Weekend Birding Itinerary
Three Days in Port Arthur
Shore birds love us year round and colorful warblers know Port Arthur’s Sabine Woods is THE stopover for spring and fall migration. Sea Rim State Park’s coastal span is dinner on the beach. Pleasure Island is lakeside dining. Check out the why and where Port Arthur birding:
New or Novice?
Experienced birders enjoy Port Arthur’s big counts and new-to-the action fans can jump in and learn from our birding guide, available HERE. Read on for highlights of where to go and WHY we are birdy.
Two Flyways? That’s Big.
Port Arthur’s coastal beauty is set in both the Central and Mississippi Flyways, attracting multiple species of ducks, snow geese and in the fall through March. Birds flying in from South America in the spring find rest and fuel at Sabine Woods. In the fall, it’s their last stop before heading back across the waters.
Port Arthur Hotspots and Itinerary
Stay in Port Arthur and spend a few days. You’ll have plenty to see in different terrains. First we’ll highlight a few hotspots then offer how to plot your path in Port Arthur and beyond:
* Sabine Woods – This chenier ridge is internationally famous for “first landing” migrant stopovers in spring and fall. Warblers, thrushes, and tanagers come from late March through mid-May and head back in the fall.
* Sea Rim State Park – Enjoy the Gulf of Mexico as you spot for pelicans, gulls, terns and shore birds such as Ruddy Turnstone, American Avocet and Black-necked Stilt. Paddle down the marsh unit for a more laid-back experience.
* McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge – More than 285 species have been identified along 5 interior roads of wildlife viewing. Mottled ducks are year-round visitors.
* Pleasure Island – Sabine Lake draws a variety of wading and shore birds, as well as sailors and anglers. View birds from the pier, boardwalk Levee Road.
Day 1: Port Arthur
Morning – Start at Sabine Woods for quiet beauty and morning song. You’ll likely meet Golden Triangle Audubon members, who maintain the woods for Texas Ornithological Society. Find a spot on a bench and enjoy the view from the drip. Many birding field trips begin here and then circle back in the afternoon. Listen for woodpeckers.
Midday – Sea Rim State Park is a few miles from Sabine Woods. Cross the boardwalk to view miles of natural beach and the shore birds that gather. Look up for pelicans! Ask about a viewing platform and make sure to hit the marsh unit.
Afternoon – McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge is just another short stretch from Sea Rim and offers views along Clam Lake and among tall canes. Cormorants are often watching back. Sabine Pass Battleground State Park and Texas Point National Wildlife Refuge are also in this area.
Day 2: Southeast Texas Birding
It’s always bigger in Texas. Here are more birding hotspots in our area:
Morning – Bet you loved Sabine Woods so much you’ll be back. Stop by Pleasure Island after that.
Midday – Afternoon – Cattail Marsh Wetlands & Boardwalk – Tyrrell Park in Beaumont has a 900-acre spread featuring a beautiful boardwalk from which to view purple gallinule, coots, and more than 250 other birds.
Day 3: Port Arthur
Morning – Sabine Woods again? We understand!
Midday – Afternoon – The following Southeast Texas areas also have a great reputation. Find out more in the birding section at www.visitportarthurtx.com and plan your next visit, and your return after that. We know you’ll love our birds.
* Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge
* J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area