Fantastic Bird Watching and Dolphin Watching
on Galveston Island in Coastal Texas
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讀萬卷書    行萬里路

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晴空萬里,漫天飛鳥在海邊翻飛,密密麻麻的全都是鳥,聲勢浩大, 非常壯觀,這是賞鳥者和攝影者夢寐以
求的特殊生態奇觀, 心花怒放,好不激動, 迫不及待地拿起相機開始猛拍。

Huge number of black skimmers with long wings and some seagulls in action in the air at the beach on the
northeast end of Galveston Island in coastal Texas. These skimmers are black on top side and white on
bottom side.


We drove our rental car to the northeast end beach on Galveston Island on January 30, 2019 to enjoy watching
huge number of skimmers and many seagull in action in this area.

Map:
Click here for interactive Google Map showing northeast end of Galveston Island

Direction: Drive northeast on Seawall Blvd all the way to the northeast end, then turn right (east) into
Boddecker Rd and go east for about half mile to reach the narrow strip of beach at the northeast end to enjoy
bird watching.

I took several movie clips of the huge number of black skimmers and many seagulls in action near the beach in
the northeast end of Galveston as shown in the following YouTube website:

https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSGbirL0K5E&feature=youtu.be
Zoom in for a close up view of skimmers when they are resting on the beach on the northeast end of
Galveston. Notice that they have short red legs and the upper bill is substantially shorter than the lower bill of
the bi-color bill.

I have been using a compact super-zoom camera (Canon PowerShot SX60 HS) with 65X optical zoom.

When hunting, these skimmers often fly low skimming the water surface with the longer lower bill slicing
through water while upper bill is open above water. When the lower bill hit a fish, the upper bill snaps down
immediately to catch the fish as shown in the following two YouTube movies:

https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmpMxwtnE8Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ek_oL-Qq6fM
百鳥在海邊翻飛群舞。

A picture of me (Sing Lin) taking picture and movie of huge number of skimmers in action. It was a cold winter
day January 30, even in coastal Texas area.

This picture was taken by my friend, Yuan Yuan Yeh.

I also took a move scan when the large number skimmers were resting on the beach as shown in the following
YouTube website:

https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpf4smN4rnE&feature=youtu.be
海豚出現了! 看得心花怒放。

Two of many dolphins in areas of Galveston Channel and Port of Galveston.

On January 29, we drove to Seawolf Park on Pelican Island just west of Galveston Island, across Galveston
Channel, to enjoy watching many dolphins, birds, the submarine USS Cavalla and Destroyer USS Stewart.
The address of Seawolf Park is: 100 Seawolf Park Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550


Map:
Click here for interactive Google Map showing location of Seawolf Park on Pelican Island.
Three dolphins.
More dolphins seen from the shore of Seawolf Park
One of many pelicans seen in Seawolf Park on Pelican  Island.

This picture was taken by Yuan Yuan Yeh.
呼拉一下騰空而起,展翅欲飛。

The pelican just took off from the rail into the air.

This picture was taken by Yuan Yuan Yeh.
Two dolphins and one pelican on the Galveston Channel.
海豚出水面噴氣, 我們看見了好多海豚。

More dolphins
藍天艷陽下,鵜鶘 (俗稱塘鵝)張開寬大的翅膀在天空中巡曳,隨時準備俯衝而下抓魚。

This pelican was also active in the air hunting for fish in the area of northeast end of Galveston Island near
that huge group skimmers.
塘鵝從高空俯衝下來攻擊, 神速如疾風。

When the pelican finds a fish in the water, it pulls in its wings and dived from mid-air down to the water to catch
fish.
Three dolphins.

