The Fall Bird Migration is in full swing on Galveston Island and we have a hotel package to help the birders out there make the most of it. Stay at the Moody Gardens Hotel, enjoy breakfast at Cafe in the Park and then go on a personal tour of the Moody Gardens property looking for all kinds of bird species with our Animal Husbandry Manager Greg Whittaker. Greg will also share some insider tips on great birding locations around Galveston Island so that you can go out and bird on your own.
For a preview of what to expect here’s an overview of what happened when Greg went out for a tour on Oct. 17.
Saturday’s birding was a bit shorter than normal as the weather came in around 10 a.m. and started drizzling on us. We did manage to walk from the Hotel around the retention ditches to the west side of the Aquarium Pyramid, then out toe the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat dock and along the Offats Bayou shoreline, behind Palm Beach and out to the Moody Gardens Marina Dock. We then walked along the Lake Madeline channel to the Learning Place oak grove before returning back to the hotel. My eBird checklist for the outing estimated 3/4 mile distance over the hour we were outside.
I counted 25 species we encountered and am listing them here in taxonomic order, the order they appear in bird ID books.
Mottled Duck, Rock Pigeon, White-winged Dove, Marbled Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, Spotted Sandpiper, Laughing Gull, Neotropic Cormorant, Brown Pelican, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Reddish Egret, Yellow-crowned Night-heron, White Ibis, Osprey, Belted Kingfisher, Barn Swallow, European Starling, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, House Sparrow, Great-tailed Grackle and 2 unidentified warblers.
The two Marbled Godwit that flew overhead when we at the south end of the retention ditch were a nice surprise and one of the neater encounters.
There are a few more dates for this one-of-a-kind tour before the season is over coming up on Oct. 31, Nov. 7 and Nov. 14. Click here to book your experience today.