Texas Coastal Birds
Went out with Tommy last Thursday (8/5) with 3 other friends to check out the Rockport "Little Bay" rookery island. Tommy is excited to learn about the wealth of birds this area is known for. First, He has a beautiful bay boat that should be able to accommodate 3 to 4 birders / photographers with tripods. Tommy's knowledge of the area is encyclopedic since he grew up here and has been fishing the area for many years. Second, the equipment he uses for fishing is also applicable to birding. The 2 Power Poles can hold the boat perfectly still for viewing through bino's or camera/long lens. The trolling motor is almost totally quiet and allows him to maneuver slowly and with great precision. It was the first time I could actually use binoculars on a moving boat. Tommy was always concerned about our comfort and getting us into the best viewing positions without disturbing the birds. He has the interest of the birds at heart, maintaining enough distance and speed so as to not spook the birds. I look forward to more outings with Tommy HanoverDiane N
I really enjoyed our day at the end of July with Tommy Hanover on his Shoal Water Cat. It was a perfect day for birding in Rockport and observing a new crop of juvenile Reddish Egrets, Tricolored Herons, Roseate Spoonbills, Black Skimmers, Laughing Gulls (so many), and more. I enjoyed watching and photographing the chaos of juveniles demanding food and chasing their parents. I didn’t bring my larger lens, but it was a perfect boat to bring both the big tripod and a big lens. The boat was really stable and Tommy's piloting skills made it even better. He can maneuver in really shallow water allowing us close views without being too close to disturb the chicks. I hope I am able to book another trip with CoastalBirds and explore the Aransas Wildlife Refuge when the Whooping and Sand Hill cranes come back this fall. Don’t pass this up! Tommy is a great guide and he has a great boat. If you are new to the area, you will appreciate his knowledge and love of the Rockport and Aransas area. He is as enthusiastic about the birds as you will be.
On Thursday September 16 Tom and I along with Hank and Nancy Arnold rode on Tommy Hanover’s boat to birding islands near Lydia Ann Lighthouse and to Emilie Payne Island. We had a wonderful morning viewing birds and watching the dolphin pods play in the surrounding waters. We saw 3 Frigate Birds which is amazing for the area along with close views of night herons which Tommy was able to negotiate easily with his boat. The boat and his skills are well suited to quietly approaching the birds. Tommy was very accommodating and made us feel like royalty on his very comfortable boat. We look forward to future trips with Tommy.
Sincerely, Tom and Dr Lorraine Stehn
We were very lucky to find Captain Tommy at the last minute after being told that 4 other tours were full.
Captain Tommy Hanover met the two of us at his boat in dense fog last week and assured us that the wind would shift and the fog would be blown out - and that he had the whole day for us.
And what a day it was! The sun came out and we were treated to a tour that included sightings of dozens of whooping cranes, some with their juveniles with them.
Captain Tommy made sure we saw all the shorebirds, and made a special effort to find the oyster catchers! He is very knowledgeable about the area and the birds, as well as the Texas wildlife and the ecosystem. He is passionate about taking care of this fragile spot.
Five Star rating for this tour. We will definitely look up Tommy Hanover when we are back in the area!MaryBeth and Molly
My wife and I had a wonderful day with Tommy as our Captain on his boat. I really enjoyed spending time with him and he was so interesting to talk to. He has a terrific knowledge of boating, fishing, bird watching and spending time in nature. He is a very competent Captain and he takes great pride in being safe and in providing an enjoyable trip. We were fortunate to have his friend Brian accompany us on the boat. Brian shared his amazing knowledge of birds, local wildlife, and life on the water and in the marshes.
We had so much fun. Oh, did I mention we saw Whoopers!