Day Trips: Galveston Island State Park

Enjoy the air show at Galveston Island SP


Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

Galveston Island State Park outside of Galveston preserves an oasis of nature surrounded by the development that covers much of the island.

Late last year I headed to Galveston hoping to spot the 3- to 4-foot-tall sandhill cranes. The red-capped birds migrate from northern states and winter along the Texas coast from December to February.

Let me say up front that I don't know much about birds. I just admire our feathered friends like I do most any wildlife (except maybe snakes).


After a fruitless day of visiting several birding locations listed at www.galveston.com/whattodo/outdoorfun/birding/birding-locations, my wife and I gave up the search. We grabbed supper at Blvd Seafood and headed for our campsite in the state park.

At first glance the park is a nondescript marshland popular with fishermen. The beach side of the park is closed until 2022 as the dunes recover after a battering by storms. As we pulled into the park a little after dark the lights of houses on stilts twinkled almost to the park's fence line. The city about 15 minutes away cast an orange glow on the low clouds.


The next morning the wetlands burst with avian life. A flock of great egrets, with a few snowy egrets, danced, sparred, and preened near the road. At another shallow pond a group of large white birds did synchronized aerial acrobatics before landing, and then repeated the display several more times.

Across the road from the air show, six flat-billed florescent pink roseate spoonbills slowly patroled the shore for their breakfast. The best description is "Wow."

I never saw the out-of-state visitors, but with the assortment of beautiful native birds, I can wait and try again next year.


1,539th in a series. Follow “Day Trips & Beyond,” a travel blog, at austinchronicle.com/daily/travel.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Day Trips
Day Trips: BeeWeaver Honey Farm, Navasota
Day Trips: BeeWeaver Honey Farm, Navasota
Farm offers a delicious education on essential insects

Gerald E. McLeod, May 27, 2022

Day Trips: Texas Ferry Rides
Day Trips: Texas Ferry Rides
Texas ferries are the best free rides in the state

Gerald E. McLeod, May 20, 2022

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Galveston, Galveston Island State Park, birding, Blvd. Seafood

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle