The Texas Tour

Bird Photography Tour

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The Texas Tour

The birds at the Rio Grande Valley form a vibrant natural tapestry against the dull arid vegetation, saline flats, marshes, and clay dunes or Lomas. The shallow bays and tributaries also mark the topography of Rio Grande not only making it a picturesque location ideal for landscape photography but a great spot for birds to come and roost. In fact, the flora and fauna found here is a blessing of the geographical evolution that the Rio Grande has undergone over a span of centuries.
The Lower Rio Grande Valley comprises the four counties in South Texas and embraces the border of Mexico. This picturesque valley is replete with nearly 1,200 varieties of plants, 300 types of butterflies, 700 kinds of vertebrates, of which the bird count is highest at 520. Along the stretch of the Rio Grande Valley is located the famous World Birding Centre which is a conglomeration of various sites giving photographers a close access to the numerous and rare birds. Texas is indeed a treasure trove as there are more birds here than in any other American state!
Our photo tour will be held at a ranch in South Texas near Edinburgh. Here you can catch a glimpse of the multi-hued endemic birds of Rio Grande like the Green Jay which is the star of the valley, Painted Bunting, Greater Roadrunner, Crested Caracara, Black-throated Sparrow, Wild Turkey, Audubon’s Oriole, Olive Sparrow, Golden-fronted woodpecker, Long-Billed Thrasher to name only a few. With so many interesting subjects to capture, you will go back home with a pack of fully loaded memory cards and moments that will stay with you forever.
What makes this photo tour class apart is that you will not only get an opportunity to shoot from the strategically located permanent blinds or hides constructed all over the ranch but will also learn how to create a perfect backdrop to get a stunning image. During this tour, you will also learn how to use the feeder and water dripper to your advantage and create perches that resemble the bird’s natural habitat.¬†Under the guidance of our ace bird photographers, you will practice the skills to capture the tiny birds in flight. The field trips and the daily discussions will give you an insight about the aspects of professional bird photography and how to utilize the techniques in different locations.
You will be able to spot the Bobcats and Armadillos moving freely in the ranch and will get a chance to capture them as well. You will be able to spot some rare plants like the Spanish Moss, the Ball moss that sticks to the Cedar Elm and Texas Ebony trees and the beautiful bromeliads. The Rio Grande is well known for its freshwater reserves that attracts rare fishes and molluscs too, which you will never be able to find anywhere else!
The verdant woodlands of Rio Grande beckon you with open arms!

What to See

In Texas you will find a wide range of birds right from the shorebirds in upper Texas, colonies of Spoonbills and migrant traps at High Island to the exotic tropical birds at the Rio Grande. But, the species you will be able to capture at the South Texas ranch that falls in the ecologically rich Rio Grande zone are-

  • Green Jay
  • Northern Bobwhite Quail
  • Northern cardinal
  • Pyrrhuloxia
  • Golden-Fronted Woodpecker
  • Crested Caracara
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Black Vulture
  • Inca Dove
  • Painted Bunting
  • Curve-Billed Thrasher
  • 3 species of sparrows
  • Titmouse
  • Indigo Bunting and many more species
  • Shoot birds from special bird hides also known as raptor blinds.
  • Shooting from different blinds spread around the ranch to spot a variety of birds.
  • Catch a glimpse of many songbirds like Green Jays, Cardinals, Pyrrhuloxias, and Warblers to name a few
  • Create camera setups and perches to capture all the rare birds found in South Texas
  • Learn how to attract birds to the feeder to get a clear picture.
  • Learn photo editing from expert photographers to add the right finishing touches to your images
  • Two successive days of shooting from the blinds will ensure that everyone gets a chance to get the best images. Which is the aim of this photo tour!
  • Learn how to use fill flash while capturing the magnificent and multi-hued birds.
  • The photo workshop will be an ideal forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences that will change the way of think nature photography.

Cost

The cost of this tour is USD 1750 per head in shared accommodation.
Single supplement costs an extra USD 175.
A deposit amount of USD 1000 is required to confirm your participation for this photo tour.
Please contact using the contact form for payment options. Please note that bank transfer, check, PayPal options are available.

Travel Insurance

It is advisable that you purchase travel insurance to protect your trip investment and yourself while traveling. According to our company policies we can’t take responsibility for contingencies like flight cancellations, medical expenses, gear damage, loss of gear, accidents, natural disasters, and extended stays to name a few.

Departure Dates for 2020:

Apr16th – 19th April 2020

Please read all the terms and conditions before signing up for the photo tour
You can reach out to us by signing the contact form below
If you want a private tour or want to get your tour customized please write to us.

Bring your Digital SLR as a full frame camera is good to have
Bring your longest telephoto lens preferably 500 or 600mm
Carry your shorter telephoto lens preferably 300 or 400mm
A sturdy tripod will be handy
You can also bring a flash with a flash bracket

  • We will also learn how to select and set up a perch at the feeders to get the best images of the birds. After all, these rare birds with brilliant plumes deserve the best shot!
  • It is equally important that you know how to attract birds to the seed, fruit and water feeders so that you can capture them within a close range
  • You can learn about the basic camera settings involved in bird photography
  • You will learn how to use fill flash that is often used in bird photography
  • Our tour leaders will guide you through photo editing as well so that all your images look natural yet postcard perfect.

The number of participants for this photo tour is not more than five. Since on this photo trip will be shooting from the bird hides that can’t accommodate more than five people. Though everyone will get a chance via rotation to click the birds, still a smaller group is always preferable as the tour leader can give individual attention to everyone. After all, we want our guests to be super happy with their images and gets a hands-on learning experience.

Tour Leaders

Birding Tour

Supreet Sahoo

Detailed Itinerary

The Texas photo tour is very different from our other tours, it may be short but eventful and thrilling. Here is how our tour itinerary looks like-

Day 1: Arrive at McAllen Miller Airport and transfer to hotel at Edinburg for an overnight stay

Arrive at the McAllen Miller International Airport and drive to your hotel at Edinburg. You will meet our tour representative at the hotel and there will be a round of introduction where you can also interact with other participants. On this day you can relax and reserve all your energy for the two-day intense and adventurous photo trip that awaits you.

Meals are not included on this day.

Day 2-3: Transfer to the ranch at South Texas for a two-day super exciting and vigorous photo trip.

On both days we will meet at the hotel lobby at 6 am and drive towards the ranch which is located half an hour away. We will get our breakfast packed and can have it on the way. This will save our time and as we reach our destination in the early hours of the morning we can capture the best images as the light will be perfect then. Our aim is that you can make most out of the time and go back home satisfied with an amazing portfolio.
The first session of the photo shoot will be spent at a blind from where we will capture the Green Jays, Cardinals, Pyrrhuloxias, Warblers, and other songbirds as well.
We will take an hour break at 8 am and resume the photo shoot from 9 am. During the second session, we will capture the regal vultures and the rare Caracaras from behind the raptor blind as we did before.
After lunch, we will be shooting at another blind from where we can get a clean shot of the woodpeckers and quails.
Everyone will get a chance to spot all the birds and create awe-inspiring images the next day as well from the different raptor blinds set up at various spots. Since we at Tropical Photo Tours want our guests to get the best images possible and go home happy with it!
Lunch is included on both the days.
At the end of each day, we will sit and review the images and critically analyze them. There will be discussions about the basics of nature and bird photography where you can get all your queries answered. The individual guidance by tour leaders will help you become a better photographer by the end of this intense photo shoot in the rugged terrain of Texas.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included for both the days

Photo Gallery

Policies

To know more about policies and which camera gears are required, click on the button below.

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