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HOME TO THE WINTERING WHOOPING CRANES...

Site Update: September 1, 2014     SOUTH TEXAS BIRDING HEADQUARTERS FOR COASTAL BEND BIRDING!

Rockport, Texas... Birding Paradise of the Texas Coastal Bend!

See hundreds of resident & migratory birds in one day - by boat or land - tours available year-round!!

Bird & Nature Tour Guides ~ Whooping Crane Tours ~ Photographic Opportunities

Rockport, Texas Birding Resources ~  Professionally Guided Birding Tours by Boat, Land or Kayak!

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All Photos Used with Permission.  Kevin Sims, Aransas Bay Birding Charters.  Do Not Copy; No Reproduction.

 

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You'll love Birding by Boat ~ Trips to see Whooping Cranes ~ Eco-Wildlife & Photography Tours

 

White Ibis

Breeding Plumage

Blue Heron Chick

Stretching His Wings

Roseatte Spoonbill at

the Rookery Island

Sandhill Cranes

Wintering at the ANWR

White Morph Reddish Egret at the Rookery Island

Photos are the property of Capt. Kevin Sims. Copying or use of any is subject to penalty by law.


THE FALL/WINTER MIGRATION SEASON - 2013

 

Fall is in the air!  And, so are the migratory birds! The Fall Migration is in full swing. It is a wonderful time for birding in the Rockport/Fulton area.

The Whooping Cranes on their way to Texas. Take a boat ride to the Aransas Wildlife Refuge to see them catching and eating Blue Crabs. The fat from the crabs gives them the energy they need to make the long journey home to their summer nesting ground.

 

There are many ways to see the Whooping Cranes and hundreds of other migratory birds. 

BIRDING BY BOAT MAKES IT EASY AND FUN - BRING YOUR BINOCULARS AND CAMERA EQUIPMENT!

One if by land;  Two if by sea.

 

IF BY LAND

 

Goose Island State Park. www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/goose-island  offers wonderful bird walks  You may get to see a Painted Punting.  Also some Whooping Cranes “hang out” there.  A short drive and Ferry ride will take you to Port Aransas. The birding center there will provide you with some amazing birding opportunities.  Check them out at www.portaransas.org/play/birding .  A thirty minute drive north of Rockport on Highway 35 will take you to the Aransas Wildlife Refuge. 

 They can be found at www.fws.gov/refuge/Aransas!

You will see all kinds of wildlife on a tour of the refuge…. Everything from Alligators to Whooping Cranes.

 

IF BY SEA

 

Take a trip on the water to tour the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) by boat,

Three local tour boats leave out of Rockport, Fulton or Lamar and you will get close enough to see the Cranes gobbling up their favorite meal. It will be mating time when they return to Canada. From the boats there is a really good chance of witnessing some courting behavior. The mating dance is spectacular as they jump high into the air, trying to impress a potential mate or their lifelong soul mate.

 

As you travel by water be sure to keep an eye out for the White Pelicans as they Kettle, (soaring high in to the air in large circular patterns) searching for that “magic carpet of air” that will carry them north as they begin their migration.

 

From the boats, The Skimmer and Jack Flash you also will have a chance to visit Rookery Islands. These islands are home to several species of migratory nesting birds . You will see the Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Reddish Egrets with the White Morph Reddish by their side, everyone’s favorite, the Roseate Spoonbill. Night herons, Snowy  Egrets, and White Ibis. On a couple of the islands you will have a chance to see Oyster Catchers with their new chicks.

The rookery trips last into early summer and give visitors an opportunity to see the entire cycle of nesting!  You can see the birds now as they build nests and court their mates. Come back in a few weeks and see the new chicks soon after they hatch. Come in early summer and see them as they learn to fly and forage for themselves.  You are up close and personal.

 

As summer approaches you will be treated to other Rookeries that have Tern, Gulls, Tri -Colored Herons and Little Blue Herons., and Brown Pelicans. Traveling by boat into ANWR is truly a magical experience that will leave you with a lifetime of memories.  For avid birders you will add to your “life list” on every trip. For photographers you will get the chance to get those “once in a lifetime” shots that you search for on every outing.

 

ROCKPORT BEACH PARK

 

The Rockport Beach Park is a delightful venue to see a nesting colony of Black Skimmers, a really unusual looking bird.  Take a drive around Little Bay and view all the wading and shore birds as they forage for food in the shallow waters.

 

FULTON BEACH ROAD

 

Fulton Beach Road offers fine dining at a number of delicious restaurants - day and night!  It also allows you to watch the pelicans as they skim the tops of the waves. They make it look like fun.  Stop by the boat ramps and watch as the fisherman clean their catch. The pelicans will be there to devour all that is offered to them. This makes for some fantastic photography.  And, a migratory group of white pelicans may be in temporary residence at “Pelican Point” by the Fulton Beach Convention Center, otherwise known as “Paws and Taws”.

