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Events for Thursday, April 20, 2023

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6:00 am
April 20 @ 6:00 am - 9:30 am

Bolivar Flats on the Bolivar Peninsula offers unique bird photography opportunities with its shallow water and exposed sand bars. Tim will take a small group of photographers out to Bolivar Flats to demonstrate the techniques he routinely uses to capture images of shorebirds down low at their own eye level. Participants will use a ground...

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6:30 am
April 20 @ 6:30 am - 11:30 am

Galveston is a Gulf coastal island renowned for its many habitats. On the Gulf beaches, you’ll scan out on the swells and incoming surf for rafts of waterfowl and seabirds. Walking along the beach the edge of the surf is active with the antics of the island’s year-round and migrating peeps, Reddish Egret, Great Blue Heron, and shorebirds foraging on “what the tide brung-in.” Away from the water among the dunes of San Luis Pass, East Beach and GISP, Savannah Sparrow and Horned Lark flit about. Beyond the dunes are briny ponds holding roosting seabirds, Nelson’s and Seaside Sparrows, rails, coots, and water birds. In the bay and tidal marshes migrating and nesting herons, egrets and cormorants in their breeding best, forage. The avian fauna is always in flux with the advance and retreat of the tide moving the food chain in and out. Among the tidally influenced habits and the open coastal prairies and oak mottes migrating songbirds need to refuel and find fresh water.

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April 20 @ 6:30 am - 3:30 pm

Boy Scout Woods, Smith Oaks, The Rookery, and more! The accident of geology makes the Upper Texas Coast a beacon to weary neotropical migrants finishing a 10+ hour, nonstop flight across the Gulf of Mexico. From under an ancient sea, a salt dome emerged. After a few thousand years the dome reached just 38-feet above...

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April 20 @ 6:30 am - 3:00 pm

Join Greg Miller and Winnie Burkett at what is called “one of the finest migratory locations in North America” – the southern end of the Bolivar Peninsula. Shorebirds, terns, herons, egrets, and other water birds will give participants an unforgettable field experience. Bolivar Peninsula stretches east of the confluence of the Galveston Bay system and...

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7:00 am
April 20 @ 7:00 am - 12:00 pm

This Nature Conservancy preserve is 2,303 acres of coastal prairie at the intersection of urban expanse and rural beauty. The coastal grasslands found here are vital to the natural resilience of the Gulf Coast—prairies and marshlands act as a natural buffer during storms and hurricanes, absorbing and dispersing water from storm surges and floods. The...

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April 20 @ 7:00 am - 10:00 am

Two of the most iconic birds in North America visit Armand Bayou every winter and spring. The American Bald Eagle and Osprey spend November through April hunting and fishing the productive waters of the bayou. Once threatened by the use of pesticides, the recovery of these species is a great testament to the value of...

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7:30 am
April 20 @ 7:30 am - 1:30 pm

Join Jon Dunn, one of North America’s most knowledgeable ornithologists, for a birding tour of Galveston Island.  Jon has extensive knowledge of the identification and distribution of North American birds, co-authoring the sixth and seventh editions of National Geographic Society’s Field Guide to the Birds of North America, and the Peterson Field Guide to Warblers. Jon is...

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April 20 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 am

We begin the field trip with herons and egrets, migrating shorebirds and waterfowl in the wetland areas on the west end of Galveston Island. We may encounter Clapper Rail, Black-necked Stilt, Common Loon, diving ducks and “peeps.” There is also excellent viewing of American Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Ruddy Turnstone, dowitchers, gulls and terns that gather on the private piers on Sportsman Road.

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April 20 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 am

We will concentrate on gaining a deeper understanding of bird identification. Our approach is to observe differences in body structure, behavior, habitat preferences, and feeding styles of various species of birds. This trip allows us time to observe and discover the distinct characteristics of each species as opposed to generating a list of a larger...

