Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center - Port Aransas, Texas

While planning our trip to Texas I researched the best places to see birds in the area of Corpus Christi. For example, the Corpus Christi Caller Times, dated February 17, 2020, had an article "Love birds? Check out this comprehensive guide to South Texas". The article notes that Corpus Christi has been called the "Birdiest City in North America" and then provides the top birding spots in the area. The Leona Turnbull Birding Center ("LTBC") is the third spot mentioned. It notes a boardwalk that stretches for a quarter mile and allows close observation of many birds and an alligator or two. has an article "Enjoy Birdwatching in the Nation's Birdiest City" featuring two birders from Austin that are 20 year veterans of birding in South Texas and regularly visit the area. They brought family members on a birding trip to the area and the first place they visited was LTBC. They note the board walk with an observation tower that "allows for easy viewing of birds on the large pond and surrounding flats." They note regular visitors such as roseate spoonbills, pelicans, herons and ibis. Even TripAdvisor lists LTBC as #2 of 22 things to do in Port Aransas. A recent December 2021 post that I hadn't read noted that "Not all of the trails are open yet since the 2017 hurricane did a lot of damage." 

We visited on Thanksgiving Day and found quite a few people there. The observation tower is quite large and provides great views. Many of the birds and quite a large alligator were very close. 
Other birds, like the roseate spoonbills and pelicans, were farther out. 

Photos of many of the birds we saw follow:
I was most excited to see the green-winged teals, a bird I've never seen before. There were lots of them and they were close. This is a colorful male. The next photo is of the more drab female. 

A pied-billed grebe, one of the best photos I've ever gotten of one. I usually find them quite distant, this one was close. 

A red-winged blackbird. It was beyond the far end of the boardwalk. 

This northern shoveler, in breeding plumage, is how I've seen them in the past. 

This northern shoveler is in non-breeding plumage and the black head makes it look like a completely different duck. 

This northern shoveler female is drab like the female green-winged teal. 

A great-tailed grackle. 

Common gallinules: an immature one above and an adult below. 

A double-crested cormorant. 

Dunlins, another bird I've never seen before. 

A blue-winged teal male (and portion of a green winged teal to bottom left) and a female below.

A dowitcher, I believe long-billed, but I'm not good at telling them apart from the short-billed. 

A stilt sandpaper, upper left, another bird I'd never seen before. 

White ibis

American white pelicans.

Roseate spoonbills. 
This spot is small in area, but full of a variety of birds. 

1 comment:

  1. For being "the birdiest city in North America," you'd think we would have been able to find a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving. No such luck.