“Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center is located at the south end of Ross Avenue behind the trolley stop and overlooks the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. It has a raised boardwalk that is wheelchair accessible and extends out into the cattails for a close-up encounter with Mother Nature. Bird viewing is facilitated by a 500 ft. boardwalk which traverses the marsh, with a 25-foot observation tower that permits a panoramic view of the pond and the surrounding flats.
Approximately 10 acres, the center is primarily freshwater marsh, with cattails. There is also a salt marsh area, with natural mudflats and spartina. At the entrance to the boardwalk, a row of black willows often attracts migrants and other landbirds. Across from the willows is a hummingbird and butterfly garden installed by the Port Aransas Garden Club. The area is a haven for all marsh birds, including Reddish Egret, grebes, rails, wintering ducks, spoonbills, and shorebirds. In the 2004 “Big Sit” competition, 100 species of birds were recorded from the tower in one day. The area is an excellent source of freshwater, and often attracts terns and frigatebirds.” ~cityofportaransas.org
We stopped by the Birding Center on our way home to Austin, after the Texas Sand Sculpture Festival last April. Since we were in a hurry to return home, we just stayed there for about one and a half hours. We saw a tricolored heron, least bittern, 2 northern shovelers, cinnamon teal, 2 blue-winged teals, 2 ruddy ducks, 2 American coots, 2 red-winged blackbirds, black & white warbler, black-throated green warbler, northern waterthrush, American avocet, 8 neotropic & double-crested cormorants, 3 black-chinned hummingbirds and about 10 grackles. (Click photo to view larger size.)