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Spring Coastal Migration

Program Number: 20919RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/20/2014 - 4/25/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Port Aransas, Texas
Price starting at: $1,285.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding; Science & Nature Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 1 Brunch, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    

South Texas is a region like no other, hosting over 510 species of at least 650 known species to breed in the U.S. and Canada. Expert naturalists lead birders through multiple habitats of wetlands, shoreline, estuary, and brush, all located within two great migratory flyways. Marvel at endangered Whooping Cranes, cormorants, Green Jays, kiskadees, Olive Sparrows, Vermilion Flycatchers, caracara, numerous hawks, countless shore birds, and much more. Novice to veteran birders will enjoy birding at its finest.




Highlights

• Experience a wealth of birds and wildlife at the legendary King Ranch known for its array of green jays, vermillion flycatchers, and kiskadees.
• Search for new species to add to your life list as you explore the Port Aransas region, including the renowned Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center and Paradise Pond.
• Cruise along the Aransas and Copano Bays to see a myriad of wading birds and shorebirds.



Activity Particulars

Walking a minimum of 1.5 miles a day. In the field 5-6 hours a day. Driving up to two hours; getting in/out of large vans.



So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1.




Date Specific Information

4-20-2014

The week is based in Port Aransas with an emphasis on migratory warblers - April is the peak month for passerine migration. Whooping Cranes will have already migrated in April.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by University of Texas Marine Science Institute.




Port Aransas

Perched on the northern tip of Mustang Island, Port Aransas is a coastal community three hours south of San Antonio. Known for its spectacular birding — almost 500 species migrate here each spring — this part of the Coastal Bend offers deep sea fishing, nature boat outings and miles of beaches.



Accommodations
comfortable hotels just blocks from the beach

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Linda Fuiman

A native of Scotland, Linda Fuiman has maintained her Scottish brogue while living on the Texas Gulf Coast for more than 20 years. Through her work at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, Linda shares the wonders of nature with students of all ages. Most recently, she has led Birding 101 courses for kids, and serves as the education chair with the Coastal Bend Audubon Society. Linda also produces “South Texas Birding,” a monthly segment featured on a local television channel.
 
Nan Dietert

Nan Dietert is a skilled sculpturist, but she freely admits her “magnificent obsession” is birding — influenced by the remarkable variety of birds that live, winter, and migrate through the coastal bend and South Texas. Nan and husband Lyndon run a private guide service in Port Aransas, and they have offered their birding expertise on a river boat in Port Aransas during the Whooping Crane Festival, as well as on the intercoastal canal between Port Isabel and New Orleans.
 
Tommy Moore

Throughout his life, Captain Tommy Moore has been an avid outdoorsman who has explored the bays and estuaries of the Texas Coastal Bend since the age of 15. After giving up the corporate life in 2003, Captain Moore began piloting coastal birding explorations into the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge to see endangered Whooping Cranes. He continues to lead birding adventures around the Texas Coastal Bend where more than 400 species have been documented.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Best Western Ocean Villa
  Port Aransas, TX 5 nights
 Best Western Ocean Villa
Type: Motel
  Description: Located approximately 2 1/2 blocks from the Gulf beach and close to shops and restaurants. Trolley stop in front.
  Contact info: 400 E Avenue G
Port Aransas, TX 78373 USA
phone: 361-749-3010
web: http://bestwesterntexas.com/hotels/best-western-ocean-villa/
  Room amenities: Standard, well-appointed rooms with 2 queen sized beds, cable TV, microwave, refrigerator, hair dryer, coffee maker.
  Facility amenities: WiFi Access throughout hotel, guest computer in lobby, outdoor swimming pool with tropical landscaping, game room with Wii.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Call hotel for price Reservations for additional nights must be made directly with the hotel. We cannot make those reservations for you.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call hotel for price Reservations for additional nights must be made directly with the hotel. We cannot make those reservations for you.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:30 pm You will be staying at Best Western Ocean Villa that night.
  End of Program:
10:00 am You will be staying at Best Western Ocean Villa the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Yes. Release forms required by the University of Texas Marine Science Institute. These should be submitted at the same time as you mail the health and safety forms to the university.
  Parking availability:
Free parking at hotel
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Port Aransas, TX
  Nearest highway: Hwy. 361
  Nearest airport:  Corpus Christi
  From End of Program
  Location: Port Aransas, TX
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Corpus Christi

