We offer this trip to those who would like a slower paced trip to Houston Audubon’s two world famous sanctuaries, Smith Oaks, and Boy Scout Woods. Although this is still a mostly walking trip, we will allow time to stand and/or sit to observe the splendor that is High Island birding. We schedule this trip for late afternoon to catch any lingering migrants and catch afternoon arrivals who have spent 10+ hours flying nonstop across the Gulf of Mexico.
From under an ancient sea, a salt dome emerged. After a few thousand years the dome reached 38-feet above a pancake-flat coastal plain; the highest point-of-land on the immediate coast from Mobile Bay to the Yucatan Peninsula. This is High Island, which is now a wooded beacon amongst the coastal marshland providing food, water, and places to rest for weary Gulf migrants. The daily afternoon arrival of neotropic migrants often includes dozens of species, along with local and resident waterfowl, raptors, seabirds, shorebirds, and passerines. Weather fronts in April and May can easily produce over 100 species (including 30+ species of warblers) in a single day! One of High Island’s best features is a man-made reservoir: Clay Bottom Pond. Colonial waterbirds- who prefer islands for nesting to deter mammalian predators- found the U-shaped Island in the middle the pond perfect for a rookery. Nine species of heron, egret, spoonbill, ibis, cormorant, and Anhinga nest within inches of each other, offering birders a close view of the annual dramedy of waterbird nesting activity including vibrant breeding plumage, mating hustle and nestlings.
Read more about High Island on the Houston Audubon website.
This is a meet-at-site trip. Driving directions will be provided prior to the trip.
Bring: water, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray