City Social Magazine

MAR-APR 2018

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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19 Our group headed out to the east end of Galveston, which overlooks the Gulf as it enters Galveston Bay, and R.A. Apffel East Beach Park, which includes a protected site for the Wilson plover habitat. Here, we not only spotted the plover but cormorants, clappers, sandpipers and sorrels. Now that the sun was warming our faces, we jumped on the van and headed to other island sites, such as the airport where sandhill cranes from Nebraska wintered or the Corps Woods with its paths and boardwalks through an oak chenier, known for housing colorful migratory songbirds. We even visited a school where several monk parakeets were nesting in the giant outdoor lights. By the field trip's end, we boarded the bus and exchanged notes, counting up 135 species for the day. Sadly, we failed to beat the trip from the year before, but I was still thrilled. I had witnessed 135 bird species in one day! The following day I attended a fieldtrip on shore birds led by Jim Stevenson, Director of the Galveston Ornithological Society and a professional bird guide who's traveled the world and seen nearly 7,000 species. Stevenson has authored numerous books on birds and publishes a birding newsletter that's full of gorgeous photography, so you can bet we saw our share. Stevenson even invited us into his home, located inside a chenier; there, we spotted gorgeous scarlet tanagers and an indigo bunting. Two days of FeatherFest and more than 100 species later, I left feeling worthy. Want to go? This year's FeatherFest will be April 17-22 at locations throughout Galveston and the surrounding region, such as Port Allen, Katy Prairie and the Bolivar Peninsular. Photographers may want to enter the FeatherFest photo contest which runs from March 11th through April 1st. Fledging Fest, designed for ages 6+ with accompanying grown-ups, will also be held that weekend. As for that annual big day fieldtrip, this year is chalking up to be bigger. "This year it's taking place smack dab in the middle of spring migration so we are hoping to break our species record," said Julie Ann Brown, Executive Director of the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council. Galveston offers a wide range of accommodation options, from the elegant Hotel Galvez and Tremont House to the Moody Gardens Hotel and Spa located on Offatts Bayou, where bird species may be spotted. There are numerous rental companies on Galveston as well, including Sand 'N Sea, which manages everything from quaint condos to elaborate beach houses. For more information on FeatherFest, visit http://www. galvestonfeatherfest.com. For more information on Galveston, visit www.Galveston.com.

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