Texas Spring Migration (Anahuac Wildlife Refuge)

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Good Things Come in Threes….and Trees!

In the first three and a half month at home in Maine, we totaled 92 different bird species. In three days on the Gulf Coast of Texas we spotted 94, recording 20 new birds today alone! This is a must-hit destination for birders looking for a wide variety of species. And with migration underway, spring is ideal timing.

Our itinerary today began at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). The meandering bayous of Anahuac cut through ancient floodplains, creating vast expanses of coastal marsh and prairie, bordering East Galveston Bay. These habitats are host or home to an abundance of wildlife.

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A 2.5 mile drive around Shoveler Pond turned up a myriad of water birds, songbirds and a few alligators! Some rarities created excitement among the many curious birders visiting from all over the world (including a number of “twitchers” from Britain). Always nice to meet people who share your passion and help you find and identify feathered treasures!

On a return trip to Boy Scout Woods at High Island late in the day, we were thrilled to finally pick up a few warblers. What is said about migration across the Gulf appears to be true – the birds leave the Yucat√°n Peninsula at dusk the previous evening and arrive 12-18 hours later, depending on the prevailing winds. The natural instinct a birder has to be out first thing in the morning, does not work here!

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