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Events for Friday, April 21, 2023

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5:30 am
April 21 @ 5:30 am - 11:30 am

During  this field trip we will visit some areas not normally publicly accessible.  Virginia Point is a historic peninsula location across Galveston Bay comprising the wonderful 3,000 acres of mainland bay margin which SCENIC GALVESTON, Inc. (SG) has acquired for permanent conservation protection.  Visitors coming into or out of Galveston on I-45 (the O’Quinn Estuary Corridor) see the results of this non-profit’s work on both flanks, and those areas are open to the public.

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5:45 am
April 21 @ 5:45 am - 1:30 pm

Our trip begins with a bus ride to the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory to watch migrant songbirds being caught in mist nets and banded by professional bird banders. This project establishes baseline data for the GCBO property on both resident and migratory bird populations. Banding allows the observatory to obtain information about the physical condition of migrants at this intermediate location between the coast and the bottomland forests lying well inland. Both coastal woodlots and inland bottomland forests are known to be extremely important stopover habitats for nearctic-neotropical migrants that move through the Gulf of Mexico region. Birds that are captured for banding can provide valuable information about their relative physical condition. What a unique opportunity….and that is just the start of this exciting field trip!

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6:00 am
April 21 @ 6:00 am - 10:00 am

Join Scott Buckel on this unique experience on Galveston Bay to photograph birds in flight from a boat. One of the best ways to learn to photograph birds in flight is to practice and this trip will provide ample opportunities to do just that! The number of birds, Brown Pelicans in particular, is amazing, providing many photo opportunities as the birds come and go from the islands. In Galveston Bay, there are man-made islands where large numbers of breeding birds nest. This special trip, arranged by FeatherFest, allows us to approach these islands while following a special protocol to minimize impact on the colonial birds.

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April 21 @ 6:00 am - 2:00 pm

Join Richard Gibbons, Gulf Coast Program Manager for the American Bird Conservancy, on a trip to one of the finest migratory locations in North America – the western end of the Bolivar Peninsula. Here are the Houston Audubon Horseshoe Marsh and Bolivar Flats bird sanctuaries. This combination of salt marsh, mud flats and beachfront hold...

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April 21 @ 6:00 am - 10:00 am

Photographing shorebirds is fun and challenging as they are almost always in motion. Your leader Tim Timmis has mastered this! We will seek out the birds on East Beach or wherever they may be hiding, to capture the action.  We may also head to the boat dock area behind the Strand to get close-up shots...

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6:30 am
April 21 @ 6:30 am - 3:00 pm

The estuaries of Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge are an important nursery for the fish and shellfish species found in the Gulf of Mexico. Beyond the estuaries, the saltwater marshes ease inland. Fresh water from an occasional storm and the inflow from rivers and creeks helps to keep saltwater out of the freshwater marshes, as well...

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April 21 @ 6:30 am - 9:30 am

Join Chris Rankin at the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge near Anahuac, Texas, to explore Wildlife Photography from A Car. Chris will introduce you to photographing wildlife from a car/truck while exploring the beauty and diversity of the Anahuac National Wildlife Reserve. Established in 1963, Anahuac NWR’s primary focus is to protect and manage the coastal marsh for migrating, wintering and breeding waterfowl.

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April 21 @ 6:30 am - 2:30 pm

Greg is so much fun to bird with that we have added a trip focused on just Galveston Island! We’ll let Greg decide where he wants to go depending on what he’s scouted out before the festival. He’ll check out Corps Woods, Lafitte’s Cove, the East End Flats, Sportsman Road, and sites all the way...

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April 21 @ 6:30 am - 3:30 pm

Boy Scout Woods, Smith Oaks, The Rookery, and more…with birding expert Jon Dunn! 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...

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7:00 am
April 21 @ 7:00 am - 11:00 am

Enjoy zipping along on a quiet and easy electric bike that allows you to get up close and personal with the resident and migratory birds species seen at this time of year. This nearly effortless ride allows you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of our wetlands and beaches.

