Do you like looking at ducks and herons? How about White-tailed Kites? Have you seen an Osprey eating a fish recently? Or a Caracara? You may not think of Galveston Island State Park as a birding destination during what passes for winter on Galveston Island; however, if you’re interested in seeing birds like those I’ve mentioned, it’s an excellent time to visit.
Recent Sunday bird walks in the Park have been very rewarding. Beginning at 8:00 a.m. at the Nature Center, the walks last until around 11:30 for those who can spare that much time. People with less time on their hands can drop out during convenient breaks in the morning’s schedule as walkers move between locations.
Sunday morning walks for the last month have demonstrated the wide variety of birds the Park has to offer, with over sixty species of birds being spotted every Sunday. However, walk leaders are more focused on providing participants with good looks at birds rather than building up long lists of species. Over the last three weeks, walkers have witnessed performances by Gull-billed Terns hunting over the marsh. They also saw beautiful Bufflehead and Redhead Ducks in the Bay, along with big flocks of shorebirds. On the beach, Snowy Plovers and Piping Plovers have been regulars.The Park’s nature trails have yielded many sparrows and warblers, including Palm Warblers, Orange-crowned Warblers, Lincoln’s Sparrows, and White-crowned Sparrows. Highlights of yesterday’s walk, led by Dr Dick Peake, included views of the hard-to-see American Bittern as well as Galveston’s City Bird, the Reddish Egret, and a Merlin, which flushed flocks of shorebirds from the mud flats at bayside.