ARANSAS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
TEXAS (Austwell, Rockport and Port Lavaca), ()
00o00´00" N/00o00´00" E
22189 hectares of scattered blackjack oak woodlands, fresh and saltwater marshes, ponds, and coastal grasslands (also protected the 22933 hectares Matagorda Island lies just offshore)
Birding Site Guide
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is located on Blackjack Peninsula, eight miles southeast of Austwell and midway between Rockport and Port Lavaca, on the Gulf Coast. Travelling south on Hwy. 35 past Tivoli for approx. 1 mile to the FM 239 exit (on your left). Follow FM 239 to Austwell where it becomes FM 774 at the curve. Continue on FM 774. Follow 774 until the stop sign and take a right. Go down to the end of the street. Take a right again. This takes you out of town for about 0.5 mile to the FM 2040 turn. Go left on FM 2040 for about 6 miles to the refuge gate. Register at the ‘Visitor Center’.
The main attraction of this reserve are the wintering Whooping Cranes and it being a major stop-off on the Central Flyway, between Alaska and the Canadaian Arctic. The bird list stands at 392 species and includes Wild Turkey. Warblers concentrate on the refuge from mid-April to early May. The full bird and other species lists can be found here. US Fish & Wildlife Service: Aransas National Wildlife
Facilities are good with an observation tower, a picnic area, a car tour route and many trails. There are 37 species of mammals including deer, armadillo, peccary, reptiles include alligator.