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April 21 @ 7:00 am - 11:00 am

Love walking the beach shore and seeing all the "peeps" run back and forth from the waves? Although Hannah Buschert and Erik Ostrander have led birding trips all over the world, they are making their FeatherFest debut at this year’s FeatherFest. Join them to get the basics down on shorebirds and waterbirds on this field...

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7:30 am
April 21 @ 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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8:00 am
April 21 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am

Drive your own car to the Galveston Island State Park for a delightful, natural experience. Enjoy paddling in a provided kayak while slowly exploring the open lagoons and marshes of Galveston Island State Park, one of the area’s premier ecological jewels. This 2,000-acre public park offers a multitude of habitats that support a wide variety of birds: waders like herons, egrets, Roseate Spoonbill and shorebirds; waterfowl and overhead raptors like Osprey; White-tailed Kite and Northern Harrier. If you have time after the event, visit the two birding observation towers.

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April 21 @ 8:00 am - 10:30 am

The 10-story glass Rainforest Pyramid at Moody Gardens enables you to see the rainforests of the world in a whole new way, offering ample opportunities for interesting photographs. A walkway leads you through the canopy level, where you can explore the exhibit from a new vantage point. You can see monkeys, sloths, and other free-roaming tree-dwellers closer than ever. Ruth discusses and demonstrates techniques to observe and capture images of these rainforest inhabitants.

Take advantage of a rare opportunity to explore this excellent rainforest habitat before opening hours. You can capture images without taking a trip to the Amazon rainforest! Within the Moody Gardens rainforest, Ruth takes participants to a special area to photograph tropical frogs.

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April 21 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am

Ever chase a bird song in the canopy of tall oaks then chase it until the bird stops singing? Ever sit in your backyard and hear a strange bird song in the distance? In both cases you had no chance to see the bird. In both cases you wondered what it was. All birds vocalize and for songbirds’ song is necessary for species survival. A unique biology found only in birds lies behind bird song and communication. The genetics that drive bird vocalizations are not very different than humans.

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April 21 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am

Have you ever wanted to practice nature journaling, but found it difficult to know how to start? Or maybe you already love drawing, but want to learn some new tips and tricks to enhance your practice? This nature journaling workshop is designed to break through the trepidation of the “white page” and get you journaling right away.

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8:30 am
April 21 @ 8:30 am - 10:30 am

Here's an ever-popular photography field trip that's become part of our FeatherFest tradition! Join Sky King Falconry and Kathy Adams Clark to photograph various captive raptors and other trained birds in natural settings and perches out on a private West End property. This is a great opportunity to see and photograph these birds. Kevin from...

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10:45 am
April 21 @ 10:45 am - 11:45 am

Are you having trouble identifying plovers, terns, gulls, peeps and other shorebirds? Help is on the way! Local birding guide and FeatherFest favorite, Allen Hardee, will share some basic field ID approaches and specialty tips for identifying the shorebirds of Galveston Island. To enhance your experience with this workshop, sign up for the Shorebirds, Gulls...

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12:30 pm
April 21 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm

This field trip searches for the spring songbird richness found on West Galveston Island, with a special emphasis on warblers, vireos, tanagers, orioles, grosbeaks and buntings. Guests will walk through Lafitte’s Cove Nature Preserve, Galveston’s crown jewel for migrating songbirds. Several species of vireos and warblers were seen in the oak mott last spring. Freshwater...

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1:00 pm
April 21 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Galveston Island has all the habitats associated with a barrier island – beach, uplands, fresh water ponds, brackish lagoons and wetlands. Join local father and son team, Allen and Michael Hardee, on this “birdy” trip as you learn to identify Black Skimmers, gulls, terns, sandpipers, plovers, herons, egrets, ibis, spoonbills, ducks and much more.

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April 21 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Kathy will teach participants techniques for working with the ball head, Wimberley head, and hand holding for action and flight work. She will explain how to select a tripod that is right for action work, and why it is important to select the proper ISO, shutter speed, and focus points to capture the perfect image....

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April 21 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Are you baffled by flash? Unsure of when, how or why to use flash, or overwhelmed by the technical aspects? Join Sean Fitzgerald for a comprehensive workshop on using flash and supplemental light in your nature photography.