Four years ago on January 29, 2015, we took a boat tour from Port Aransas in Coastal Texas and enjoyed
close up views of hundreds of very playful dolphins as shown on my web page at:

https://
www.shltrip.com/Many_Beautiful_Roseate_Spoonbills.html


There are boat tours available in Galveston for dolphin watching. But we did not do it in Galveston this time
because we did it four years ago from Port Aransas.
海邊連場精彩好戲,一場緊接一場,我們都看得很興奮很高興。

Galveston Channel and the Port of Galveston are very busy waterway with many big ships going in and out
constantly. Each moving big ship has a very turbulent wake behind it. The turbulent wake stirs up some fish to
the water surface and those surfaced fish become easy targets for seagulls to catch. Therefore, there are
thousands of seagulls flying following the turbulent wakes of these big ships in a feeding frenzy to catch fish. It
is fun to watch such feeding frenzy from the shore of Seawolf Park. I took several movie clips of huge number
of seagulls following the wakes of big ships and diving down to the wake to cat fish as shown in the following
YouTube movie:

https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sszae0NqbAo&feature=youtu.be


Four years ago on January 15, 2015, we took the 15-minute free big Galveston-Bolivar Ferry going between  
northeastern end of Galveston Island and southwest end of Bolivar Peninsula across the Galveston Channel.
This free ferry is big and carries not only many passengers, but also their cars, buses and trucks.  As
bird watchers, we were happily surprised by the huge number of noisy seagulls swarming over our heads and
following the big ferry in a feeding frenzy. It was a fantastic and exciting experience for bird watchers as
shown on my web page at:

https://
www.shltrip.com/Huge_Number_of_Birds_on_Texas_Gulf_Coast.html
張開翅膀,淩空飛起,展翅高飛, 空中芭蕾。

More pelicans seen from Seawolf Park on Pelican Island.
One of many cormorants just flew in and "landing" on the water. Many pelicans and many cormorants are
often competing to catch fish on this busy Galveston Channel.

Sometime a cormorant emerged from under water to the water surface with a fish in its beaks. One or two
nearby pelicans jump over to try to steal the fish from the cormorant which dived into the water again quickly
to avoid the bigger pelicans. Sometime a pelican in the air dives bomb from mid-air down on a cormorant on
the water with a fish in its beaks. It is fun for bird watchers to watch all these actions going on on this busy
Galveston Channel.
The US Navy submarine, USS Cavalla, on public display at Seawolf Park. Visitors are allowed to go inside to
see the details inside the submarine. The self guided tour allows visitors to move and learn at their own pace.
Another view of USS Cavalla. This submarine is a hunter-killer submarine and is best known for sinking the
Japanese aircraft carrier Shōkaku (翔鶴, Soaring Crane), which is a veteran of the Pearl Harbor attack in
World War II.

On 19 June 1944 on its first patrol, USS Cavalla caught the aircraft carrier Shōkaku of Japanese Imperial
Navy busily recovering its planes, and quickly fired a spread of six torpedoes, with three hits. Shōkaku sank
at WikiMiniAtlas of the Philippine Sea during this Major Naval Battle of the Philippine Sea.  The battle was the
last of five major "carrier-versus-carrier" engagements between American and Japanese naval forces. This
was the largest carrier-to-carrier battle in history and eliminated the Imperial Japanese Navy's ability to
conduct large-scale carrier actions.
Close up view of the torpedoes of USS Cavalla.
Torpedoes and their launchers inside the hunter-killer submarine.
Another view of the torpedo
Also on display in Seawolf Park is US Navy Destroyer Escort, USS Stewart, designed to conduct
antisubmarine warfare to protect the escorted Convoy. In other words, it is an anti submarine ship.

Aerial view of the Seawolf Park can be seen in the following YouTube video:

https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko0dAOaQ2cU
群鷗空中拍打翅膀,預備搶食物.

Many local people come to Seawolf park for fishing. These two fishermen were cleaning the fish they caught.
Several seagulls in the air nearby were waiting to get a piece of the fish.
鸕鶿善潛水捕魚, 潛水功很棒,鸕鶿的翅膀已經進化到可以幫助划水,鸕鶿在潛水捕魚時就腳蹼和翅膀並用,
能突然伸長脖子用嘴發出致命一擊,這樣,無論多麼靈活的魚也絕難逃脫。有一隻在展翅曬太陽。

Many cormorants perching on the rope of the big tall ship next to the restaurant.

