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by RichardMittleman/Gon2Foto on Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:08 pm
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I'll be flying into Houston and driving to a Whooping Crane tour Feb. 18-24.
Anyone know if there are any refuges that might have activity that would be worth stopping at?
Thanks
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by Ed1946 on Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:10 am
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Google Texas Great Coastal Birding Trail for many many possibilities. Spring migration begins around mid Feb. It’s too early to say which birds will be where. Also you haven’t said if your interested in shorebirds, passerine or specialties. Way too many choices of places
 

by photoman4343 on Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:38 pm
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Richard, here are some possible sites:

South of Houston: Brazoria NWR and San Bernard NWR and Quintana. There should be snow geese at Brazoria NWR.

East of Houston: Anahuac NWR and High island and Bolivar Flats on the Bolivar Peninsula.

South west of Houston: Brazos Bend State Park

I hope you were lucky enough to get a reservation to stay at the Crane House near St. Charles Bay. I have never been there but friends of mine go there every year to photograph the cranes.

http://www.cranehouseretreat.com/info.html

Joe
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by Bruce Sherman on Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:38 pm
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Richard,
I second Joe's recommendation for Anahuac and Brazos Bend. Both should be good at the time you are visiting. At Brazos Bend prepare for a lot of walking. In my experience the most productive areas are the trails that go around the various ponds. I can almost guarantee that you will get good shots of alligators at Brazos Bend. At Anuhuac there is a nice loop road where you can go completely around the refuge.

Aransas NWR north of Rockport is, IMHO, not worth a visit. You will get MUCH BETTER views of the cranes from the crane tour you plan to take. Around Port Aransas, the beach around the main jetty is often good for terns and gulls in February. The Port Aransas Birding Center, easy to find, was excellent before Hurricane Harvey two years ago. It can still be good but you can't get as close to the birds as you could before the hurricane.
 

by RichardMittleman/Gon2Foto on Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:33 pm
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photoman4343 wrote:
Richard, here are some possible sites:

South of Houston: Brazoria NWR and San Bernard NWR and Quintana. There should be snow geese at Brazoria NWR.  

East of Houston: Anahuac NWR and High island and Bolivar Flats on the Bolivar Peninsula.

South west of Houston: Brazos Bend State Park

I hope you were lucky enough to get a reservation to stay at the Crane House near St. Charles Bay. I have never been there but friends of mine go there every year to photograph the cranes.

http://www.cranehouseretreat.com/info.html

Joe


Thanks. Do you know if there is likely to be activity at the Smith Oaks Sanctuary in the middle of February?
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by photoman4343 on Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:34 pm
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Richard, My guess is Yes. There was last year. Almost all of the great egret courtship activity was over by about March 1st last year.

Construction is underway on a canopy boardwalk right now in Smith Oaks but the rookery will be open, but entrance might have to be through the Winnie Street entrance. Check out my recent posting under Texas for more info or send me a PM.

Joe
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by RichardMittleman/Gon2Foto on Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:51 pm
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photoman4343 wrote:
Richard, My guess is Yes. There was last year. Almost all of the great egret courtship activity was over by about March 1st last year.

Construction is underway on a canopy boardwalk right now in Smith Oaks but the rookery will be open, but entrance might have to be through the Winnie Street entrance. Check out my recent  posting under Texas for more info or send me a PM.

Joe

What are the chances that the Spoonbills will be there
Thanks
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by photoman4343 on Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:29 pm
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They may be there in February, but March is usually a better month. With nature, you never really know.

Joe
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by calvin1calvin on Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:44 pm
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There should be activity at Smith Oaks with Egrets, Spoonbills are usually a little later. ANWR can still be good for Hawks, ducks and maybe some small birds. If coming through Beaumont a quick stop at Cattail Marsh may find wintering ducks and hawks. A pair of bald eagles are nesting and may produce young that may still be around, although it will be late for them. Charlies Prarie at Port A may be good although I am not sure how much damage was received from Hurricane Harvey in '17. There is a water treatment facility behind the Mexican resturant in Port A that was good for woodpeckers, and small birds.
Goose Island State Park, just outside Rockport is good for warblers. The wintering RVers put up bird feeders and there are some drips and bird bathes throughout the park. You will need a long lens, 600, for frame filling images. If you are on a photo tour for Whoopers you may be going with Kevin Sims and/or his wife. He knows where the birds are and will get you on the birds.
 

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