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A Birder's Guide to the Texas Coast

A Birder's Guide to the Texas Coast

Mel Cooksey & Ron Weeks

Revised edition: 2006. (Original text by James A. Lane)

Every birder has heard the expression, "warblers dripping from the trees". The Texas Coast is where that came from and, specifically, High Island - the most charming of migrant traps. This tiny town probably languishes under the occasional attention of hunters and lost tourists for the remainder of the year, but in April and May it absolutely vibrates! Birds and birders play hide-and-peek in the two little gems of sanctuary operated by Houston Audubon Society. Do you need a bird-finding guide to find great joy in the mere ounces of colour that just crossed the Caribbean? Not really. . .but you certainly do to find your way along the remainder of the Texas Coast. This is the best, the most current guide in print.

As well as covering the coast from Beaumont to Brownsville, an extensive section lists the birding spots in the Houston area. Inland routes also describe good locations in the Big Thicket for such species as Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Swainson's Warbler, and Bachman's Sparrow.

Mile-by-mile birding route instructions take one through year-round locales like Galveston Island (where some people keep reporting Eskimo Curlews), Anahuac, Aransas, and Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuges, Sabal Palm Sanctuary near Brownsville (another tiny gem), and into the most famous dump in the country at Brownsville, home of the Tamulipas Crow. Out-of-the-way spots are covered, too, but the major emphasis is placed on really productive areas, including Corpus Christi, Kingsville, Rockport, and many others.

A Specialities section will help birders figure out where to look for wanted species; seasonal occurrence/relative abundance bar-graphs let them assess their chances of finding these birds. Lists of mammals, amphibians and reptiles, and references are included. Original bird illustrations by several artists and habitat photographs also appear.

It is ABA's practice to have the birdfinding routes and maps checked out for accuracy by local birders. This generally results in the addition of a few of the checkers' favourite birding spots, and you'll find some of these places in this book. Even if you're not able to join the binocular crowd at High Island in springtime, this guide will help you make to the most of a trip in any season of the year.

From a review of A Birder's Guide to the Texas Coast

"As is usual in his bird guides, Holt's explicit directions are easy to follow... This bird guide - so compact, so efficient, so interesting - makes me want to get in the car and do the trip myself, even though I live here."

 - Phyllis Yochem, Corpus Christi Caller-Times

344 pages.

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