South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley is famous as a birding hot spot, with more than 400 species having been recorded in the area. One of the best bird watching sites is the Laugana Madre Nature Trail. The trail consists of two long boardwalks, one cutting through the tall marsh grass, and the other along the tidal mud flats. Each is made of recycled material, and ends at a photo blind. At the beginning of the trail is a Warbler Rest Area, planted with flowers and shrubs designed to attract the winged creatures on a year-round basis.
Although we are only casual birders, sunrise found us on this trail two mornings during our vacation to the island. We were able to add to our life lists several rare species we had never seen before: the Reddish Egret, Least Tern, and Mottled Duck.
We also saw numerous other birds, fish, lizards, turtles and butterflies, but not the elusive alligator which is also said to frequent the area. The trail is free and is always open.
The Laguna Madre Nature Trail was a great place to take a stroll and watch the different birds and even alligators wander in the tidewater park. There were also some exotic birds that had attracted birdwatchers of all kinds with their expensive cameras.
At the entrance to the convention center there was a huge ornately made sand castle that was off limits but kept the kids entertained.