Tours and Trips 2008

Note: Participants must pre-register to attend an event. Send payment to the address listed above. For additional information about an event, including species that may be seen during a tour and a complete itinerary, contact Darrell via e-mail or telephone. Thank you.

Fully insured tour company.


Swainson’s Warbler Tours

From mid-April through late June Darrell will offer tours to the nesting grounds of Swainson’s Warblers near Chappell Hill. Trip participants will arrive at the nesting grounds at 7:30AM. Darrell will take individuals and groups of no more than 5 to the nesting site. Groups will be limited in numbers, as Swainson’s Warblers are very secretive birds. Swainson’s Warblers sing actively in the morning. Participants will bird the Swainson’s Warbler habitat for two plus hours. Pileated Woodpecker, Acadian Flycatcher, and Indigo Bunting are just a few species which also nest at the Swainson’s Warbler site. Cost is $35.00 per person.


Texas Hill Country Trip                        Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19, 2008      

Darrell is conducting this Texas Hill Country trip west and north of San Antonio. Black-capped Vireo, Western Scrub-Jay, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, Cactus Wren, Curve-billed and Long-billed Thrasher, Golden-cheeked Warbler, Canyon Towhee, Black-throated and Rufous-crowned Sparrows, and Scott's Oriole are some of the species that will be seen during the two-day trip. Neotropical migrants on their way north will also be seen during the trip.

The Texas Hill Country trip is limited to 10 participants. The cost is $150 per person for the two days. Darrell will meet participants in Kerrville at 7:30AM on the morning of the 18th. If enough people commit to this trip, Darrell will rent a passenger van. We will head west of Kerrville to our first location that hosts both Black-capped Vireo and Golden-cheeked Warbler. On the night of April 18th we will stay in Uvalde. Darrell can give suggestions for lodging in the Uvalde area. We will begin the morning of the 19th birding the Uvalde area then work our way northward. The tour will end around 5pm.

Participants should bring plenty of water, insect repellent, a hat, and wear sturdy shoes, as the trails in the Texas Hill Country are rocky.


Migration on the Upper Texas Coast     Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26, 2008

Darrell will be leading this birding tour during the height of spring migration on the Upper Texas Coast. We will visit several migrant traps. Shorebirds, vireos, swallows, thrushes, warblers, tanagers, grosbeaks, buntings, and orioles will be in evidence at this time of year. The tour is limited to 10 participants. The cost is $150 per person for the two days. Transportation from your hotel to the birding sites will be provided. Participants must make their own accommodations and meals are not included in the cost of the tour. Winnie, which is on the Interstate 10 route, will be our base for the tour. There are a number of hotels in Winnie.

Participants should bring water, insect repellent, a hat, rain jacket(rain storms can occur at anytime in late April on the coast), and wear sturdy shoes.


Navasota Bottoms Trip                                       Saturday, May 3, 2008

This tour will be conducted in the Peach Creek area on a 463-acre tract in southern Brazos County. Most of the property is old-growth bottomland hardwood forest. There are sloughs, a creek, a natural wetland pond, and Navasota River frontage on the property.

Some of the unique year-round residents that may be seen on the property during this tour include: Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, and White-breasted Nuthatch.

All of the nesting birds on the property will have arrived on territory by this time. Yellow-throated Vireo, Northern Parula, Black-and-white Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, Swainson's Warbler, Summer Tanager, Indigo Bunting, and Painted Bunting will be singing their hearts out. We will likely see migrants such as empidonax flycatchers, Yellow Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, American Redstart, and Baltimore Oriole.

The cost for this trip is $30.00 per person and is limited to 10 participants. I will meet participants at the entrance to the property off of Highway 6 on Peach Creek Road at 7:30AM. We will bird the property until around 12:30PM.

Participants should bring plenty of drinking water, a sack lunch, insect repellent, and wear sturdy, water-proof hiking boots. The restrooms in the hunting compound will be open, as will the kitchen. We can have lunch on the porch of the kitchen that overlooks the riverbottom.

West Texas Trip                                      Sunday, May 4 and Monday, May 5

Darrell will be guiding a group in the Davis Mountains, Christmas Mountains, and Big

Bend National Park. Darrell will meet participants at Lawrence E. Woods Roadside Park near Fort Davis at 8am on May 4th. Participants will have the opportunity to see such nesting species as Golden Eagle, Montezuma Quail, Band-tailed Pigeon, Elf Owl, White-throated Swift, Lucifer Hummingbird, Magnificent Hummingbird, Acorn Woodpecker, Say’s Phoebe, Cassin’s Kingbird, Steller’s Jay, Mountain Chickadee, Western Bluebird, Phainopepla, Lucy’s Warbler, Grace’s Warbler, Hepatic Tanager, Western Tanager, Black-throated Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Varied Bunting, Bullock’s Oriole, Scott’s Oriole, and Bronzed Cowbird. Migrants such as Black-throated Gray Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler, and Yellow-headed Blackbird. There is one slot open on this tour. Lodging will be in Alpine. Darrell is willing to extend his stay in west Texas to accommodate more birders. Contact Darrell for additional details.


