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Events for Saturday, April 20, 2024

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5:30 am
April 20 @ 5:30 am - 12:30 pm

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.

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

Boy Scout Woods, Smith Oaks, The Rookery, and more! 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...

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

Join Greg and local birder David Hanson on a trip guaranteed to expose you to many island habitats and what ought to be a significant variety of species! Well known by the locals, these less familiar hot spots have proved fruitful time and again. We’ll begin at Lafitte’s Cove walking the paths in search of...

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April 20 @ 7:00 am - 9:30 am

Meet Sean Fitzgerald at the north end of the Strand to begin a walk to streets with interesting details and abstract possibilities as well as street life full of decisive moments for you to capture. Sean will explain his thoughts on street macro photography and how to look for and shoot tiny urban details and...

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April 20 @ 7:00 am - 11:00 am

Join us for a trip to one of the largest migrant traps on the East end of Galveston Island. The Texas A&M Wetlands Center hosts mature oaks, hackberry, and mulberry trees as well as small freshwater and retention ponds. This attracts dozens of neo-tropic migrants including warblers, buntings, tanagers, and orioles.

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April 20 @ 7:00 am - 11:00 am

Join us on this exclusive trip for 6 to experience nesting birds up close. The spectacle of a water bird nesting rookery is a birder “must see.” North Deer Island has 1.7 miles of protected shoreline which supports nesting habitat for the threatened Reddish Egret and 16 other bird species. Rookeries dot the Texas Gulf...

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April 20 @ 7:00 am - 3:00 pm

Join two competitive birders, Cullen Ondracek and Jeff Sexton, in this fast-paced, fun tour of top birding sites on Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula. This whirlwind birding trip will mimic the experience of competing in a Big Day challenge, without the pressure of battling another team for bragging rights. Cullen and Jeff will lead the...

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

Galveston’s West End has drawn birders from all over the world for nearly 100 years. In addition to estuarial saltwater marsh, it contains freshwater ponds, pockets of scrubland, mudflats, and sandy beach habitat. This combination attracts a wide variety of shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, songbirds, and more. We will begin the trip by viewing tidal pools...

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8:00 am
April 20 @ 8:00 am - 11:30 am

The spectacle of a water bird nesting rookery is a birder “must see.” North Deer Island has 1.7 miles of protected shoreline which supports nesting habitat for the threatened Reddish Egret and 16 other bird species. Rookeries dot the Texas Gulf coast. Among the best in Texas is 144-acre North Deer Island shared by nesting...

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April 20 @ 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.

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April 20 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am

This trip takes you to one of the best locales for finding numerous varieties of waterbirds, East Beach. We begin with a drive down Boddecker Rd through the East End Lagoon Nature Preserve, catching views of a precious and increasingly rare ecosystem. We will explore 684 acres of Galveston’s largest undeveloped habitat including one of...

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April 20 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

Join Kevin Karlson, one of North America's most knowledgeable ornithologists, for a birding tour of the Bolivar Peninsula. This peninsula stretches east of the confluence of the Galveston Bay system and the Gulf of Mexico. This barrier peninsula is the result of natural processes and human activity. Its natural features pull in fisherman, beach combers,...

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8:30 am
April 20 @ 8:30 am - 9:30 am

Have you thought about taking a camera on your birding outings? Or do you have a camera and are not sure how to get started? This beginning photography session will help to prepare you for how you can best use your camera to capture the beautiful images of birds. Suggested equipment: Bring camera and manual...

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9:00 am
April 20 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am

The tip of the Bolivar Peninsula offers a wide variety of photographic opportunities. This trip, led by Kathy Adams Clark, will begin with a ferry ride across the Houston Ship Channel providing an opportunity to photograph birds around the ferry landing. From there we will travel to the North Jetty for an opportunity to photograph American Avocets and other wading birds. Finally, the group will photograph wading birds in several marshes nearby. Locations are subject to change based on tide, wind, and location of the birds.

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10:00 am
April 20 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

This session was new to the festival last year and is back by popular demand. Join Ruth Hoyt for this indoor session, where she presents her program and demonstrates techniques for setting up an outdoor photo studio specifically for bird photography.

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

Focusing on discovering migrating songbirds on Galveston’s West End, this trip will feature warblers, vireos, tanagers, orioles, grosbeaks, and buntings. Located at the intersection of two important migratory flyways, Galveston Island provides critical resources and cover for birds as they journey northward. During stormy weather, fallout events are common, as birds seek shelter and much-needed...

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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...

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April 20 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Calling all neighbors! Pollinators, birds, and other wildlife face many challenges to their survival, and they need our help. The good news is that we can take simple steps to help them―right here, right now, right in our own gardens. In this workshop, Lauren Simpson introduces our pollinators and—using a local garden as a classroom—shares simple techniques for transforming our own garden into a beautiful, native-plant paradise―one that supports wildlife and pleases neighbors!

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

We are pleased to offer this accessible outing for birders with limited mobility, disabilities, or other health concerns, and for those interested in an easier-paced birding trip. We also welcome those interested in creating and understanding inclusive, accessible birding as a community and life list-building experience. This outing will be led by Virginia Rose, Founder...

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

Bird Galveston’s East End with one of the world’s most famous birders! In 1998, Greg zig-zagged 130,000 miles across the USA hoping to reach at least 700 species of birds in one calendar year.

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

Good photography can change hearts and minds. Join professional photographer Sean Fitzgerald for a presentation on how to photograph an ecosystem for maximum impact, with a particular focus on often overlooked Texas prairie ecosystems. Learn valuable tips to take better photos using a variety of techniques to help you tell the stories you want to tell.

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3:00 pm
April 20 @ 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm

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...

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April 20 @ 3:00 pm - 6:30 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 20 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join Ruth Hoyt on this unique experience on Galveston Bay to photograph birds in flight from a shallow-draft boat. One of the best ways to learn to photograph birds in flight is to practice, and this trip provides ample opportunities for that! The number of birds, Brown Pelicans, in particular, is amazing and provides many photo opportunities as the birds come and go from the islands.

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

This title of a new book by Kevin Karlson and Pete Dunne, due out in spring 2024 by Princeton University Press, is the topic of a short, uplifting presentation. Like the upcoming book, the fascinating world of North American shorebirds is covered in a light-hearted and factual manner and accompanied by the most stunning and...

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6:00 pm
April 20 @ 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 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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