Detailed Itinerary
Audubon's Oriole photo
by Bill Schmoker
Green Jay photo
by Bill Schmoker
Day 1: Arrival and Early Start on Spring Birding

Participants should arrive by the afternoon of the first day.
Since everyone will be eager to start seeing birds, we will
begin visiting nearby sites as soon as possible. Our initial
list should grow quickly, as we add many duck and
shorebird species, gulls, terns and some of the early-
returning Neotropical migrants, including a few warblers.

Day 2: Whooping Cranes and Boat Trip at Aransas
National Wildlife Refuge

The day begins with a three-hour boat excursion through
the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, where we will have an
excellent chance to see Whooping Cranes. The area hosts
the largest wintering population of this species. While many
will have headed north to their nesting grounds, there are
always some that remain well into April, and our boat
captain will know where to look for them. During the trip, we
should also see Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Mottled
Duck, Eared Grebe, Neotropic Cormorant, Tricolored
Heron, Reddish Egret, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill,
American White Pelicans, Brown Pelicans, American
Avocet, Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit, Caspian Tern,
Black Skimmers and maybe a Lesser Black-backed Gull.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Wildlife Drive at Aransas,
which will give us more opportunities for Whopping Cranes.
We will also find more water birds and species of open
areas, such as White-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, Inca
Dove, Crested Caracara, Eastern Phoebe, Loggerhead
Shrike, Pyrrhuloxia, Eastern Meadowlark, and maybe some
falcons hunting among the shorebirds. Upland Sandpipers
and Buff-breasted Sandpipers are possible.

Day 3:  Morning Birding in AM; PM Start Hill Country
Birding

We will begin this day searching for any target species we
have not yet seen, especially those that are not likely to be
found once we move away from the coast.
Our drive to the Hill Country will take up much of the mid-
day, but we can make two or three stops along the way,
including at Choke Canyon State Park, where we may find
Cinnamon Teal, Hariss’s Hawk, Common Gallinule,
Common Ground-Dove, Golden-fronted Woodpecker,
Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Vermilion Flycatcher, Couch’
s Kingbird, Green Jay, Cave Swallow, Black-crested
Titmouse, Verdin, Long-billed Thrasher, Olive Sparrow and
Audubon’s Oriole, as well as have more chances at
migrants.

We will also have the option of hurrying along to the Hill
Country, and maybe spending the late afternoon/early
evening making a first try for Golden-cheeked Warbler – or
searching for any other interesting species that may have
been reported by other birders.

Day 4:  Golden-cheeked Warblers at Lost Maples;
Black-capped Vireo at Kerr

Today is dedicated to seeing Golden-cheeked Warblers at
Lost Maples State Natural Area and Black-capped Vireos at
Kerr Wildlife Management Area. Our one mile round trip
walk through the woodlands of Lost Maples could also
produce Green Kingfisher, Yellow-throated Vireo, Western
Scrub-Jay, Canyon Wren, Black-and-white Warbler, Yellow-
throated Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Northern Parula,
Rufous-crowned Sparrow. Everyone should remember to
look up from time to time as Short-tailed Hawks have been
seen in the area. More likely are Zone-tailed Hawks.
Following lunch, we make the drive to Kerr Wildlife
Management Area. Here we will drive the dirt roads,
listening for the song of the Black-capped Vireo. These
birds can be difficult to see, but with enough patience,
everyone should get a good look at them. There will not
likely be many other birds of interest here (perhaps
Vermilion Flycatcher) so once we see the vireos, we will
begin the hour drive back to our lodging, but with stops at
stream crossings to look for Green Kingfisher and Wood
Ducks.

Day 5:  AM Looking for Key Species at Nearby Sites;
Late PM Flights Homes

This final day of our trip we will target any species we have
not yet seen. Two nearby sites offer good birding
opportunities: Neal’s Lodges and Garner State Park. In
addition to some early spring migrant warblers and
sparrows, we will look for Black-chinned Hummingbird, Ash-
throated Flycatcher, Cactus Wren, Spotted Towhee, Lark
Sparrow and Bullock’s Oriole. Chihuahuan Ravens are
sometimes spotted here. Also, both of these locations
sometimes have Ringed Kingfisher and Tropical Parula this
time of year. If they have been reported, we will certainly
look for them.

Along the drive back to toward San Antonio is Castroville
Regional Park, where we can stop for a last picnic lunch,
and maybe a new bird or two, before we arrive at the
airport for late afternoon flights home.
Olive Sparrow photo
by Bill Schmoker
Red-crowned Parrot photo
by Bill Schmoker
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher photo
by Bill Schmoker
Golden-fronted Woodpecker photo
by Bill Schmoker
Birding Texas:
Whooping Cranes & the Hill Country
Texas: Whooping Cranes & the Hill Country
Please call Charles (in the USA at 720-320-1974 or toll free at 888-203-7464) or Ian
(in the UK at 07719-052820), and/or email
info@pibird.com. Also feel free to click
here.
Golden-cheeked Warbler photo
by Bill Schmoker
Vermilion Flycatcher photo
by Bill Schmoker