Wildlife Watching Hotspots

This is a short list of public places in or near Beeville, Texas with opportunities for wildlife watching and photography.


Veteran’s Memorial Park (on the west side of Beeville) is the City’s largest community park at approximately 200 acres.  The park is bounded by Minnesota Street on the east, Flores Street on the south, and by Viggo Road on the north.  Although well used by residents of Bee County for golfing, baseball, and picnicking, it is still a lovely place to get looks and photos of interesting birds.  There are Green Jays, Kiskadees, Couch’s Kingbirds, Painted Buntings in season, and many others.  There is often a pair of Vermilion Flycatchers nesting in the mesquite trees near the golf course maintenance area. Walk around quietly, and carry your camera.  28.401811, -97.761829

 

 

 

 


The very northern part of Bee County provides a special habitat for birds and other animals you might not see farther south.  In most of the county, dug ponds (called cattle tanks) will not hold water readily, having to do with the type of soil beneath the ponds.  Not so in the areas around and north of Pawnee, Texas.  There are scores of ponds adjacent to quiet public roads that hold flotillas of duck (many species), coots, gallinules, grebes (including Least), heron, egrets, and shorebirds.  This is a good location for wintering sparrows (maybe Lark Buntings even) and several species of raptors. Prairie Falcons are often seen here in the winter and early spring months.  If you carry a window mount for your camera (bean bags and handholding your gear works too), drive around this area and see what can photograph from your car window.  You are likely to be happy with the images you take home. 28.652019, -98.002778

 

 

 


Just a few miles out of Bee County, in Refugio, Texas, is Lions/Shelly Park.  The park is on a bend of the Mission River and the plants and animals here are quite difference than what may be found more to the west.  It sits on the boundary of east and west, so there is a mix of birds from the two regions.  There are no permanent photo blinds, but the birds seem to adapt well to people.  The high banks of the oxbows and river get you eye-level with species ordinarily difficult to shoot.  Rarities show up in the park from time to time.  Recently, a Greater Pewee provided photographers days of opportunity for great images of a bird rarely seen in Texas.  Oh.  This park is one of the few public locations to see and photograph Green Kingfishers. 28.296367, -97.278239

 

 

 

 


Lake Corpus Christi State Park (on Lake Corpus Christi) is only a short drive for Beeville. The mixture of brushland, the open waters of Lake Corpus Christi, the sometimes-marshy margins of the lake, and the woodlands along the Nueces River make this a diverse ecological area.  The park has one of the few remaining stands of brushlands in the area. Because of this, a variety of animals live here. The park and nearby natural areas are crucial to conserving plants and animals native to the mesquite grassland.  You can find opportunities to photograph Least Grebe, Anhinga, White-tailed Hawk, and Harris’s Hawk, Wild Turkey, Scaled Quail, Great Kiskadee, Cactus Wren and many more species.  If you are arriving or departing from the Corpus Christi International Airport, this is a good stopover location to fill up one more SD Card or microchip.  You may download a checklist of the birds of Corpus Christi State Park here. 28.040513, -97.859128

 

 


Although best known for events important to Texas History, Goliad is poised to take its place as one of Texas’ best spots for bird and wildlife watching.  Whether you are at Goliad State Park and Historic Site or driving the back-roads of Berclair, you are in for a treat.  Deer and other wildlife are plentiful throughout the park and around Goliad.  Here you can find species that rarely occur in the Beeville area like Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Pileated Woodpeckers, and Blue Jays. Situated on the San Antonio River, this gem-of-a-park will meet your expectations.  Canoeing and kayaking on the river is easy and fun and can get you up close to wildlife like no other means of transportation. 28.660437, -97.385516

 

 

 

 


Choke Canyon State Park maintains two units: the South Shore Unit and the Calliham Unit.  Both sections of the park offer interesting wildlife viewing and photographing opportunities.  If you have limited time, you should spend it at the more western unit, the Calliham Unit where there is a permanent photo blind and several nature trails.  A magnet for wildlife is the 75-acre shallow lake where you may encounter alligators, many species of birds, and various mammals.  There are splendid examples of brush land and miles of shoreline to explore.  Green Jays, Audubon’s Orioles, Vermilion Flycatchers and many more species can be found with ease.  Wild Turkeys roam the trails and roads. Javelinas are common.  Expect to see Harris’s Hawks and Cooper’s Hawks. 28.463735, -98.355356