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
American Cab
phone: 361-289-9500
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$75 for up to 5 people
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 

 

Distance:

 

40 miles

   

Call 24 hours in advance to reserve a cab. They will need your flight number, arrival time, name and a contact telephone number. Acceptable payment is credit card or cash. Be sure you mention both Road Scholar and The University of Texas Marine Science Institute when you make your reservation. A list of other cabs will be made available to you 3/4 weeks prior to your trip.

Equipment Requirements: Please bring your binoculars. 8x42 or 10x50 work well if you have them. You may also bring your spotting scope if you wish but not essential..
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome, Program Orientation and Participant Meet and Greet.
(Sunday, April 20)
   
 Arrive To: Check in at 3 pm to the Best Western Ocean Villa
 Afternoon: 4:30 pm Welcome reception, meet and greet in the hotel meeting room.
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant
 Evening: Dessert back at the hotel and a brief summary of schedule.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Ocean Villa
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Birding in Port Aransas. A favorite stop over area for many migratory birds.
(Monday, April 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel: A typical breakfast menu would include a selection of hot and cold items - eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes, biscuits & gravy, cereal, yogurt, fruit, muffins, bagels, toast, juice, coffee.
 Morning: Depart for Port Aransas and the Birding Center and Paradise Pond both very productive birding sites year round. Look for warblers, wading birds, hawks and more.
 Lunch: Lunch at the campus cafeteria.
 Afternoon: Continue Birding the Port Aransas sites.
 Dinner: Enjoy the sea breezes while sampling some local seafood at Virginia's on the Bay.
 Evening: DVD on the background of the King Ranch
   
Accommodations: Best Western Ocean Villa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Cruise along the Aransas and Copano Bays and see a myriad of shorebirds, wading birds and dolphins.
(Tuesday, April 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel: A typical breakfast menu would include a selection of hot and cold items - eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes, biscuits & gravy, cereal, yogurt, fruit, muffins, bagels, toast, juice, coffee.
 Morning: Take a 3.5 hour cruise along the bays to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge to see a myriad of shorebirds, wading birds, hawks etc, and perhaps see a coyote's running through the wetlands.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch at the beach pavilion.
 Afternoon: Birding at the Goose Island State Park
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant.
 Evening: Free evening.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Ocean Villa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: King Ranch guided birding tour,
(Wednesday, April 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel: A typical breakfast menu would include a selection of hot and cold items - eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes, biscuits & gravy, cereal, yogurt, fruit, muffins, bagels, toast, juice, coffee.
 Morning: Early start. Drive 1.5 hours to the King Ranch for a 4 hour driving/walking guided birding trip with Ornithologist. Expect to see Green Jay, Kiskadee, Vermilion Flycatcher and lots more.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch at the ranch.
 Afternoon: Continue birding on the way back to Port Aransas.
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant.
 Evening: Free evening
   
Accommodations: Best Western Ocean Villa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Birding continues in the Corpus Christi area and Mustang Island beach.
(Thursday, April 24)

Note: This day will be used to visit a variety of sites to try and pick up any species that may have eluded us during the week.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel: A typical breakfast menu would include a selection of hot and cold items - eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes, biscuits & gravy, cereal, yogurt, fruit, muffins, bagels, toast, juice, coffee.
 Morning: Actual birding sites will depend on what birds we are targeting at this time.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant
 Afternoon: Birding continues after lunch to a variety of sites.
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant.
 Evening: Final bird check list and fairwells
   