East Texas Nesting Warblers                  Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25

The primary goal of this two-day birding tour will be to find all fourteen wood warblers that nest in the Pineywoods of East Texas. Last year's trip produced 12 species of warblers, including Yellow-throated, Prairie, American Redstart, and Swainson's Warbler. We missed Black-and-white Warbler and Worm-eating Warbler. A new game plan for this year's trip will hopefully produce all fourteen nesting warblers. Almost all of the nesting birds of east Texas will be singing on territory during the dates of this trip. Bachman's Sparrows cease singing in May. Participants will have great opportunities to see up to seven nesting woodpecker species, Yellow-throated Vireo, Brown-headed Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Wood Thrush, Summer Tanager, Indigo Bunting, and Orchard Oriole. During last year's tour we had Wood Thrushes serenading us in the morning.

The tour is limited to 10 participants. The cost for the two-day tour is $100.00. Darrell will meet participants at a location in Silsbee at 7:30AM on the morning of the 26th. We will spend the night of May 24th in the Beaumont area.

Bring plenty of fluids, insect repellent, a hat, and wear sturdy shoes.


Lower Rio Grande Valley                               Saturday, June  7- Monday, June 9

Darrell will be down in the valley guiding a client the first full weekend in June. If you would like to schedule an outing, give Darrell a call or send him an e-mail.


Bird Banding Workshop in the Navasota Bottoms                   Saturday, June 14

Last June during a banding workshop in the Navasota Bottoms we banded White-eyed Vireos, Northern Parula, Swainson’s Warblers, Kentucky Warbler Indigo Bunting, and Painted Bunting. We will set up mist nets once again on a privately-owned property off Peach Creek Road in the Peach Creek community southeast of College Station.
The rate for the banding workshop is $15.00 per person with a limit of 10 participants. Mist nets will be set up by 7:30AM and will be taken down around noon. Bring your favorite lawn chair and assist Darrell with watching the nets for captured birds. We will set up in the shade. Participants will have the opportunity to take measurements and place bands on birds. Those with a camera are encouraged to bring it along. Participants should bring drinking water and insect repellent and wear sturdy shoes.


Fall Migration in the Navasota Bottoms                        Saturday, September 20

Neotropical migrants and unique permanent residents will be seen during this tour of unspoiled land along the Navasota River in Brazos County. The tour will be conducted on a privately-owned 463-acre bottomland hardwood tract near the Peach Creek community. The property is mostly virgin bottomland hardwood forest with sloughs, a permanent wetland, a creek, and Navasota frontage. Vireos, wood warblers, grosbeaks, buntings, and orioles are a few of the neotropical migrants possible during this field trip. Wood Duck, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, and White-breasted Nuthatch are just of few of the permanent resident species we might see. The duration of this trip will be 8:00AM till around 12:30PM. The cost is $30.00 per person. The trip is limited to 10 participants. Participants will meet Darrell by 8:00AM at a location along Peach Creek Road in Brazos County. Peach Creek Road runs east and west from its junction with Hwy. 6 between Navasota and College Station. The specific meeting site will be given once payment is received.

Bring drinking water and snacks, a lunch, and wear sturdy hiking shoes. We will have lunch in the hunting compound on the site. Two restrooms and the kitchen will be open in the compound..


Lake Somerville                                                      Sunday, November 16

Since Lake Somerville was constructed in the early 1970's the lake has played host to over 300 species of birds at one point or another. Several parks dot the shoreline around the lake. During this trip we will start out on the south shore at Overlook Park in Washington County and work our way around the lake. The cost for this trip is $39.00 and is limited to 10 participants. The fee includes entry into the Corps parks and state park at the lake. You must pre-register for this tour. The duration of the trip is 8:00AM till about 2:00PM. Participants should meet Darrell by 8AM at the convenience store at the junction of Highway 36 and FM1948, which is south of the lake.

Waterfowl, long-legged wading birds, raptors, shorebirds, marshland birds, and woodland birds will be seen during the tour of Lake Somerville. During previous tours at the lake we have seen such species as Common Loon, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Bonaparte’s Gull, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and several species of winter sparrows.

Bring a lunch, water, and insect repellent.

East Texas Woodpeckers and Nuthatches                   Saturday, December 6


Individual half-day and full day guide services

Darrell's guide services are available to individuals at the rate of $75.00 for a half-day and $150.00 for a full day locally(Brazos Valley).

Darrell's services are available to individuals at a rate of $85.00 for a half-day for trips outside the Brazos Valley. His guide service rate for trips outside of the Brazos Valley is $175.00 for a full day.

Group rates are available. Contact Darrell for more information.