 

DOWNTOWN ROCKPORT “BIRDING”

 

A birding trip to Rockport would not be complete without a trip to S. Austin Street which is located in the 450 acre Heritage District.  Downtown has been undergoing revitalization and is a great walkable and bike-able community. For birding enthusiasts, there are three stops that are mandatory!  You can visit the Studios of Diane Loyd, Salt Flats Photography, www.saltflatsphotography.com.   Diane is an amazing photographer and accomplished scuba diver with fantastic images taken on land as well as under the water. Diane and her mother, Dovie, co-owns the shop, 4 The Birds - Rockport’s best source for ALL your birding information!  Dovie paints amazingly beautiful birds (and fish) on hats, T-Shirts, jackets!  It’s called “Wearable Art by Dovie”.  At 86, she’s still going strong.  In addition, there are loads of books on birding, plus ornaments, kites, flags. You want birds?  Well, here they are. 

 

Next, stop by John Martell’s studio at 302 S. Austin Street at “Merchants Square”.  John is a local award winning photographer.  He is expanding his space into a Gallery of his images.  Plan to walk through slowly.  He is usually there and will be glad to share his stories.  If you are interested in adding to photography skills, John also holds workshops to help you get the most from your camera gear. www.johnmartellphotography.com .

 

Finally, Ruben Aiken’s Sazon Gallery and Studio at 114 S. Austin Street is an experience..  www.sazonandthewhoopingcranes.com  Ruben offers one of a kind jewelry he hand crafts himself. He is particularly noted for his “soul mate” rings which feature gemstones and engraved whooping cranes. Ruben is a Whooping Crane enthusiast, or as we local Whooping Crane lovers are called, a Craniac.   

 

(Author’s note:  Each of these three studio/galleries has been profiled in issues of Texas NOW a “Coastal Bend magazine” offering a “unity of communities”; as has The Jack Flash charter boat.  Go to www.texasnowmag and see the issues on these studios and charter).

 

When you need a rest from all this “walk-able birding activity”, Rockport, like Fulton, offers superb cafes and restaurants. Stop in at Crazy Rusty’s Tropical Bar and Grill for excellent soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches.  Or Cindy’s Sweet Tabu, where “Asian Cajun Fusion” takes first place: fried oysters that melt in your mouth,   Mongolian spare ribs that fall off the bone and much more.  Or The Daily Grind, the local “coffee house” next to John Martell’s studio in Merchants Square.

 

MEMORABLE BIRDING

 

A birding trip to Rockport should be on every birders bucket list. Rockport has everything you need for a memorable birding journey. We have lodging available for every budget. The Restaurants cater to every taste. Bring your families. There is something here for everyone. Our beach is perfect for small children. There is the Maritime Museum www.texasmaritimemuseum.org.  Go by the Aquarium www.rockportaquarium.com.  

And don’t forget to visit the Rockport Center for the Arts! www.rockportartcenter.com.

 

The Bay Education Center’s exhibits and shows showcase the water and estuaries in the area; it is right next to the Blue Wave Beach.  It opens at 1pm and has shows at 2pm and 3pm (Tuesdays through Saturday) which focus on “SOS” Science on a Sphere.  A must see for all families.

 

Thank You for visiting BirdRockport.com.

 

Please check back with us for any of your birding needs.

 

   

Photos are the property of Capt. Kevin Sims. Copying or use of any photos is subject to penalty by law.

Call Captain Kevin Sims for your next Birding and Whooping Crane Tour!
Aransas Bay Birding Charters  or Call
361-790-3746  TPWD Certified/USCG Coast Guard

The best way to view Whooping Cranes, Sunsets, and Wildlife is by Boat!

I offer a private tour for your group only. You will travel to areas inaccessible to larger group boats. Get there earlier, get closer and stay as long as you like. Our tour takes a minimum of four hours. We generally stay out six hours and have stayed a long as eight hours. 

Birding by Boat ~ Trips to see Whooping Cranes ~ Birding & Photography Tours

 

       

Photos are the property of Capt. Kevin Sims. Copying or use of any is subject to penalty by law.

 

 

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birdRockport.com would like to thank the following individuals, state /national contributors, and photographers that helped to make this site successful:  The Aransas Project, Friends of Connie Hagar, Aransas Bird & Nature Club (ABNC) Friends of Aransas, Texas Colonial Waterbird Society, Friends of Goose Island, The Habitat, Ducks Unlimited, Passport to Texas, Texas Parks and Wildlife, US Wildlife and Fisheries, Texas Audubon Society, Coastal Bend Audubon Society, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Matagorda National Wildlife Refuge, Aransas County Library, City of Rockport Cemetery Texas A&M University - Archive Department, Canadian Wildlife Service, and Rockport-Fulton Area Chamber of Commerce.

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Photos Used with Permission from Individual, Professional Photographers.

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