Texas Marshland Tours
Captain Jerry Norris3262 Bell Street
Port Arthur, Texas 77640
Millions of birds migrate north from the American tropics to the forest and plains of the Eastern United States. They travel over the open Gulf of Mexico. When they reach the Texas-Louisiana coastlines they either put down due to the inclement weather or continue inland during fair weather. During late cold fronts, migrants will stop along the coastal prairies in groves of trees that dot the coast. The bird numbers can reach into the thousands when conditions are perfect. Conditions vary and many migrants move inland during mild weather. The coastline to 25 miles inland will teem with birds.
Texas Marshland Tours provide access to J. D. Murphree Wildlife Refuge, and the Blue Elbow Swamp via boat. Both of these refuges offer great birding experiences.
J. D. Murphree Refuge
The J. D. Murphree Refuge consist of 25,000 acres of coastal marsh teeming with birds. On your tour you can expect to see Common Moorhen American Coot, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Purple Gallirule, Black Crowned Night Heron, Tri Colored Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, White Ibis, and also many Raptors such as Black Shouldered Kite, Broadwing Hawk, Red Tail Hawk, American Kestrel.
Also ducks will be in the refuge during this time. The resident Mottled Duck will be displaying their aerial mating chase. Also this refuge is the home of the largest population of alligators in the state of Texas. You will see numerous gators on your tour.
Blue Elbow SwampThis refuge consist of over 3300 acres of Sweetgum and Cypress tree swamp. Blue Elbow has many thickets and bottoms along with pine ridges that are feeding areas for Painted Bunting, Carolina Chickadee, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Red-headed Pileated and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Yellow Breasted Chat, Prairie Warbler, Pine Warbler, Tufted Titmouse, and Eastern Bluebird. Also Yellow Throated and Swainsons Warblers, as well as Wood Ducks and Barred Owls. You will be boated quietly through the swamp with trips into the woods near thickets where viewing will be best.
Coastal tours to Sabine Pass are available also. Many species of Gulls, Terns, Waders, shorebirds and Pelicans. These tours will be conducted by boat also to allow for the best viewing of the large number of shorebirds.
Texas Marshland Tours allows birders off the beaten paths of birding. Allowing birders the chance to see not only undisturbed areas, but also get a larger feel of the sites and sounds of the marshes and woods they will travel. See you on the Birding Trail.
- Basic tours are 2 hours
- Customized tours on a request basis, ask for details
- Bring your own food and drink
- Dress for the weather according to season
- Photography is encouraged
- Materials explaining the refuge provided
- $25 per person
- minimum 3; maximum 6
- Reservations for tours should be made in advance for best availability
- All reservations require a 50% refundable deposit for inclement weather
- Call for same or next day trips; we will try to accommodate
- These Inns are a short distance from Tour Site
- Holiday Inn, Hwy. 69, 409-724-5000
- Comfort Inn, Hwy. 69, 409-729-3434
- Ramada Inn, Hwy. 73, 409-962-9848