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9:00 am
April 20 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

This first-time FeatherFest field trip is designed for those who love to bird but prefer less walking. Enjoy this leisurely bus ride through central Galveston Island, south to north, to areas where birds normally congregate, stopping at various locales allowing easy access off the bus. We start at a beachfront pool that attracts gulls and...

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12:30 pm
April 20 @ 12:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Birders will find this workshop/field trip combo the perfect introduction to coastal birding. During the workshop, your guides will give a brief discussion about the diversity of species, as well as various techniques to identify birds on the Upper Texas Coast. We will then board our bus and proceed to the East End Lagoon Nature Preserve beach area where you’ll see Black Skimmer, American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, and many species of shorebirds, gulls, terns, sandpipers, plovers, and more. Stops along the way will highlight birds preferring marsh habitat.

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1:00 pm
April 20 @ 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

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.

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April 20 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Taking bird photos from the prone position or at ground level will enhance your photos by giving them a much more intimate perspective with a very dramatic depth of field. This low position also enables you to get closer to the birds. Tim will share his techniques for getting down and dirty with shorebirds. He will include discussions on how to use a ground pod along with other equipment. You may not want to shoot from a standing position again!

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2:00 pm
April 20 @ 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The accident of geology makes the Upper Texas Coast a beacon to weary neotropical migrants finishing a 10+ hour, nonstop flight across the Gulf of Mexico. From under an ancient sea, a salt dome emerged. After a few thousand years the dome reached just 38-feet above a pancake-flat coastal plain where it became covered with...

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2:30 pm
April 20 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Learning the various species of shorebirds can be a daunting task. Knowing how to look at them is part of the challenge. More is not necessarily better, says Jon Dunn, co-author of the National Geographic Society’s Field Guide to the Birds of North America, and Peterson Field Guides to Warblers and Gulls of the Americas....

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4:00 pm
April 20 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Upper Texas Coast (UTC) birders begin their birding life chasing showy warblers; THE group of birds most responsible for turning casual nature lovers into birders. Annually, UTC birders find about three dozen or so warbler species each Spring; sometimes 25+ in a day. Though warblers can be accessible in numbers, they’re restless subjects that are hard to keep in a binocular view. Though colorfully plumed, it is daunting to tease them apart. It’s the finding and teasing apart of the warblers that makes for better and lifelong birders. Yep! Warblers can teach you birding skills.

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April 20 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

On this field trip, you'll be birding prairies, woodlots, and marshes of Artist Boat Coastal Heritage Preserve with Karla Klay. Join Karla for a birding adventure at Artist Boat’s Coastal Heritage Preserve. Explore the marshes, prairies, and oak motts across the Preserve via walking. Spring migration on the Preserve has hosted up to 103 species identified in a 24-hour period. The spring prairie is famous for heaps of Indigo and Painted Buntings, Dickcissel, Bobolink, and more feasting on dew berries. The spring “Peake” woods host warblers, tanagers, and orioles. From different vantage points, one can find shorebirds, terns, and pelicans in the marshes and over the bay. At dusk we will watch the dramatic sunset across the prairie and preserve. It’s all absolutely spectacular!

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April 20 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

After this field trip, you will wonder why you waited so long to start photographing birds on the wing! The rookery at Smith Oaks offers endless opportunities for birds-in-flight photography from a multi-level platform reserved for us.

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5:30 pm
April 20 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Explore the world of beach landscapes and abstracts, using the simplicity of sand, sky, water, and even long exposures to create surreal images. Suggested Equipment: Bring a couple of zoom lenses ranging from wide to telephoto. If you have a macro lens, bring that as well in case we see some tiny abstract opportunities, like...

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7:00 pm
April 20 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Galveston Railroad Museum houses one of the largest collections of vintage railroad cars and engines in the U.S. We have arranged special, after-hours access to these trains for this Night Photography field trip. We will be able to photograph in the warm light of the setting sun, and then learn how to progressively add more light...

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