Accommodations: Best Western Ocean Villa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Last chance birding.
(Friday, April 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel: A typical breakfast menu would include a selection of hot and cold items - eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes, biscuits & gravy, cereal, yogurt, fruit, muffins, bagels, toast, juice, coffee.
 Morning: Last chance to pick up a new species or two before the program ends
 Brunch: Program ends at 10 am. Take boxed lunch with you.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Brunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Port Aransas, TX Texas Maritime Museum
TheTX Maritime Museum, Fulton Mansion and Goose Island State Park are all located in Rockport.
  Texas State Aquarium
The Texas State Aquarium, Museum of Science and History, Columbus Ships and USS Lexington are all located in downtown Corpus Christi.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Bird Sense: What It's Like to Be a Bird [Hardcover]


Author: Tim Birkhead


Description: Most people would love to be able to fly like a bird, but few of us are aware of the other sensations that make being a bird a gloriously unique experience. What is going on inside the head of a nightingale as it sings, and how does its brain improvise? How do desert birds detect rain hundreds of kilometers away? How do birds navigate by using an innate magnetic compass? Tracing the history of how our knowledge about birds has grown, particularly through advances in technology over the past fifty years, Bird Sense tells captivating stories about how birds interact with one another and their environment. More advanced testing methods have debunked previously held beliefs, such as female starlings selecting mates based on how symmetrical the males plumage markings are. (Whereas females can discern the difference between symmetrical and asymmetrical markings, they are not very good at detecting small differences among symmetrically marked males!) Never before has there been a popular book about how intricately bird behavior is shaped by birds senses. A lifetime spent studying birds has provided Tim Birkhead with a wealth of fieldwork experiences, insights, and a unique understanding of birds, all firmly grounded in science. No one who reads Bird Sense can fail to be dazzled by it.



How Birds Migrate (Paperback)


Author: Paul Kerlinger


Description: The mysteries of migration have puzzled birders and prompted scientific inquiry for years. In this revised and updated edition, Paul Kerlinger unravels the intricacies of migration. Using case studies and illustrations, he explains the basics of flight, the effects of weather and geographical barriers, and flight strategy. Readers will learn how fast and how high birds fly, how far they go in a day, and how they navigate. This fascinating guide on bird migration makes the latest scientific findings available to birders and nature-lovers alike.



Butterflies of South Texas including the Lower Rio Grande Valley: A Guide to Common and Notable Species (Quick Reference Guides) [Pamphlet]


Author: Roland Wauer


Description: This waterproof guide beautifully illustrates over 80 species of butterflies and most of their caterpillars found in South Texas, including the Lower Rio Grand Valley, considered the number one butterfly watching area in the U.S. This pocket-sized guide, by Quick Reference Publishing,features color photos in a side-by-side format that makes it ideal for field use. The guide includes, along with many of the more common species, several of the region's most unique species: Giant White, White Angled-Sulphur, Tailed Orange, Silver-banded Hairstreak, Re-bordered and Blue Metalmarks, Red-bordered Pixie, Mexican Silverspot, White Peacock, Malachite, Red Rim, Mexican Bluewing, Guava and Violet-banded Skippers, Two-barred Flasher, and Erichson's White-Skipper. Common and scientific names, adult size, season when they can be found, and their caterpillar host plants are listed. Nature enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy using this marvelous guide.



Exploring the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail: Highlights of a Birding Mecca [Paperback]


Author: Mel White


Description: Exploring the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail examines highlights of this popular route: locations ranging from national wildlife refuges with tens of thousands of acres to small city parks to stretches of isolated road passing through birdy habitat. In this guide, expert birder/writer Mel White profiles more than 80 of the best sites along the trail, chosen for diversity of habitat, species, and seasonality; productivity; and accessibility. Site listings give general (and often specific) directions, contact information (including websites when available), advice about when and how to bird the location, and a listing of some of the notable species that might be found. Also featured are nearby museums, nature centers, festivals, and accommodations of particular interest to the visiting birder.