We came to enjoy seafood at the restaurant of Fisherman's Wharf for late lunch at the Port of Galveston.
This restaurant is located at 2200 Harborside Dr, Galveston, TX 77550 and is next to Pier 21 and next to
1877 Tall Ship ELISSA moored in the harbor here. Several diners and us sat in the outdoor deck with
fantastic view of dolphins in the harbor while enjoying seafood. We were surrounded by several noisy birds.
Huge deep sea oil rig docked on the other side of Galveston Channel as viewed from the deck of Fisherman's
Wharf restaurant.
Some views on Seawall Blvd which is the main busy commercial street on Galveston Island. Seawall Blvd
offers miles of spacious beaches lined by restaurants, shops, hotels and various tourist attractions.
Gulf of Mexico as viewed from Seawall Blvd on Galveston.

This seawall was created for storm surge protection after the devastating hurricane of 1900. Now it is lined
with shops, restaurants and hotels on one side and nice beaches on the other side with wonderful views. The
seawall is 10 miles long, and along it there're fishing piers, amusement piers, top hotels, convention center,
restaurants, shops and a very nice wide beach. There's plenty of side parking along it, so you can stop and
have some fun.  Miles of beach with waves and birds to look at, explore or just relax. This is a must-visit when
you are in Galveston.
夢幻黃昏,金色戀曲,晚霞,浪漫美麗的海邊大道!

Beautiful sunset view on Seawall Blvd.
The Pleasure Pier on the beach is full of food, fun and rides.
驚豔一瞥,姿態優雅, 玫瑰紅琵鷺展翅騰空, 前引長頸,後伸秀腿,御風而行,一身粉红色的羽毛,霓裳羽
衣,顏色華麗迷人, 太美了!

Beautiful pink colored Roseate Spoonbills, ibis, greater egrets, kingfisher and sandhill cranes are in action on
grassy wetland in the mid-section of Galveston Island near 8 Mile Road and near Sportsman Road.
休息時,亭亭玉立,玫瑰紅琵鷺 長時間站立不動, 扁扁的嘴, 呈湯匙狀。

One of several roseate spoonbills in grassy wetland in mid-section of Galveston near Sportsman Road.
好鳥往往出沒於此,常有水鳥在此覓食, 不時有鳥類突然振翅飛過,且走且停, 鳥很多,在公路兩邊的蘆葦
叢裏亂竄, 眼疾手快卡卡就是幾張,心花怒放啊。

Beside beautiful roseate spoonbills, several other kinds of birds can also be seen on the grassy wetland in
the mid-section of Galveston near Sportsman Road and 8 Mile Road, such as red egret, great egret, ibis,
kingfisher, sandhill cranes, shorebirds, waterfowl, great blue heron, etc.
綠野田園仙姿。

One of several sandhill cranes seen on both side of 8 Mile Road in Galveston.
魚鷹遨翔碧空英姿, 巡弋飛行觀察水面下的動靜, 看著天上展翅的魚鷹﹐令人有一種想飛的衝動。

An osprey above Galveston Channel probably looking for fish to catch.
綠野仙姿,亭亭玉立,體態優美,愛侶臨風,朝夕相依,形影不離,風云同路,神態安詳,充滿著快樂和恬靜
的丹頂鶴, 清脆悠揚的鶴聲,讓人駐足聆聽,溫和的色彩和寧靜的意境,含情脈脈﹐相親相愛﹐演繹著動物
世界的浪漫愛情故事, 感悟生靈與天地,令人好生羨慕。

Several sandhill cranes seen on both sides of 8 Mile Road in Galveston
隻隻婷立的玫瑰紅琵鷺, 腳很長,單腳平衡功不錯,喙長而呈竹片狀, 絢麗的羽色讓我驚歎自然造物的奇
妙。

Two of several roseate spoonbills near Sportsman Road in Galveston.

This picture was taken by Yuan Yuan Yeh.
Egret, ibis and roseate spoonbill seen from Sportsman Road in Galveston.

I took several movie clips of several different kinds of birds in action near Sportsman Road as shown in the
following YouTube website:

https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6n1dfY4vdY&feature=youtu.be
灘頭水畔,鶯歌燕舞。

By using my compact super zoom camera to zoom in, I saw large number of several kinds of birds very far
away along the south shore line of West Bay near San Luis Pass at the southwest end of Galveston Island.
This picture shows just a small section of very long shore line with lots of birds on the north side at
southwest end of Galveston Island near San Luis Pass/San Luis Bridge. This picture was taken from the
southwest end of Estuary Dr near San Luis Bridge Toll Plaza.

