More on Winter Birding along Texas Gulf Coast
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We saw this Crested Caracara when we were touring Attwater Prairie-Chicken National Wildlife Refuge
(NWR) on February 1, 2015. This NWR is located at 1206 Apc Nwr Road, Eagle Lake, Texas 77434 and is
about 50 miles west of Houston. Crested Caracara is also known as Mexican eagle.
Another view of the Crested Caracara.
The total number of sandhill cranes here at Pintail Marsh area in Attwater Prairie-Chicken NWR may be
more than one hundred.
On January 24 near sunset time when we were driving on the 8 Mile Road while touring Galveston Island, we
also saw several sandhill cranes.
Many American Coots in Brazoria NWR.
The Crested Caracara flying in the air in Attwater Prairie-Chicken NWR.

In our 2014 January birding tour of Florida, we also saw a crested caracara on a tree and in the air as shown
on my web page at:

Zoom in on four of many sandhill cranes near Pintail Marsh in Attwater Prairie-Chicken NWR.
We saw this hawk when we were touring Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) on January 28, 2015. The
west entrance of Brazoria NWR is at 2022 County Road 227 (Hoskins Mound Road), Freeport, Texas 77541
and is about 50 miles south of Houston.
Zoom in on a white tailed kite on a tree very far away in Brazoria NWR.
A glossy ibis in Brazoria NWR.
Zoom in on this raptor flying very far away in Brazoria NWR. This one may be another Crested Caracara.
Some snow geese vary far away on the other side of lake in Brazoria NWR. This NWR is the wintering ground
for more than 100,000 snow geese. What we see in this picture may be only a small portion of the snow
geese wintering in this NWR. May be most of them flew out to forage in farm fields somewhere else during
the daytime and may fly back here at sunset time for roosting at night.

These NWRs along Texas Gulf Coast serve as southern end point for millions of ducks, geese, whooping
cranes and sandhill cranes migrating south along the Central Flyway for the winter.
More sandhill cranes in Attwater Prairie-Chicken NWR.
A Kingfisher hovers in mid air looking for fish before it dives down to catch fish in Brazoria NWR.
More waterfowl seen in Brazoria NWR.
We also saw many brown pelicans, white pelicans, white ibises, shorebirds, etc. in Brazoria NWR. They are
similar to what we saw in Anahuac NWR and on boat tours. So, I skip those similar photos.

Dense marsh in Big Slough as viewed from the Discovery Pavilion/Boardwalk near Discovery Center of
Brazoria NWR. We can hear the sound of many birds in the marsh, but we cannot see any of those birds. I
took a movie clip with sound as shown in the following YouTube website:


Some people call this as birding by sound. Some birding experts know what kinds of birds are in the marsh by
just listening to their sounds.

The gravel Big Slough Auto Route runs 7.5 miles through the Big Slough Recreation Area, the heart of
Brazoria NWR, wrapping around Olney and Teal ponds, and accessing Big Slough and Rogers Pond.  An
Information Pavilion near the entrance of the refuge has interpretive panels and also information on the self-
guided auto tour including a brochure and several copies of CDs. Visitors can take one copy of the CDs and
insert it into the CD player in their cars. In this way, the CD serves as a very helpful voice tour guide while the
visitor is driving the car along the 7.5-mile auto tour route in Brazoria NWR
One of several Mockingbirds seen in Attwater Prairie-Chicken NWR.
We saw this Merlin on the tree in San Bernard NWR when we were touring this NWR on January 28 after
touring Brazoria NWR.

San Bernard NWR is located at 6801 County Road CR-306, Brazoria, TX 77422 and is also about 50 miles
south of Houston.
The Merlin in the air.
This may be a white-tailed kite hovering in the air in San Bernard NWR. Unfortunately, it was in back light
situation such that we could not see the details of this bird.

San Bernard NWR has a serious problem in that some sections of the Auto Tour Route are submerged under
water. I was concerned that if I drove my car through such submerged sections, the engine of my car might  
die and I would be stuck in deep trouble. So, we toured only a very limited portion of the Auto Tour Route.
Furthermore, the Auto Tour Route covers only a small portion of this NWR. Getting on a tour boat may be
necessary to tour this NWR well. But, we did not try the tour boat for this NWR because we had opportunities
to tour other NWRs and two other boat tours.
This is a typical view of elevated houses built along Texas Gulf Coast because of frequent hurricane storms in
warmer seasons. This particular house is on the Estuary Drive near San Luis Pass on Galveston Island.
Zoom in to see many shorebirds and seagulls on the large sand flats that extend into the bay at the San Luis
Pass at the southwest end of Galveston Island, Texas. We were on the Estuary Drive near San Luis Pass
looking north to take these pictures of many birds on the large sand flat and in the bay on January 28, 2015.
Reduced the zoom on my camera to cover larger areas of bird activities on the large sand flat and the bay at
San Luis Pass. Notice that there are many white colored birds very far away standing on the shallow water in
the bay.
Reduced the zoom further to cover even larger areas with very large number of birds on the sand flat and
especially the long white line representing very large number of white colored birds in the bay very far away.
There were lots of smog in the air such that the view was not very clear.
A flock of snow geese in the air when we were touring Padre Island National Seashore located at 20420 Park
Road 22, Corpus Christi, Texas 78418, Phone: (361) 949-8069.

At the Visitor Center, we joined the Birding Tour with expert birding guides on this 2-3 hour driving tour to
several birding hot spots to observe amazing variety of birds found in Padre Island National Seashore.
One of several little blue herons seen in this tour.
Some snow geese on the ground.
One of several long-billed curlews seen in this tour.
善於金雞獨立的 American Avocet。

One of several American Avocets.
A falcon on radio tower.
A large flock of brown pelicans in flight over Padre Island National Seashore.

We enjoyed seeing many interesting birds at several birding hot spots on Padre Island National Seashore.
However, many of them are similar to what we have seen in several other locations on this winter birding tour
along Texas Gulf Coast. So, I skip many bird pictures on this web page to minimize repeating many similar bird

This concludes the report of our very exciting winter birding tour of Texas Gulf Coast. I got more than 9,000
pictures from the Continuous Shooting of the Sports Mode of my one-month old new compact super-zoom
camera, Canon PowerShot SX60 HS, in this trip. The Sports Mode plus 65X optical zoom of this camera is
fantastic for action photography of many birds and dolphins in all kinds of actions. It is highly recommended if
you want to capture memorable photos of all the interesting and important actions, either nearby or far away.

The six parts of our winter birding tour of Texas Gulf Coast are listed in the following:

Part 1 entitled "Many Majestic Red Crowned White Cranes (丹頂白鶴) and Many Other Winter Birds Along
Texas Gulf Coast " is at:


Part 2 entitled "Huge Chinese Dim Sum Restaurant in Houston, Texas" is at:


Part 3 entitled "Many Beautiful Roseate Spoonbills (玫瑰紅琵鷺), Dolphin and Other Birds in Port Aransas,
" is at:


Part 4 entitled "Huge Number of Birds on Texas Gulf Coast" is at:


Part 5 entitled "Many Interesting Ducks and Birds on and near Duck Lake in Houston Zoological Gardens " is


Part 6 entitled "More on Winter Birding along Texas Gulf Coast" is at: