It may be a little nerdy, but if you love birding, you should own it. Imagine taking an entire trip devoted to Texas shore and migrating birds. There are plenty of wonderful birding locations on Galveston Island. Enjoy some fresh air and bring your birding checklist.
San Luis Pass
About 45 minutes from the center of Galveston sits San Luis Pass. The beach and water current are not conducive to swimming, so you can focus on birding. Hire an experienced Galveston Island charter bus service and avoid getting your car stuck in the soft sand. While there, keep an eye out for thousands of terns and the magnificent frigate bird, which is easy to spot as the males have huge red balloon throat pouches. You’ll find pelicans, gulls, larks and plovers in abundance.
Galveston Island State Park
After your time at San Luis Pass, hop on your bus for the quick trip up the Galveston Island State Park, a 2000-acre refuge for shore and migrating birds. This park features both one of the last remaining prairie habitats on the island and salt marsh wetlands on the bay side. Keep an eye out for Sandhill cranes and the great blue heron. There is a minimal entrance fee and numerous walking and paddling trials and outlook points. The names of the trails, such as Egret Loop and Duck Lake Trail, are predictive of what types of birds you are likely to see around the park.
East End Lagoon
Continue your journey east until you arrive at the East End Lagoon Nature Park and Preserve. The Galveston Park Board of Trustees, the City of Galveston and the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council jointly run this 700-acre bird and animal habitat to foster ecotourism. Raptors, sandpipers and cormorants are regular visitors to this protected wetland and lagoon area.
There is plenty of birding to be had on Galveston Island. In addition to the larger parks, just walk down any tree-lined street or along the beach, and you’re sure to see a variety of species.