I used my compact super-zoom camera to zoom in and to scan the long line of large number of birds along
the south shore line as shown in the following YouTube website:

https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYhkN8al348&feature=youtu.be
碧波蕩漾的西海灣上,成千上萬隻的海鳥,自由自在地飛翔、飄遊、嬉水、覓食,千姿百態,招引四方遊人爭
相觀賞。

By using my compact super-zoom camera to zoom in from the southwest end of Estuary Dr near San Luis
Bridge Toll Plaza, we saw huge number of white pelicans, seagulls and other birds in action very far away in
the middle of West Bay near San Luis Pass at southwest end of Galveston Island. Again this picture shows
only a small portion of very long stretch of birds in action in West Bay.

I used my compact super-zoom camera to zoom in and to scan the large number of white pelicans, seagulls
and other birds in action catching fish in West Bay as shown in the following YouTube website:

https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDLMMZecRrs&feature=youtu.be
Most houses in coastal areas in Texas are elevated on strong pilings that are 10 feet or taller to avoid flooding
from strong storm surge or hurricane that come through these coastal areas from time o time.
While driving through coastal rural areas near Freeport and Brazoria County to go to Brazoria National
Wildlife Refuge for bird watching, we saw these big pipes, industrial structures and construction work going
on. The sign here is Freeport LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). I guess these may be related to the fracking
technology in shale gas and oil revolution in the late 2000s that greatly increased the production of natural
gas and oil in Texas and in USA in general.  
Petrochemical Industry Complex of Formosa Plastic Corporation, America (美國 台塑公司 ) located at 201
Formosa Dr, Point Comfort, TX 77978.

We were driving on Highway 35 in coastal Texas to go to Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge for bird watching.
In the town of Port Lavaca, we saw Beijing Buffet Chinese Restaurant in Calhoun Plaza along Highway 35.
So, we went into Beijing Buffet for lunch and talked to the Chinese waitress in the restaurant. The waitress
thought we were the employees of Formosa Plastic Corporation, America in the next town of Point Comfort
because most Chinese customers of this restaurant are employees of Formosa Plastic (台塑公司). With such
conversation, we were happy to see the massive Petrochemical Industry Complex of Formosa Plastic along
Highway 35.
閑雲野鶴, 神采飄逸, 幾聲清脆悅耳的鶴鳴聲。

Five of many red crowned sandhill cranes (丹頂鶴) that we saw in the large grass field near the junction of
Lamar Beach Rd & 12th Street, Rockport, Texas, 78382. We stayed in this area for only about one hour
and saw many sandhill cranes. But we did not see white colored and red crowned whooping cranes this
time, probably because we did not stay here long enough.

Four years ago on January 29, 2015, we came here and saw 12 red crowned white cranes (whooping
crane, 丹頂白鶴) feeding in this area in addition to many sandhill cranes as shown on my web page at:

https://
www.shltrip.com/Red_Crowned_White_Cranes.html
Many white pelicans at Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center in Port Aransas (also known as Port Aransas
Birding Center) located at 1356 Ross Ave, Port Aransas, TX 78373.
整個湖面潔白一片的白塘鵝, 好像懶洋洋安詳寧靜的地在睡覺。

However, the long boardwalk in this Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center disappeared, probably destroyed by
the severe Hurricane Harvey of 2017. So, we could not walk deep into this birding center to see many kinds
of other birds. We saw only one beautiful roseate spoonbill this time due to the lack of the long boardwalk to
explore more.

Four years ago on January 29, 2015, we came here while the long boardwalk was intake, we were able to
see more than 30 beautiful roseate spoonbills plus many other kinds of birds as shown on my web page at:

https://
www.shltrip.com/Many_Beautiful_Roseate_Spoonbills.html
塘鵝在天空盤旋,

One of many pelicans flying and hunting near the ferry terminal of Port Aransas.
塘鵝俯衝下水抓魚。

When the flying pelican sees a fish
below in the water, the pelican pulls
in its wings and dives from mid air
down to the water to catch the fish,
similar to the movie that I took at
the northeast end of Galveston
Island.
白鵜鶘們悠然自得地徜漾在碧藍的海面上, 寧靜又祥和,畫面美不勝收。

More white pelicans and other birds seen along the way when we were driving along the Coastal Texas areas.

