caracara, Black-crowned and Yellow-crowned Night-Herons, Roseate Spoonbill, Cinnamon Teal, Lesser Scaup, Mottled Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Boat-tailed Grackle, “peeps,” gulls, terns, up to three species of ibis, and early migrant songbirds such as Red-eyed and White-eyed Vireo, Yellow Warbler, and Baltimore Oriole.
Bring: water, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray
Note: The cost of this trip is to cover festival expenses. The Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge does not charge for any activities on the refuge.