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Post Christmas Cranes

We had scheduled a trip for 12/29 which was predicted to be windy (and it is). We contacted Kevin... read more

Reviewed 29 December 2020
Craig B
,
Austin, Texas
Wonderful bird photography experience!

An outstanding morning! Kevin knew where to take us and how to keep us comfortable. He definitely... read more

Reviewed 5 December 2020
E26SHjohnd
,
Flower Mound, Texas
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All reviews captain lori bird photography national wildlife refuge wonderful morning knew exactly where whooping cranes bare bones camera equipment shore bird great shots extensive knowledge beautiful sunrise wide variety of birds oyster catchers small group birding tour wonderful trip
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Reviewed 30 December 2020

We had scheduled a trip for 12/29 which was predicted to be windy (and it is). We contacted Kevin and asked to be moved to another day. They were extremely flexible and moved us a day earlier to 12/28 which turned out to excellent weather wise and for viewing the Whooping Cranes. Lori did great job of finding the cranes, positioning us so that I could get good photos, then repositioning us for ever better views and photos of the cranes. In between crane photos she put us on a variety of water birds. She was excellent in identification and putting the boat in positions where I had the best light. My 11 year old grandson was with us and she found some dolphins which was the highlight of his trip. Next time I go I will definitely book with Lori and Kevin.

Date of experience: December 2020
Thank Craig B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2020

An outstanding morning! Kevin knew where to take us and how to keep us comfortable. He definitely knows the birds that winter here - and probably those that migrate through in fall and spring. We saw 18 to 20 whooping cranes - some no more than 100-150 feet away. Other species we photographed: great blue heron; brown pelican; white pelican; Northern harrier (aka marsh hawk); oystercatcher; whimbrel; and many more. An added bonus: at least 6 or 7 dolphins in two different places.

Kevin was great to talk with. He knows the history of whooping cranes and other birds. We compared notes about weather of my native south Louisiana and his Texas coastal bend. It was interesting learning that his dad taught him to appreciate whooping cranes decades ago when they passed the birds on their fishing trips.

We will definitely be back, and highly recommend this charter company to anyone wanting to see whooping cranes up close.

Date of experience: December 2020
Thank E26SHjohnd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2020

We chartered the boat Lady Lori with the objective of birdwatching and getting some close views of the Whopping Cranes. Captain Lori Sims was in touch with us by phone and email prior to the trip to provide directions to find the pier where to board the boat. We left 45 minutes before sunrise and as a result were at some great birding spots at sunrise. Captain Lori has a great knowledge of the places where to find the birds, is a skilled birdwatcher and has a real talent to ideally position the boat to optimize bird photography. The boat has exterior front and rear decks that are excellent for observation and a roof deck for observation and photography. The boat was stable enough to use a tripod with a scope. The boat has a small cabin that can harbor people in case of cool wheather.
We spent six hours in different birding spots, saw 62 species including Whooping Cranes and many shorebirds and duck species but also some passerine such as Nelson’s Sparrow and Seaside Sparrow. Captain Lori gave very good explanation on the natural history of the Whooping Cranes including their migration pattern. We saw 24 different individuals in excellent condition and enjoyed some very interesting behaviors.
Certainly a good investment for whoever wants to watch water birds in Aransas National Wildlife Refuge under optimal conditions.

Date of experience: November 2020
Thank FanjaA4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2020

Captain Kevin took us out on the Jack Flash before sunrise and we were on the water for over 6 hours. The tour lived up to our high expectations - we got to photograph the whoopers, of course, but also saw a huge variety of birds, a wild hog, dolphins...
Kevin was a great guide - he got us to all the best places and answered all our questions.
For a photographer and/or birder, this is a great tour. We had four on board, but the boat could easily take twice that count. The Jack Flash is utilitarian, but custom designed for photography tours.
We had a variety of photography equipment, including two rented 600mm lenses. You'll thank yourself for bringing along the longest lens in your collection (or renting an ultra telephoto for the trip).

Date of experience: November 2020
Thank michaelcH7285ZM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2020

Captain Lori was a fabulous guide. We had a 4 generation family on this tour. She answered our questions and shared her knowledge of the area and the beautiful birds we saw.
Our little girls were especially pleased when we spotted dolphins and Captain Lori circled around and helped call them to our boat for our viewing pleasure.
Many fond memories were made and we will definitely return and book this tour again.
Thank you!

Date of experience: November 2020
Thank TRACYO01974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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