Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Birding Sea Rim State Park

On the northeast coast of Texas, is a remote beach and coastal marsh that is still fairly undeveloped.  Driving west from Sabine Pass, Texas on Highway 87 you dead end into the state park and McFadden National Wildlife Refuge with miles of wilderness.  The best way to explore this area is by kayak or canoe but even without, most birds are fairly easily found.  

Northern Harrier above the dunes.

Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills, and
Great-tailed Grackle take off from the coastal marsh.
Sea Rim State Park provides easy access to a great coastal marsh and dunes as well as a great stretch of the coast.  A boardwalk takes you around the marsh where you can get nice views of all the herons and egrets, shorebirds, and ducks.  During the winter, Northern Harriers cruise over the marsh to add a bit more excitement and Merlins zip by while hunting the beach and dunes.

Snowy Plover-one of about 15 individuals present, a few Piping were also
in the mix.

Seaside Sparrow-one of many wintering in the dune grasses.

A walk down the beach and into the dunes is well worth it as well.  Many shorebirds gather in the winter including many Snowy and Piping Plovers, Marbled Godwit, and American Avocets.  Merlins hunt from perches on the beach while Brown Pelicans dive into the ocean catching fish.  A walk in the dune grasses will quickly provide great views of Seaside Sparrow and Sedge Wrens.  And, when you get sick of the open habitats, you can head back east on Highway 87 to a couple of woodlands, such as Sabine Woods where migrants abound in season.

-Eric

3 comments:

Virginia C. Wilson said...

I love the diversity of the fowls they see here. In Texas, this is one of the places for avid bird watchers. I hope they protect this place as a bird sanctuary.

Marina Clay said...

These are amazing shots, especially the second one with Egrets, among others. Birds are my favorite subject too, though I consider myself to be just an amateur photographer. Everywhere I go, I always make sure to bring along my SLR camera to capture great pictures like this.

Eric Ripma said...

Thanks for the comments!

The upper Texas coast is definitely one of the better locations for bird photographers. There are just so many birds it's hard not to get a good shot or two.