USA - Whooping Cranes - Aransas and San Bernard NWR - March 2009

Published by Jeffrey Mohamed (engintsf AT

Participants: Jeff Mohamed, Deanne Manwaring


My wife and I went to Fulton/Rockport last weekend to take a Whooping Crane tour. We reserved places for early Saturday morning on Captain Tommy's "Skimmer," so we drove down from Houston the night - 4 hours of driving in the rain.

We were at the wharf and excited at 7:10 Saturday morning but the crew didn't show. They had canceled the trip on Friday afternoon because there weren't ten reservations. They say they called us Friday afternoon, by which time we were already in Fulton anyway.

So we were out two tanks of gas, 8 hours of driving (roundtrip) and $140 for the hotel.

Luckily, we'd stopped off at Aransas NWR on the way down and had seen several Whooping Cranes there.

We made the best of a bad thing by stopping off at San Bernard NWR on the way home. It never stopped raining but we enjoyed good views of a Bald Eagle and an American Bittern among many other birds.

We'll try for a boat trip again before the end of March, but this time we're going to book the Wharf Cat. It seems that they run a regular schedule and, unlike the Skimmer, they don't cancel if they don't get a boatful of people.

Species Lists

Aransas NWR

Whooping Crane, White-tailed Kite, Osprey, Northern Parula, Great Blue Heron, Great and Snow Egret, American Coot, Common Moorhen, White and Glossy Ibis, Lesser Yellowlegs, Sanderling, Long-billed Dowitcher, Gadwall

San Bernard NWR

Bald Eagle, American Bittern, Barn Swallow, Tree Swallow, American Pipit, Crested Caracara, Swamp Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, American Coot, Common Moorhen, Pied-billed Grebe, Cooper's Hawk, American Kestrel, Red-tailed Hawk