Identifying Hummingbirds


Author: Donald & Lillian Stokes


Description: Excellent book to help both the novice and experienced birder with hummingbird identification.



National Geographic Field Guide to Birds of North America


Author: Jon L. Dunn and Jonathan Alderfer


Texas Gulf Coast Stories


Author: C. Herndon Williams


Description: The middle Texas coast, known locally as the Coast Bend, is an area filled with fascinating stories. From as early as the days of de Vaca and La Salle, the Coastal Bend has been a site of early exploration, bloody conflicts, legendary shipwrecks and even a buried treasure or two. However, much of the true history has remained unknown, misunderstood and even hidden. For years, local historian C. Herndon Williams has shared his fascinating discoveries of the area's early stories through his weekly column, "Coastal Bend Chronicle." Now he has selected some of his favorites in Texas Gulf Coast Stories. Join Williams as he explores the days of early settlement and European contact, Karankawa and Tonkawa legends and the Coastal Bend's tallest of tall tales.



The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The Robert Porter Allen Story


Author: Kathleen Kaska


Description: Millions of people know a little bit about efforts to save the whooping crane, thanks to the movie Fly Away Home and annual news stories about ultralight planes leading migratory flocks. But few realize that in the spring of 1941, the population of these magnificent birdspure white with black wingtips, standing five feet tall with a seven-foot wingspanhad reached an all-time low of fifteen. Written off as a species destined for extinction, the whooping crane has made a slow but unbelievable comeback over the last seven decades. This recovery would have been impossible if not for the efforts of Robert Porter Allen, an ornithologist with the National Audubon Society, whose courageous eight-year crusade to find the only remaining whooping crane nesting site in North America garnered nationwide media coverage. His search and his impassioned lectures about over development, habitat loss, and unregulated hunting triggered a media blitz that had thousands of citizens on the lookout for the birds during their migratory trips. Allens tireless efforts changed the course of U.S. environmental history and helped lead to the passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973. Though few people remember him today, his life reads like an Indiana Jones story, full of danger and adventure, failure and success. His amazing story deserves to be told.



The Shorebird Guide


Author: Michael O'Brien & Richard Crossley


Description: Join the experts in birding by impression, a revolutionary approach to bird identification. Experienced birders use the most easily observed characteristics — size, structure, behavior, and general color patterns — to identify birds even before looking carefully at plumage details. Now birders at all levels can learn how to identify shorebirds quickly and simply. This guide includes more than 870 stunning color photographs, starting with a general impression of the species and progressing to more detailed images of the bird throughout its life cycle. Quiz questions in the captions will engage and challenge all birders and help them benefit from this simplified, commonsense approach to identification.



The Sibley Guide to Birds


Author: David Allen Sibley


The Tex-Mex Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos


Author: Robb Walsh


Description: Join Texas food writer Robb Walsh on a grand tour complete with larger-than-life characters, colorful yarns, rare archival photographs, and a savory assortment of crispy, crunchy Tex-Mex foods. From the Mexican pioneers of the sixteenth century, who first brought horses and cattle to Texas, to the Spanish mission era when cumin and garlic were introduced, to the 1890s when the Chile Queens of San Antonio sold their peppery stews to gringos like O. Henry and Ambrose Bierce, and through the chili gravy, combination plates, crispy tacos, and frozen margaritas of the twentieth century, all the way to the nuevo fried oyster nachos and vegetarian chorizo of today, here is the history of Tex-Mex in more than 100 recipes and 150 photos. Rolled, folded, and stacked enchiladas, old-fashioned puffy tacos, sizzling fajitas, truck-stop chili, frozen margaritas, Frito Pie, and much, much more, are all here in easy-to-follow recipes for home cooks. The Tex-Mex Cookbook will delight chile heads, food history buffs, Mexican food fans, and anybody who has ever woken up in the middle of the night craving cheese enchiladas. Available on Amazon.com





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