One day recently we drove to South Padre Island (SPI) for a birding session at the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, it’s next to the SPI Convention Center. Cost of admission is $5 ($4 Seniors) and includes the museum along with access to the 4,800 linear feet of boardwalks and seven bird blinds. If you come here be sure to view the 15 minute film overviewing the island’s ecology and birds. Since the birding center is on the shore of Laguna Madre in a salt marsh and intertidal flats with thickets of shrub and trees it creates an irresistible habitat for migrating birds. Look for the alligator or two while walking around the boardwalk, we saw a large guy/gal. While our strolling took us through the various areas we added several birds to our list of “first seen”, whistling ducks, black-necked stilt and willet. This is truly a first class facility and comes with our highest recommendations. If you forgot your binoculars, they have them to rent or buy along with other birding accessories, books, t-shirts, cd’s, dvd’s and more.
For more information about SPI birding center go to: www.spibirding.com
A note for RV’rs, the manager (Kate) and volunteer coordinator (Susan) want you to know they have arranged for a local, close by RV space (Isla Blanca) if one wanted to volunteer for 3 months. You can call them to volunteer at (956) 243-8179.
Next stop for the day was lunch again at Amberjacks. Then on to Sea Turtle Inc. for a lesson on the turtle recue and egg preservation efforts. As it turns out this facility has a mission to protect and preserve turtles indigenous to SPI. During nesting season they schedule an army of volunteers to guard the 1500 or more nests along the sandy shores of SPI. They have tanks with some of seriously injured turtles going through treatment and many will be returned to the wild. Some however will remain here for their injuries are too serious, such as, lost flippers, broken or cracked shells. take alook at the pictures of the turtles in the tanks, some of which we have cards describing their injuries.