Places I've Birded
Here are some of my favorite places to go birding in Victoria and beyond...
One of the things I love most about birding is that you can really do it just about anywhere! My neighbors have gotten used to seeing me wander the neighborhood with my camera and will often ask what I've photographed that day. Most are shocked when I give them my neighborhood bird count. The point is, I never had any idea what was all around me. So look up, look down, look all around because you never know what you might see!
I love driving up and down the quiet country roads surrounding Victoria. In the late summer I've seen dozens and dozens of Scissortail Flycatchers and Eastern Kingbirds and in the fall the area is overwhelmed with different varieties of sparrows in addition to Eastern Phoebes, Eastern Bluebirds, Redwinged Blackbirds, and Vermillion Flycatchers. All year I see lots of raptors. My favorite roads: Salem Road, Nursery Road and Kohotek Road.
Palmetto State Park
This might be on my list of new favorite places! An hour from Victoria and a few miles outside of Gonzales, Palmetto is a beautiful getaway from the craziness of life! It features over 4 miles of hiking trails through a variety of habitats. Click here to read about my day trip there.
I grew up on the coast in California and nothing speaks to my soul like time spent on the beach. Consequently, I never miss an opportunity to head to Galveston, TX for some rest and relaxation. I've been going there for years and never realized what a birding hotspot it is! During Spring Migration hundreds of thousands of song birds land on the island before heading inland. A few of my favorite birding spots include Lafayette's Cove and the roads in and around 8 Mile Road.
I love the Texas Hill Country! One of my favorite places to commune with wildlife while hanging is the Louise Hays Park. Located along the Guadalupe River, it has great paved and unpaved walking trails and is a wonderful place to "loose yourself" for a few hours of wandering and exploring.
Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park is just outside of town next to the local airport. The park is a nice size and has great hiking trails along the river. A large bird viewing area near the trail entrance is great place to relax and snap some shots.
Brazos Bend State Park
I really love every Texas State Park that I’ve visited, but for photographing wildlife, Brazos Bend id definitely one of my favorites. It’s doesn’t have any bird blinds, but does have lots of wonderful walking trails with tons of wildlife close by. My favorite trails are the ones around 40 Acre Lake and Elm Lake. Plus, the trail connecting the two is always good for some diversity. In the summer you can see Prothonotary Warblers, Northern Parulas, and Purple Gallinules, and the winter the trees are full of vireos and kinglets. The lakes and marshes have an abundance of water birds and it’s not uncommon to see owls and hawks in the trees.
Hands down, this is probably my favorite place for bird photography. The park has 4 different and unique blinds at different locations that each attract a diverse selection of wildlife. In the Spring and early Summer the Golden Cheeked Warbler and Black Capped Vireo call the park home and make regular stops at the blind closest to the Visitors Center. In addition to the birds, the blinds are even occasionally visited by rabbits, rock squirrels, and grey foxes.
This community park has an interesting history. It was once a neighborhood that, unfortunately, was situated in a flood plain. The community of Schertz took it over and converted it to a park. It boasts 2 wonderful bird blinds with water features and feeding stations. A great place for Fall/Winter birding and late Spring migration. Click here for a brochure and map about park.