This is your opportunity to explore “the other side” of Galveston Bay. We head over the causeway bridge to explore birding areas on the Mainland side of Galveston Bay in the Tiki Island, Texas City, and La Marque areas. One of our best kept secrets and most under explored areas, participants will be surprised at the number and variety of birds seen on this outing. Birding locations may include some privately-owned land with fresh water ponds that provide easy observation of migrating shorebirds and ducks. American Golden Plover, Upland Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, and Wilson’s Phalarope are often seen at this location during migration.
We then continue to the Texas City Dike, one of the world’s longest man-made piers. This levee extends over 5 miles into East Galveston Bay. Along its length, it offers magnificent views of the lower bay, including nearby coastlines and islands including the Bolivar Peninsula, Virginia Point, Pelican Island, and the East End of Galveston. It is also famous for the many brown pelicans that call it home year-round. Recreational areas along the dike and Skyline Drive provide excellent vantage points to see birds in a true marine environment. These underappreciated birding spots are excellent locations to see Eared Grebe, Common Loon and late wintering waterfowl. Along the shoreline, we will look for Roseate Spoonbill, Great and Snowy Egrets, Ruddy Turnstone, American Oystercatcher, various peeps, and other shorebirds. Out in the bay, we will look for the Red-breasted Merganser, Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, and Ruddy Duck. We may even see a Peregrine Falcon perched on a structure or flying overhead! Rarities such as Greater Flamingo, Great Black-backed Gull, Glaucous Gull, Pacific Loon and the white morph of the Great Blue Heron have been seen here in the past.
Continuing, we will look for colonies of nesting Cave and Cliff Swallows under several interstate overpasses. If time permits, we may visit Highland Bayou Park seeking Anhinga and other wading birds along the freshwater canal.
Driving directions to the meeting site will be emailed prior to the festival.
Bring water, snacks