A-1 Hill Ponds

Location:

These ponds are on A-1 Hill Road, which is located off FM 1069 south of Hwy. 188.  The ponds are located on both sides of the road.  The ponds tend to disappear after periods of drought.  The best time to visit is in winter.  A Masked Duck was found here in 2001.

Aransas Woods

Location:

Hwy. 35 Bypass, about 1 mile north of 188 on the eastern side of road. Watch for the Great Texas Birding Trail sign.
This location is a fresh water marsh surrounded by oak mottes and native grasses such as little bluestem and bushy bluestem. Site has a windmill, walking tails and an observation deck.

Common Spring Species:

Migrants along the woodland trails including Warblers, Orioles, Tanagers, Vireos and Flycatchers

Common Fall and Winter Species:

Marsh Wren, Sora, Swamp Sparrow, Common Yellowthroat

Linda S. Castro Nature Sanctuary

On Aransas Pathways:

Linda S. Castro Nature Sanctuary

Cove Harbor

Location:

Head south out of Rockport on Hwy 35. Turn left onto Cove Harbor North. Park in the big parking lot at the end of the road.
Walk to the fish cleaning station and scan the channel and small islands.
Good area to scope for large groups of wading birds.

Resident Species:

Great Blue Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, Great Egret, Reddish Egret, Tricolored Heron, Snowy Egret, Brown Pelican, Clapper Rail, Black-necked Stilt, White Ibis

Cove Harbor Boardwalk

Location:

On the left of Hwy 35 before you get to Cove Harbor.
100 acres of wetlands.  Sight is dependent on water flow. This boardwalk can be productive after rains, especially in the winter and spring.

Resident Species:

Great Blue Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, Great Egret, Reddish Egret, Tricolored Heron, Snowy Egret, Brown Pelican, Clapper Rail, Black-necked Stilt, White Ibis

North Cove Harbor Wetlands Sanctuary

On Aransas Pathways:

North Cove Harbor Wetlands Sanctuary

Egery Flats

On Aransas Pathways:

Egery Flats

Copano Retreat Road

On Aransas Pathways:

Copano Retreat Road

Swan Lake

On Aransas Pathways:

Swan Lake

Hwy 188 Bridge

On Aransas Pathways:

Hwy 188 Bridge

Rattlesnake Point Road

On Aransas Pathways:

Rattlesnake Point Road

Port Bay Road

Location

Follow FM 1069 and turn right onto Port Bay Club Road. This is dry grassy scrub. At the end of the paved road, there is a section of caliche road that travels down to the bay where there is a salt marsh. Proceed with caution if road is wet (ruts develop)
This is private property. You must bird from the road.

Common Spring Species:

American Golden-Plover, Upland Sandpipers, Long-billed Curlew

Common Winter Species:

Vermillion Flycatcher, Assortment of Sparrows

Resident species:

Greater Roadrunner, Northern Cardinal
If the caliche section is dry, the salt marsh is a great place to find Seaside Sparrow, Roseate Spoonbill, White and White-faced Ibis

Ivy Lane

On Aransas Pathways:

Ivy Lane

Shell Ridge Road

Location:

Proceed south on Church Street past the Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary. At the bend there is a sign pointing to Shell Ridge Road.  Immediately after the sign take the fork to the left (this is 5th Street). The road will bend and pass St. Joseph’s Cattle Company and you will be on Shell Ridge Road.
Private property. Please stay on the road in your car and drive along the shoreline.

Common Species:

Check the fields on both sides of the road for Shorebirds. In the summer, Least Terns nest in the sand in the first field to the left. In the winter, large rafts of Redheads will be found floating in the bay near the road.

Resident Species:

Mottled Ducks, Black-necked Stilts, Willets

Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary

Location:

Corner of South Church Street and East First Street. Parking along E. First Street. 6.25 acres with observation platform. This sanctuary is a mixture of oak motte and native grasses.
This is the original location of the famed Rockport Cottages, operated by Connie and Jack Hagar. Mrs. Hagar moved to Rockport in 1935 and devoted her life to documenting birdlife in the Rockport area.

Common Spring Species:

Good migrant trap in the spring. Assortment of Warblers, Vireos, Orioles, and Flycatchers

Common Fall and Winter Species:

Migrating Fall Warblers, Hermit Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Assorted Sparrows, Blue-headed Vire

Cape Valero

Location:

Follow FM 1069 to a sign marking the Cape Velero subdivision. Turn onto Cape Velero Drive.  Follow this road to the marshes of Port Bay. This is a windy road with marshes on both sides.
This is a private area. Do not walk or park on any area except the road.
Best in winter

Common Spring Species:

Pectoral Sandpiper, American Golden Plover

Common Winter Species:

Assortment of Ducks, including huge numbers of Northern Pintails, both species of Dowitchers, Sandhill Crane, Northern Harrier, Osprey

Resident Species:

Roseate Spoonbill, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Clapper Rail

Moore’s Pond

Location:

From FM 1069, turn onto FM 1781. Moore’s Pond is .3 on the left. Pull off the road onto the gravel and grass. This is a busy road. Be watchful of cars.
Good Birding if the pond contains water

Species:

Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Neotropical Cormorant, Anhinga, Osprey, Pied-billed Grebe, White-tailed Hawk
Occasionally Fulvous Whistling-Duck and Great Kiskadee

Old Salt Lake Road

On Aransas Pathways:

Old Salt Lake Road

Memorial Park

On Aransas Pathways:

Memorial Park

Rockport Harobr

On Aransas Pathways:

Rockport Harbor

Rockport Beach Park

Location:

Concho Street This is a pay area with Little Bay to the left and Aransas Bay to the right. At the end of the park there is an observation platform overlooking Bird Island, which is spectacular in the spring with numerous nesting birds. This is an important nesting site of the Black Skimmer.