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2:00 pm
April 21 @ 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

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...

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2:30 pm
April 21 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Traveling in the 2020’s is different but the same. Everyone is offering you the trip or workshop of a lifetime. How do you select the right travel opportunity? Everywhere we have to deal with Covid but once we worried about colds and the flu. Pickpockets are still around so we have to be smarter and...

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3:00 pm
April 21 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Back by popular demand, for this trip, you will be guided by one of our most experienced birders and all-around nature lover, Glenn Olsen. Glenn leads nature tours in the US and overseas but he calls the upper Texas coast home. His extensive knowledge of local birding areas is sure to yield excellent views of migrating warblers as they move through our area on their way to nesting habitat. As a bonus, Glenn is also a Texas Master Naturalist and has served as the president of the Native Plant Society of Texas. His knowledge in these areas should greatly enhance your trip experience. Our group will focus on techniques for improving field identification skills. We will be traveling by bus and places visited will depend on weather patterns and reports from the previous day’s birding activities.

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April 21 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

This trip takes you to a private property owned by the Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) and not generally open to the public. GBF has conserved over 13,000 acres of critical coastal habitat in and around Galveston Bay. For decades, groundwater pumping in the region caused massive subsidence and contributed to the loss of wetlands. That coastal erosion meant wetlands around the bay sank into the water. Like many parts of Galveston Island, Sweetwater Preserve has sustained severe erosion. A 1,000-foot oyster reef project is part of larger restoration efforts in which the foundation has planted marsh along the shoreline. The reef protects the marsh from more degradation and protects the 464-acre property. This property includes a mixture of habitats including coastal prairie, estuarine marsh, salt flats, freshwater wetlands, brackish wetlands, and coastal woodlots.

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4:00 pm
April 21 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Chris will introduce you to photographing wildlife from a kayak. Enjoy paddling in a provided kayak while slowly exploring the marshes of Galveston Island State Park, one of the area’s premier ecological jewels. This 2,000-acre public park offers a multitude of habitats that support a wide variety of birds like herons, egrets, Roseate Spoonbill, shorebirds and possible overhead raptors like osprey looking for prey.

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April 21 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join David Paulissen on this unique experience on Galveston Bay to photograph birds in flight from a boat. One of the best ways to learn to photograph birds in flight is to practice and this trip will provide ample opportunities to do just that! The number of birds, Brown Pelicans in particular, is amazing, providing many photo opportunities as the birds come and go from the islands. In Galveston Bay, there are man-made islands where large numbers of breeding birds nest. This special trip, arranged by FeatherFest, allows us to approach these islands while following a special protocol to minimize impact on the colonial birds. There are no restrooms on the boat and we will not land on any islands.

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April 21 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Join Ruth Hoyt for this indoor session, where she presents her program and demonstrates how she processes raw photographs from digital cameras.

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6:00 pm
April 21 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

If you’d love to have a personal Raptor Experience with a touch of history, this one-of-a-kind wildlife celebration is for you! Raptors Uncorked is returning to the historic 1859 Ashton Villa on Broadway. In addition, we are bringing back our VIP Experience, so don't miss out on this unique and fun event.

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7:00 pm
April 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Join Kathy Adams Clark on one of the Palisade Palms Towers to photograph flying pelicans at eye level as they fly in formation along the coast. This is a unique opportunity and a lot of fun. We have arranged for balcony access with plenty of room for tripods and gear, so space is not a problem. Bring your larger flight lenses, along with a second body and wider lens to shoot as they fly right past us. We will also shoot gulf and shoreline landscapes plus abstract seascapes from this unique bird’s-eye perspective. And as the sun sets, we might have a great chance to shoot Galveston cityscapes, too!

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April 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Pleasure Pier is one of Galveston’s top attractions. A giant Ferris wheel and roller coaster dominate the pier that extends into the Gulf of Mexico. From nearby jetties, participants will photograph the setting sun and twilight sky. From under the rides, we’ll photograph lights in motion and stretch our creativity. We will not be...

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