Texas birding hotspot appears in Los Angeles Times
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In the Times' article, Hugo Martin writes:
This mound of trees and shrubs, only a mile in diameter, has a reputation as one of the country's top birding sites. As an occasional bird watcher, I was drawn here by this reputation. But I was rooting for a storm because, according to bird aficionados, the best bird watching on High Island takes place during, or just after, a storm front with strong northerly winds. Migrating birds -- warblers, orioles, thrushes and others -- struggle against the gusts as they fly north from the Yucatán Peninsula, 600 miles across the Gulf of Mexico.The online version also offers a photo gallery and an If You Go sidebar.
When the exhausted birds reach the shore and spy the hospitable habitat, they sometimes fall from the sky. High Island is geographically suited for this phenomenon -- known as a fallout. From the air, High Island looks like a protrusion of trees, surrounded by flat, salty marshlands, an ideal resting spot for migrant birds.
After a storm, the wind-battered birds are so exhausted by the trans-gulf flight that they become almost oblivious to bird watchers. Enthusiasts who have seen a fallout told me that you can almost pick up and pet the exhausted birds. I felt guilty for wishing such conditions on these innocent creatures. But it's a centuries-old natural event, so why not take advantage of an opportunity to see some rare neotropical birds up close?
My visit to High Island in early March, however, taught me that Texas' unpredictable weather makes it difficult to plan to see a fallout.
Have you visited High Island? What is your favorite memory from your visit(s)?