18333
Port Aransas
Endangered Whooping Cranes: A Celebration of Life
See endangered Whooping Cranes up close in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, where you’ll learn the story of this unique bird and hear about rehabilitation and conservation efforts.
Rating (5)
Program No. 18333RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,289
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Port Aransas, Texas
D
Best Western Port Aransas

Activity note: Hotel check-in at 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the schedule labeled “Free Time” and “At Leisure” offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable while going out to explore on your own, engaging in available activities independently, making new friends among fellow Road Scholars, or simply relaxing. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At local restaurant, plus coffee, tea, water.

Evening: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

DAY
2
The Great Texas Birding Trail
Port Aransas, Texas
B,L,D
Best Western Port Aransas

Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll choose from a buffet consisting of hot and cold breakfast items; eggs, bacon, sausage, cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, pastries, toast, bagels, coffee, tea, water, fruit juice.

Morning: We will learn about shorebirds with a presentation from a local birding expert. Afterwards, we will take a field trip to the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center, one of the most diverse birding sites in Port Aransas year round.

Lunch: At the university cafeteria, we will enjoy a delicious and wholesome lunch while watching ships navigate the channel from the Gulf of Mexico. Coffee, tea, water included.

Afternoon: We will continue birding along the beach and bays on Mustang Island, looking for shorebirds.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: We will enjoy a film called “The Flight of the Whooping Crane,” a great source of background information prior to our cruise tomorrow.

DAY
3
Whooping Crane Cruise
Port Aransas, Texas
B,L,D
Best Western Port Aransas

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will depart to Rockport and Fulton for our cruise aboard the M/V Skimmer. We’ll sail along the intracoastal waterway to the shores of the Aransas Wildlife Refuge for sightings of whooping cranes and other birds.

Lunch: At the Rockport Beach pavilion while watching the gulls and herons forage on the waters edge.

Afternoon: We will continue our cruise to Lamar Peninsula for more birding opportunities near the Big Tree, the second oldest live oak in Texas.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Continue enjoying the company of new Road Scholar friends with informal activities such as card games, a movie, or sharing your favorite experiences of the day.

DAY
4
Fennessey Ranch Birding Hayride, Wetlands Education Center
Port Aransas, Texas
B,L,D
Best Western Port Aransas

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will ride to Fennessey Ranch, a family-owned ranch founded in 1834 and located on the Mission River, where we will enjoy an open-wagon hayride. We’ll watch out for a variety of hawks and other wildlife on the ranch, which boasts 4000 acres of wetlands and woods in the Central Flyway Migration Corridor.

Lunch: At a local, family-owned deli, we will enjoy a meal, including coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: We will travel to the Animal Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) and the Wetlands Education Center (WEC) at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas for a presentation by a university expert on the whooping crane’s status. Afterwards, we will return to the hotel for dinner.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room, we will enjoy a catered meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Port Aransas Nature Preserve
Port Aransas, Texas
B,L,D
Best Western Port Aransas

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will ride to the Port Aransas Nature Preserve, where we will expect to see a variety of duck species, waders, shorebirds, gulls and hawks. The tidal flats within the preserve are home to many endangered and threatened species like the piping plover.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will continue birding in the area to hopefully spot some new species that may have eluded us during the week.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: We will travel to the University of Texas Marine Science Institute for a public lecture given by a university expert. Our program was planned far in advance when details of this lecture were not available. The information will be posted on our website when available and included in preparatory materials sent following enrollment. Returning to the hotel, prepare for check out and departure following our final event in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Port Aransas, Texas
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!