Birdwatching is a serious pursuit in South Texas, and birders come from all over the world to participate. There are 350 species of birds which have been recorded on Padre Island. Some of these can be seen nowhere else in the United States except South Texas. Many others are common here but rare elsewhere. This is a Roseate Spoonbill which can be found only on the Texas Gulf Coast and at the southern tip of Florida.
The Padre island national sea shore Has a Sea Turtle Team that runs from the 1st of April to Mid July. Volunteers team up with the National Park Service here on Padre island Patrolling the beach every day looking for sea turtles. Once a Turtle is found by a Foot patroller or a UTV patroller it will be called in. if your interested in volunteering throught the national park service we asked that you please contact the national Park service to volunteer.
We were on Padre Island during a full moon. The Holiday Inn has a live outside band every evening so we enjoyed a walk on the beach to see the full moon reflecting on the water. It was a little windy that evening, but it was a safe pleasant walk. This is a nice place for a relaxing visit - if you have kids, a couple days might be enough. A couple days was perfect for us too.
We packed up some snacks and water and left the Comfort Suites about 9 AM to head out for Padre Island National Seashore. We were able to use our Golden Pass here. They have a very informative and relatively new Visitor's Center to see. We took a Park Ranger talk and tour of the beach and the dunes area about eleven AM. During the tour I learned a lot about the area and "saw" more than just sand and water. Much of this barrier island near the Visitor's Center has been restored since a screen fence was installed about 26 years ago to recapture the sand for dunes. Padre Island was a ranch in the early 1800s and cattle grazed it bare. Park Ranger Judy also told us about the five of the world's seven turle species found in the Gulf of Mexico. They are having some success with the Kemp's Ridley Turtle in the National Seashore.
About the start of April there is a lot of brown seaweed that comes ashore there - mounds of it. It comes from a huge patch in the ocean that is drawn into the Gulf of Mexico. This particuar area has unusual water currents that make it an interesting place. Most of the trash found on the beach has been washed in by the Gulf currents, not from littering tourists. They offer bags to take along for trash pickup when walking on the beach.
There are several nice parks to pull off and visit when driving up Shoreline Drive. Beautiful homes are in this area. Corpus is a nice size town - it was easy to navigate and we enjoyed another area of the bay.
We had plenty of time to explore while we were on Padre Island. It is starting to be developed with some rather large private homes and condos. The picture of the condos was taken at The Turnaround area on the bay bridge.
We also drove on Mustang Island to their condo development area.
There are several service roads that lead to places on the beach where you can drive your vehicle on the hard sand. You can also park here and leave your car while you walk on the beach. We were there when there was a full moon - you can see it in the picture of the water.
Perhaps one thing that kept Padre Island from development is that this was ranchland for more than 100 years, and once part of the famous King Ranch, the largest in America.
The buildings pictured are from an old line camp. Irish imigrant Patrick Dunn was the most prosperous of the ranchers who raised cattle here, and once owned most of the island. He built this camp for his cowboys, or vaqueros, who staged roundups twice a year. driving cattle from the southernmost point of the island to the north. They started their day at 4 a.m. and worked 'till dusk. The cattle were driven into corrals and the cowboys spent the night in these rustic cabins.
One of the best ways to explore Padre Island is on foot. This 3/4 mile nature trail offers an easy opportunity, winding through grasslands and dunes. A guide pamphlet is available at the trailhead which describes the flora, fauna and landscape features from several points along the trail. Hiking across the dunes is discouraged.
Walking on the beach can also be rewarding. Visitors are welcomed to collect shells and other treasures o the sea, but not live animals or objects of historical or archeological value. Low tide and after a storm are the best times for beachcombing.
We couldn't help but take a picture of these White Pelicans because it is so unusual for us to see them, especially close enough to take a picture. Their cousins, the Brown Pelicans are fairly common along much of the southeastern Atlantic Coast, but these Whites are normally birds of the West, many spending their summers in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain areas, all the way up into Saskatchawan and Alberta. In winter a few can be seen along parts of the Gulf Coast and the tip of Florida.
THIS IS A TYPICAL PLACE TO VISIT AND SEE THE MONUMENT TO THE FAMOUS TEXANO SINGER SELENA....AND HER FAVORITY FLOWER ..THE ROSE...LA ROSA
At North Padre Island you can go to the beach. You can park there, but you need a permit for the car. You can buy them at wal-mart, HEB...you can also buy the fishing permits there.