Site access restricted. Call ahead. Fee charged. The Fennessey Ranch is private, and visitation must be arranged through Fennessey Ranch Nature Tours. With an array of habitats (inland marsh, riparian woodland, coastal grassland, thorn-scrub brush), the Fennessey supports an equally prolific and diverse birdlife. Black-bellied Whistling-Duck and Mottled Duck nest in the marshes (along with Least Bittern, Purple Gallinule, Common Moorhen, and Marsh Wren), and Masked Duck has appeared here in the recent past. In winter hordes of sparrows seem to litter the grasslands, and Sprague’s Pipits often “rocket” out from underfoot when hiking through the fields.
The riparian forest along the Mission River is a vector for migrant landbirds moving inland in spring (and toward the coast in fall), and in migration the trees vibrate from the sound of hummingbirds feeding on turk’s cap and hawking insects. A winter’s sunset at the Fennessey Ranch, skies choked with tens of thousands of Sandhill Cranes, geese, and waterfowl, evokes the spirit of the Texas coast.
P. O. Box 99
Bayside, Texas 78340