Out-of-state birders fly through area on way to birding festival

Published 12:28 am Tuesday, November 9, 2021

A group of bird watchers from various states gathered Monday at McFaddin Beach as they began the end of a multi-day tour headed for the upcoming Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival.

Chartered by the Beaumont Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the group containing birders from Arizona, Minnesota and Austin stood along the shoreline with binoculars and telescopes to view birds on an otherwise quiet beach.

“They’re here birding the upper Gulf coast and then next they’ll go down to the festival, which is lower Gulf coast,” said John Beaver, who served as their tour guide with the CVB. “They’ve been here since Friday. We’re birding today (Monday), and tomorrow heading to S. Texas.”

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Having arrived Friday, the group hasn’t been stagnant.

They started in the Piney Woods near Houston; then on Sunday went to Anahuac and Bolivar Peninsula; and Monday they visited McFadding Beach, Pleasure Island and Cattail Marsh.

“The tour has been very good, lots of great birds,” said Loren Alvin, who is visiting from Minnesota with his wife Pam. “But my biggest complaint is the food — too much and too good.”

Southeast Texas is known for its bird watching locations, as there are hundreds of different birds that enthusiasts may not find in other places.

According to the CVB, Cattail Marsh is home to 250 species of birds, and the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge has approximately 280.

Once they’ve reached the festival, the birders will be treated to more than 120 field trips over five days, speakers, a trade show, silent auctions and a chance to visit with birders from all over the country.

If interested in birding, visit https://visitportarthurtx.com/things-to-do/birding/ to request a birding book.