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Field Trips

Galveston County Audubon Group

The Galveston County Audubon Group (GCAG) of the Houston Audubon Society was organized in 1998. Conceived by Houston Audubon members, the goal was to provide local birders with access to speakers and activities without the need to travel to Houston. The Galveston County Audubon Group conducts monthly field trips, September through March. In December the field trip is replaced by participation in the Christmas Bird Count. Field trips usually focus on local birding hot spots.

In addition, we hold meetings jointly with the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council (GINTC). The meetings are held in the Wortham Auditorium on the first floor at the Rosenberg Library, 7 - 8 PM. The address for the Rosenberg Library is 2310 Sealy Street, Galveston, TX 77550. We welcome guests to come at 6:30 PM to visit with other birders about their recent outings and sightings before the meeting. Meetings are scheduled in September, October, November, January, February, and March. 

Membership is free and meetings and field trips are open to the public. We encourage membership in Houston Audubon Society, but it is not required. GCAG members assist with Featherfest, Galveston Island State Park and the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council in leading local birding trips. In the past year, members have been very active in the restoration of Houston Audubon Society's Dos Vacas Muertas Bird Sanctuary, located on the west end of Galveston Island.

Upcoming Events

October Presentation: Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 7 PM, Rosenberg Library

"Shorebirds of the Texas Upper Gulf Coast"
Presenter: Jim Stevenson

Jim Stevenson will provide a thorough and entertaining presentation on the myriad of shorebirds that call the upper Texas coast home through the fall and winter. His ornithological knowledge and insight, coupled with his talented photography will provide us with a great opportunity to learn about the migratory shorebirds that visit us each year. Doors will open at 6:30 PM. Come early to visit about recent sightings.

October Field Trip: Saturday, October 23: Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary

We will focus our field trip on the beach and marsh habitats at the western end of the Bolivar Peninsula, including Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary and Horseshoe Marsh. Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary is a Globally Important Bird Area, the highest designation, and an International site in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. BFSS and Horseshoe Marsh are two of the 17 sanctuaries in 5 counties owned and managed by Houston Audubon.

We will meet at 8 AM at the vehicular barricades at the east end of the sanctuary and do a brief orientation as we await any stragglers and pick out some of the interesting birds using the beach habitats. Bring snacks, water and mosquito spray and appropriate footwear for beach walking with a chance of some softer sand/mud areas. We will walk west down the beach as far as we feel comfortable being mindful not to disrupt the flocks of birds too much. We will have a couple of spotting scopes to help show the diversity of sandpipers, plovers, herons, egrets, gulls and terns that are present. After leaving the beach we will bird by car along Rettilon Road and across 87 on Kingston Beach Road. We will drive the eastern and northern edges of Horseshoe Marsh Sanctuary along Rt 108, then return to Highway 87 on Frenchtown Road. If time allows and there is interest, we might drive back east on Highway 87 to 7th Street and take a right to explore Fort Travis.

To get to the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary from Galveston, you will cross the ferry and drive east on Highway 87 for 3.7 miles. Turn right on Rettilon Road. Drive the length of Rettilon onto the beach and turn right. Drive on the beach to the vehicular barricade where our group will be assembling. If you are coming from the east down Bolivar Peninsula, you will drive approximately 25 miles from the junction with Highway 124 near High Island and turn left onto Rettilon Road. Rettilon Road and Kingston Beach Road intersect Highway 87 slightly askew of each other at a large sweeping turn in Highway 87.