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Ultimate Texas Bird Photo Workshop: May 2-10, 2025: This workshop includes 3 days photographing in Galveston including two sessions at blinds where many migrants including warblers, tanagers, orioles and others come to feed and bathe, 2 full days at Laguna Seca Ranch photographing Green Jays, Caracaras, Painted Buntings and many other birds from blinds, and visits to several other Rio Grande Valley sites to photograph as many of the South Texas specialties as possible.  It’s our expectation we will photograph well over 100 species on this trip.   

Maximum Participants:  5 participants.  Leaders are Ken Archer, Melody Lytle and Nate Chappell.

Whooping Cranes and Ranch, March 12-17, 2024: This workshop includes 3 boat trips on a specialized photography boat.  It also includes photographing cranes from blinds in the afternoon.  In addition to the cranes many other species of birds are photographed on this workshop including Roseate Spoonbills, Reddish Egrets, Sandhill Cranes, Long-billed Curlews, American Oystercatchers and many other shorebirds and waterbirds.  Then we will spend an afternoon and full day at a photo ranch which has Green Jays, Caracaras, Golden-fronted Woodpeckers and more.

Maximum Participants: 5, Leader is Ken Archer, Nate Chappell will be there for part of the workshop. 

Cost and Logistics

Ulimate Texas Workshop – 5,350 with a $600 single supplement, $4,850 nonphotographer.  Deposit to reserve your spot is $1,500.  Cost includes all lodging, ranch and blind fees, entrance fees, instruction, local transportation and guiding.  It does not include most meals or flights.  Fly into Houston and fly out of McAllen, Texas. 

Whooping Cranes – $3,150 with a $500 single supplement.  Nonphotographer spouse/companion 2,950, deposit is $800.  Cost includes all lodging, boat trips, blind usage and local transportation from Rockport, Texas to the photography locations.  It does not include meals or transportation to get to and from Rockport.

Ultimate Texas Workshop Itinerary

May 2nd: Arrival to Houston, Texas.  Transfer to Towneplace Suites in Galveston

May 3rd and 4th – We will have two full days of bird photography in Galveston.  Each afternoon we will photograph from blinds which attract migrants including warblers, orioles, buntings, tanagers, grosbeaks and other birds.  In the mornings we will do more waterbird and open country photography which will allow you to get stunning shots of Clapper Rails, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, white more Reddish Egrets and many other shore and waterbirds.  We may do some migrant photography as well in the mornings.  Towneplace Suites

May 5th – We will check out early and head to Brazos Bend State Park for our morning photography session.  This wild area of Cypress Swamps has Purple Gallinule, Anhinga, Yellow-crowned Night Herons and a multitude of other species.  This is a very different environment than any of the others we will visit on this trip.  We will then proceed to Edinburg, TX.   If we have time in the evening, we will visit the local wetlands.  Hotel: A nice hotel in Edinburg.

May 6th and 7th: 2 full days of bird photography at Laguna Seca Ranch.  Green Jays, Long-billed Thrashers, Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, Black-crested Titmouse and other South Texas specialty species are in good plumage at this time of year.  The Painted Buntings, Groove-billed Anis and other summer residents will be back, and we may get some nice migrants this time of year.  Ken and Melody will set up beautiful perches for the birds to land on.  Laguna Seca has the best raptor blind in South Texas often with dozens of Caracaras and it is also visited by Harris’s and White-tailed Hawks.  Hotel: A nice hotel in Edinburg.  

May 8th: We will spend the morning at the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands looking for Ringed and Green Kingfishers, Least Grebe and other species, then check out and head to our next hotel in Alamo.  After checking in we will head to Estero Llano Grande State Park, which is a great spot to photograph Pauraque.  The wetland can be very good for migrating shorebirds and Buff-bellied Hummingbird is often around the hummingbird feeders.  Hotel: A nice inn in Alamo, TX.

May 9th – We will spend this morning at the Rio-Bentsen State Park and visit the Butterfly Center.  The entrance to the state park usually hosts Altamira Oriole nests, difficult birds like the Southern Beardless Tyrannulet can often be found here.  The feeders at the Butterfly Center attract nice birds as well and we should get plenty of Plain Chachalacas here.  In the late afternoon we will visit a park which is the roosting ground of hundreds of endangered Red-crowned Parrots Hotel: A nice hotel in Alamo, TX

May 10th – We will visit another valley location or perhaps repeat one of the previous days’ stops depending on current conditions and birds.  You can schedule your return flight home for anytime after noon.

Whooping Cranes

March 12th – Afternoon arrival to Rockport, Texas.   If you are flying, the Corpus Christi airport is closest. Late afternoon photography trip to a local park to photograph shorebirds which often include Long-billed Curlew, Ruddy Turnstones, Royal Terns, Great Blue Herons and many other species. Evening presentation on bird photography.  Hotel: A nice hotel in Rockport. 

March 13th and 14th – Each morning we will have a Whooping Crane photography boat trip where we will photograph Cranes in the sloughs and bayous of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.   The boat often allows for close approaches to these amazing birds.  We will also visit offshore islands which harbor Roseate Spoonbills, Reddish Egrets and other birds.  We will break for lunch and then each afternoon photograph Whooping and Sandhill Cranes, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks and other birds from blinds on private property. Hotel: A nice hotel in Rockport.

March 15th – One more morning boat trip to photograph the Whooping Cranes followed by return to the hotel and check out.  Then we will head to Kingsville, Texas and check in to our next hotel.  In the afternoon we will visit a local photo ranch which has sunken blinds.  Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, Green Jays and Black-crested Titmouse are a few of the interesting birds which come to the blinds.  Hotel: A nice hotel in Kingsville

March 16th – We will spend a full day at the ranch today.  In the morning, we will be in the photo blind which attracts large numbers of Crested Caracaras, the Harris’s Hawks are fairly reliable here.  In the afternoon we will photograph in either the songbird blinds again or at the wetland blind, which also attracts some nice deer for reflection shots in the afternoon.  Hotel: A nice hotel in Kingsville

March 17th – We will check out and do a bit of shorebird photography in Corpus Christi in the morning, then we can drop you at the airport or if you drove you can head home. 

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