Biking, birding Port Aransas Nature Preserve


PortAransas_Channel_PanamaShip_wave_JulianneGCraneWhenever RV snowbirds hover along the Coastal Bend of Texas, they often take advantage of sunny days to jump on bicycles and see the sites. One relatively safe place to take out the bicycles is Port Aransas on Mustang Island. It is just a short free ferry ride across the channel from Aransas Pass, a few miles northeast of Corpus Christi.

Huge cargo ships ply the waters along this active shipping channel on their way to deliver goods to Corpus Christi. One day while we were having a picnic lunch along the seawall,  a huge cargo ship with Panama registration slowly churned its way south, creating a dramatic back wash and rolling waves in its wake.

PortAransas_JimmySmith_bike_Minn_JulianneGCraneAfter leaving the seawall, we bicycled through the Port Aransas Nature Preserve, home to many native and migrating nesting birds.

Located in the Central Flyway, Port Aransas and Mustang Island boasts hundreds of different species.

While we stopped at one of the lookouts to observe feeding Reddish Egrets and Rails, we exchanged stories with a friendly couple visiting from northern Minnesota. Avid birders, the Minnesotans were there to spot as many species as possible in their natural habitats.

In this area, “boardwalks and observation towers were built over wetlands with vegetation pockets specially designed to attract birds,” according to

Julianne G. Crane

Photo: (Top) A Panamanian cargo ship creates a back wash on its way to Corpus Christi in the Intracoastal Waterway. (Middle) RVer Jimmy Smith talking with Winter Texans from Minnesota. (Julianne G. Crane) (Below) Birding at the Port Aransas Nature Reserve.

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