Common Species:

This is a nesting area for many birds. Some of the nesting birds include Black Skimmers, TriColored Herons, Reddish Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Least Terns, Laughing Gulls, Killdeer, and Clapper Rail

Common Spring and Summer Species:

Black Tern, Magnificent Frigatebird

Common Winter Species:

American White Pelican, Merlin, large flocks of Avocets

Residents:

Caspian, Royal, and Forster’s Terns, Roseate Spoonbill, Brown Pelican

Pathways Center - Pavilion & Bridge

On Aransas Pathways:

Pathways Center - Pavilion & Bridge

Rockport Demo Bird Garden and Tule Marsh East

Site CTC-050 Great Texas Birding Trail

Location:

This 5-acre site is located on Highway Bus 35 North, across the street from Walmart. You will notice a roadside park with shady parking. Enjoy a walk along the boardwalk.
Follow the trail beside the demonstration garden to the pond in the back of the property.
This site is sometimes called Tule Marsh East by Rockport residents – don’t let the name confuse you!

 

 Common Spring Species:

Scarlet and Summer Tanagers, Blue Grosbeak,Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo and Painted Buntings,Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, 27 species of Wood Warbler including Ovenbird, Prothonotary and Canada Warblers, Brown-crested and Great-crested Kingbirds, Solitary Sandpiper

Common Fall and Winter Species:

American Goldfinch, Lincoln’s, Swamp, and Chipping Sparrows, Orange-crowned Warbler, Pine Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Hermit Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Blue-headed Vireo

Shellcrete Birding Site

On Aransas Pathways:

Shellcrete Birding Site

Fulton Harbor

On Aransas Pathways:

Fulton Harbor

Airport Road

On Aransas Pathways:

Airport Road

Howard Murph Airport Park

Location:

FM 1781, directly behind the Aransas County Airport
This is a small park with access to Copano Bay. There is a short trail through brush.  There are picnic facilities. Stands of Mesquite and Texas Ebony trees. Previously named Aransas County Airport Park.

Species:

Greater Roadrunner, American Oystercatcher, Spotted Sandpipers, Caspian, Royal, and Forster’s Terns, assorted Sparrows in winter, Osprey and Little Blue Heron

Henderson Nature Site

On Aransas Pathways:

Henderson Nature Site

Copano Bay Fish Pier

Site CTC-049 on Great Texas Birding Trail

Location:

Actually a portion of the old highway that crossed Copano Bay. You can access the pier from the north and the south.  Parking available.
Best time to bird is Winter

Winter Species:

Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Bufflehead, Common Loon

Oystercatcher Point

Location:

South end of Copano Causeway, across the highway from the fishing pier. Parking available.
Small beach area forms a protective cove.

Common Species:

American Oystercatcher, American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Reddish Egret, Tricolored Herons, Spotted Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone

Winter Species:

Red-breasted Merganser, Common Loon, Eared Grebe, Common Goldeneye

Big Tree

On Aransas Pathways:

Big Tree

Goose Island State Park

Site CTC-048 Great Texas Birding Trail

Location:

Park Road 13 at the north end of the Copano Causeway.
314-acre Texas State Park
Pay area, pick up birding checklist and map.
The park has a variety of hiking trails, paved roads, feeder station, and water drips. The park has as area of Live Oak trees with understory, grassy areas, and marsh.

Common Spring Species:

wide assortment of spring migrants. Most of the area’s 27 regular Wood Warblers will be found here at the water drip, along with Grosbeaks, Tanagers and Orioles.

Common Winter Species:

Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Eared Grebes, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American White Pelican, Cassin’s Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow

Holiday Beach Pond

Location:

Heading north, turn right at the flashing light at Holiday Beach. Take right onto St. Charles Loop West, turn left onto DeSota Drive, turn right onto St. Charles Loop East, and then right onto Lakeview Drive. Lakeview Dr. is a dead end. You can park along the right and walk along this freshwater pond.

Spring Species:

Purple Gallinule, Fulvous Whistling-Ducks

Winter Species:

Large assortment of ducks, night-herons, wading birds

Cavasso Creek

Location:

North of Rockport on Hwy. 35 at the first bridge crossing a creek.
Roadside area. Private property on both sides of the road, pull off under the bridge (on right side of road heading away from Lamar).  Brackish marsh

Resident species:

Clapper Rail and Seaside Sparrow

Winter Species:

Sora, Virginia Rail, Boat-tailed Grackle

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Site CTC 37 Great Texas Birding Trail

Location:

From the south, follow Hwy. 35N to FM 774 exit.  Turn right on FM 774 and go approximately 6 miles winding through the farm fields.  Turn right again on FM 2040.
Open bay, flats, ponds, marsh, coastal prairie and woodlands.
Winter home of endangered Whooping Crane

Spring Species:

Warblers, vireos, flycatchers, thrushes and grosbeaks

Fall and Winter Species:

Whooping Crane, Sandhill Crane, Couch’s Kingbird, Redhead, American White Pelican

The Aransas Bird and Nature Club is a local, grass-roots organization, dedicated to the effort of improving our stewardship of the natural world entrusted to our care with a special interest in ornithology. The club accomplishes this goal by increasing local awareness of the natural world with monthly meetings and field trip, by fostering birding within our community and providing a positive force to protect birds and preserve habitat. We stand ready to assist other local and national organizations in their quest to further conservation efforts.

Photo Credits: All photos copyrighted by Jimmy Jackson. All rights Reserved. Please no copying.
Exceptions: Tanger on Programs page - copyrighted by Nancy Paulson.

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