The Whooping Crane was on the verge of extinction. The world population of wild birds winter at Aransas where we have always succeeded in finding them just before they head north to breed.

 

Warbler numbers vary each year as migrants are affected by weather patterns and population declines. Even when the migration hot spots are quiet, there are still late wintering birds or local breeders to watch out for. This Yellow-throated Warbler is one of the most reliable to see and was regularly seen at Neal's Lodges.

 

Although birding interest is high, most people love to see other animals. On this tour we have seen Bobcat, Skunk, Armadillo, Racoon and   Alligators. This Possum was a real gem as it strolled towards us on High Island.

 

 

American Avocets often gather in huge numbers near Galveston.

 

 

 

Anahuac is one of the best places in the USA to look for American Bitterns. Although incredibly cryptic, an experienced eye can often spot them in roadside ditches. This one stared at us from just feet away!

 

 

Eastern Bluebirds are always a joy to see. The Edwards Plateau is a good place to look for them and we often find them at Neal's Lodges.

 

In spring the Texas meadows can be awash with colour. Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes are particularly common by roadside verges.

Our stay at Neal's Lodges is always a highlight as the surrounding meadows are blooming in spring.

 

 

Cactus Wren - a familiar sound on old western movies

 

In the Life of Mammals, David Attenborough visited a bat cave where millions of small bats emerge at dusk to feed hundreds of miles away. During the spectacle, there are often several falcons and hawks that scythe through the flocks to take a bat or two, or three, or four.....etc.

Our visit there this year, was truly amazing with several Merlins, Red-tailed, Cooper's and Swainson's Hawks, as well as a Peregrine.

 

 

Golden-cheeked Warblers are restricted to the Edward's Plateau - the only place in the world where they breed. From our base at Neal's Lodges, we make a day trip to find them.

 

Green Jay is a Mexican species that creeps over the border into the Rio Grande Valley. Their range may be expanding north, as we found them on Edward's Plateau too.

 

Rails are often very tricky to see, but this King Rail was quite a show off.

 

Night visits to see the Pauraque and some owls is always a highlight.

 

 

 

Get the tide right and Rollover Pass can present one of the greatest shorebird spectacles in the world.

 

Roseate Spoonbills nest among the many herons and egrets in Smith's Oaks.

 

 

A Whooping Crane searches for Blue Crabs in the tall salt marsh vegetation near Rockport.

 

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