Trip report: Upper Texas Coast and Hill Country (April 2021) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Dorian Anderson. This was a set departure tour, and included the optional Hill Country extension.

What an amazing trip; 246 species in 8 days of birding! Spring migration is always exciting, and the Upper Texas Coast is the best place on the continent to experience the annual spectacle. No family is more sought that warblers, and we ended up with an incredible 31 species when the extension was included. Throw in 8 species of vireos, 12 species of flycatchers, and various tanagers, orioles, buntings, and grosbeaks, and the action was non-stop! Waterbirds were also well represented, and we ended up with 15 species of herons, 8 species of terns, and 35 species of shorebirds. The last present major identification challenges, but a person hasn’t lived until they learn to differentiate the various ‘peeps’, right? Fortunately, two Whooping Cranes presented zero confusion. The iconic bird is rare outside of its Aransas Bay wintering grounds, so it was wonderful to intersect two representatives in a roadside marsh near Winnie. The Hill Country extension netted us Golden-cheeked Warbler and Black-capped Vireo, and we added species like Great Kiskadee, Long-billed Thrasher, Vermilion Flycatcher, Cactus Wren, and Couch’s Kingbird around Uvalde. And the best part? Our evening at the Rio Frio bat cave! Who wouldn’t want to see ten million bats at point blank range? It was another amazing Tropical Birding adventure!

Click here to read the full report (PDF).