-Access to White Lake
-Boardwalk with Observation Tower
-Wooded Trails along Oyster Creek
With over 700 acres, Cullinan Park is one of the larger public parks in the Houston area. Although not all of it is accessible by trails, visitors have easy access to White Lake, plus the two creeks: Oyster Creek and Red Gully. The boardwalk provides good opportunities to get over the water and scan the close marshy edge. It also leads to a two story observation deck where you can scan the entire lake and surrounding area.
Most of the trails lead through the densely wooded area to the west of the parking lot. Oyster Creek Loop follows the edge of Oyster Creek to the south, while Red Gully North Trail dead ends at Red Gully creek to the west.
Hit these three areas:
1. Parking Lot Area
2. The Boardwalk
3. Some of the Woodland Trails
If you arrive in the morning, or when the birds happen to be active, there will likely be plenty of activity around the parking area and along the entrance road. If you’re seeing and hearing activity, spend some time walking the wooded edges. You’ll likely see and hear more woodland species here than on the actual woodland trails.
Next hit the boardwalk that forks out over the close side of the lake. Take your time to slowly scan near and far edges, as well as more central areas on the water. Ducks, grebes, and cormorants will probably be hiding in patches of vegetation floating in the middle. Anhingas are seen here regularly. Bald Eagles can be seen here in winter months, although they’re more often found along Oyster Creek.
Lastly, hit the trails. They likely won’t be as birdy as the parking lot and the lake, but will still get you a few extra species. Oyster Creek Loop is a good choice since it keeps you close to water. Look for sparrows, kinglets, and Hermit Thrushes during winter months. These trails can get pretty quiet during the hotter months of the year.
Unless you have 2+ hours to bird here, favor the parking lot, entrance road, and boardwalk over the woodland trails. This will get you the longest species list if that’s what you’re after.