Overview

The upper Texas coast provides an unrivaled birding spectacle in the spring as millions of migrants stream north on their way to their breeding rounds. Southern species are already setting up territories and the inland forests are ringing with songs. The coast can be alive with up to 30 species of warblers and it is not uncommon to record more than 30 species of shorebirds alone. Famous migrant traps like High Island, Sabine Woods, and LaFitte’s Cove concentrate vireos, thrushes, tanagers, grosbeaks, and of course the jewels of Neotropical migrants, warblers. This trip coincides with the peak of spring migration and will take advantage of the best time of year to witness this miracle of nature. Three full days birding migrant hotspots on the coast should net us a wide variety of songbirds and shorebirds, plus one full day exploring the Big Thicket regions will add southern breeders and pine woods specialties.

Of course, no visit to Texas would be complete without seeing the Golden-cheeked Warbler, an endemic nesting bird, and the endangered Black-capped Vireo. The trip will head west for two days to explore the riches of the Hill Country where, in addition to the two star birds, we will see a suite of birds different from the coast. In order to complete the loop through Texas’ richest birding habitats we will pass through Kingsville to locate several Rio Grande valley specialties, most notably Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Tropical Parula and Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, plus Green Jay, Audubon’s Oriole and more. A short visit to the Rockport area will add many migrants and shorebirds.

This tour is offered in partnership with High Lonesome Birdtours. These are large group tours (up to 16 guests & multiple leaders), and will almost certaintly have participants from both Rockjumper and Highlonesome.

Tour Facts Top Birds
Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo, Woodhouse's Scrub Jay, Carolina Chickadee, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Wild Turkey, Yellow-throated, White-eyed, Blue-headed & Hutton’s Vireos, Canyon, Cactus and Bewick's Wrens, Northern Parula, Indigo & Painted Buntings, Blue Grosbeak, Greater Roadrunner, Curve-billed & Long-billed Thrashers, Pyrrhuloxia, Olive Sparrow, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Louisiana & Northern Waterthrushes, American Yellow, Worm-eating, Blue-winged, Black-and-white, Prothonotary, Orange-crowned, Tennessee, Nashville, Kentucky, Hooded, Yellow-throated, Magnolia, Blackburnian, Chestnut-sided, Pine, Hooded, Prairie, Canada, Bay-breasted, Wilson’s Warblers, Cerulean, Golden-winged, Mourning, Blackpoll, Cape May, Black-throated Blue & Black-throated Green Warblers, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Red-cockaded, Golden-fronted & Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, Aplomado Falcon, Botteri’s, Cassin’s, Clay-colored, Lark, Vesper, Seaside, Nelson’s, Le Conte’s, Savannah, Bachman’s & Grasshopper Sparrows, Brown-headed Nuthatch.
Top Mammals
Brazilian Free-tailed Bats, Bobcat
Habitats Covered
desert and desert scrub, sub-tropical woodlands and palm groves, riverside vegetation, wetlands
Expected Climate
temperatures will range from mild to warm, but can reach 90F at this time of the year in the Valley.
Max Group Size
14 with 1 Rockjumper leader & 1 Highlonesome Leader
Tour Pace & Walking
moderate with a few shorter walks (two to three longer drives). A few early morning starts are required especially for the Hill Country portion of the trip.
Accommodation
comfortable hotels & lodges, 2 or 3-star
Ease of Birding
generally easy
Number of Species Expected
275
Photographic Opportunities
outstanding
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

Stephan Lorenz is a fantastic guide. I chose this tour for the itinerary and for the length of it. Stephan had designed the tour based on his extensive knowledge of the birds in the area, so we ended up seeing a variety of habitats and lots of birds. He is a superb naturalist with a solid academic background and knowledge of many taxa - herps, fish, mammals, plants - in addition to birds. He was good at dealing with the variety of participants, getting everyone on the birds and allowing photographers good opportunities for taking photos. He also handled the various emergencies of the trip with calm.

This was my 4th tour with Stephan, and he continues to be welcoming, caring, and on-point the entire trip. He always goes the extra mile to ensure everyone has a chance to see the birds and is very informative throughout the tour, always slipping in identification characteristics, sounds, or habitats that will help us in the future. He does all this with a very easy-going manner despite his high energy level and excellent people skills to ensure comraderie within the group. Despite the varied skill levels of the group’s participants, he is able to make each of us feel special, whether it is for me as a beginner birder with limited name associations to the species and a brain that doesn’t recall the information from day to day, all the way for those who are excellent at spotting birds and already knowing the species, perhaps due to a career in the field. This tour provided more challenges with some restaurants and toilets closed due to the pandemic or limited hours which did not mesh with the tour route, but Stephan and Claudia did an excellent job of rounding up food, supplies, meals, drinks, and toilet breaks. Because of the intense nature and number of miles/hours required each day to see the target species, they arranged for one vehicle to return to lodging each night at dinner time to provide an early night for those of us who needed a bit more sleep or for those whose abilities limited nighttime walking on uneven surfaces! I really appreciated that effort and concern, even though I love to see owls, etc. They are wonderful guides and friends!!!

Guides were very safety conscious. They took care of their clients.

This was my 4th tour with Stephan, and he continues to be welcoming, caring, and on-point the entire trip. He always goes the extra mile to ensure everyone has a chance to see the birds and is very informative throughout the tour, always slipping in identification characteristics, sounds, or habitats that will help us in the future. He does all this with a very easy-going manner despite his high energy level and excellent people skills to ensure comraderie within the group. Despite the varied skill levels of the group’s participants, he is able to make each of us feel special, whether it is for me as a beginner birder with limited name associations to the species and a brain that doesn’t recall the information from day to day, all the way for those who are excellent at spotting birds and already knowing the species, perhaps due to a career in the field. This tour provided more challenges with some restaurants and toilets closed due to the pandemic or limited hours which did not mesh with the tour route, but Stephan and Claudia did an excellent job of rounding up food, supplies, meals, drinks, and toilet breaks. Because of the intense nature and number of miles/hours required each day to see the target species, they arranged for one vehicle to return to lodging each night at dinner time to provide an early night for those of us who needed a bit more sleep or for those whose abilities limited nighttime walking on uneven surfaces! I really appreciated that effort and concern, even though I love to see owls, etc. They are wonderful guides and friends!!!

Stephan is outstanding. His ability to find difficult birds is amazing. Both Stephan and Claudia's personalities make the trip very enjoyable.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2023 DEPARTURES
Tour Enquiry
  • Your details

  • Contact permission

    We would love to send you Newsletters, Promotions, Discounts, Blog Articles, and other content that we think you would find interesting. If you are happy with this then please select your preferences below. If you would like to unsubscribe from previous subscriptions, or leave our mailing list entirely, then please do so by visiting the Preference Centre link at the bottom of these emails.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.