We enjoyed very much this winter bird watching and dolphin watching tour along coastal Texas, especial in the
area of Galveston Island.   There are large number of many kinds of birds and dolphins in action. It is highly
recommended.

We also toured Houston and San Antonio in this 12-day tour of southern Texas. The reports on Houston Tour
and San Antonia Tour will be presented in new web pages later.
Three giant deep-sea oil rigs docked and sit in cold storage near Port Aransas area. These giant deep-sea oil
rigs usually are far out in Gulf of Mexico and are hard to see them well from the shore. It is cool to see them
so close by here near Port Aransas and another one in Port of Galveston. According to the local news, many
years ago, prices of U.S. oil price peaked at $107 a barrel. Since then, oil prices have drastically declined to
$41.16 a barrel thanks to the fracking technology that greatly increases the production of oil and gas from
land based oil and gas wells at lower prices. Therefore, offshore oil exploration companies are cutting back.

We drove south from San Antonio to Coastal Texas areas for bird watching and was surprised to see these
giant deep-sea oil rigs sitting in cold storage near Port Aransas.
塘鵝急速下沖, 入水, 水花四濺, 可見俯衝速度有多快。

The pelican dived from mid-air down to water with a big splash to catch fish near the large group of skimmers.

I took a movie clip of this pelican hunting and bomb diving to catch fish as shown in the following YouTube
movie:

https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=abC_y3UsYeM&feature=youtu.be


On January 28, 2019, when we drove to the ferry terminal of Port Aransas, Texas in our driving tour of
coastal Texas for bird watching, we also saw several pelicans hunting, flying and bomb diving from mid-air
down to water to catch fish in Port Aransas area similar to that in the YouTube movie above.
猛地發現前方的水邊和蘆葦叢裏白茫茫的一片白鳥, 湮沒在荒草灌叢裏,草叢隱約可見,意想不到的時候常有
驚喜, 這也是觀賞鳥的樂趣吧。

Several egrets, ibis and roseate spoonbills feeding near Sportsman Road.
湖畔,大白鷺美麗的身影, 一派悠閒, 腿長,脖子就得長,才能俯身吃到水裡的魚。

A great egret and some other birds seen in Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge.
A loon on Galveston Channel.
翠鳥蹲立電線上。

A kingfisher seen from 8 Mile Road.
牠們飛起來真的是很優雅, 舒展著它們的翅膀, 自由地翱翔, 有時高飛,有時低掠。
成千上萬,四面八方,密密麻麻的飛鳥, 自由地在藍天飛翔著!

We drove our rental car to the northeast end beach on Galveston Island on January 30, 2019 to enjoy watching
huge number of skimmers and many seagull in action in this area.

Map:
Click here for interactive Google Map showing northeast end of Galveston Island

Direction: Drive northeast on Seawall Blvd all the way to the northeast end, then turn right (east) into
Boddecker Rd and go east for about half mile to reach the narrow strip of beach at the northeast end to enjoy
bird watching.

I took several movie clips of the huge number of black skimmers and many seagulls in action near the beach in
the northeast end of Galveston as shown in the following YouTube website:

https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSGbirL0K5E&feature=youtu.be
疏密相間的蘆葦,濕地沼澤邊上的白鹮, 橘紅的大嘴向下彎曲和長腳,追逐嬉戲, 你追我趕,辛勤覓食。

White Ibises.
有時低掠於水面上, 貼著水面,在水上飄翔。
蘆花深處,好“玩”者,追光逐影,踏著舞步,手舞足蹈, 曼妙的舞姿。
密集成群,百鳥群舞, 密密麻麻的全都是鳥,成群地在草地上覓食,人行其中,耳聽鳥鳴,宛若仙
境!
草長鶯飛,百雀呼朋引伴, 飛進飛出!
看看我的腿有多修長,一隻大白鷺  大搖大擺的在路上散步, 細長的脖子、修長的雙腿,具備了模特兒高挑體
型的必備條件, 流線型的身材,無「人」能及。

A great egret on the auto tour loop road in Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge. This picture was taken by Yuan
Yuan Yeh.
瞧那雙紅色的長腿, 扁扁湯匙狀的嘴。