San Antonio Audubon Society

Birding Sites in and around San Antonio

 

The following information should answer many of the questions that visiting and new birders have about birding in and around San Antonio, Texas (Bexar County). When present in a description, clicking on the "Map" icon will take you to an interactive map from where you can zoom in or out and ask for driving directions. Click here for a county-wide map of popular birding spots (in pdf format, 200K). Click here to open a plain text version of this page in your web browser, or right-click the link and choose "Save File As..." to download the text file (30K) to your PC, and then open it with any text editor or word processor to print it. Updated March 2009


QUICK INDEX
Around Town
[Bamberger Nature Park & Leon Creek Greenway] [Botanical Garden]  [Brackenridge Park, Avenue A] [Braunig Lake] [Calaveras Lake] [Comanche Lookout Park] [Converse North Park] [Crescent Bend Nature Park] [Crownridge Canyon Natural Area] [Eisenhower Park] [El Dorado ponds/"Golden Pond"] [Evans Lake] [Friedrich Park] [Government Canyon] [Judson Nature Trails] [Live Oak City Park] [McAllister Park] [Medina River Natural Area] [Miller's Pond Park] [Mission San Juan and Espada Dam] [Mitchell Lake] [OP Schnabel Park] [Schaezler Ranch: Warbler Woods] [Southside Lions Park] [Tom Slick Park] [Walker Ranch Park] [Western Bexar County--Mechler & Jungman Roads] [Woodlawn Lake Park]
Further Afield
[Castroville] [Choke Canyon] [Cibolo Nature Center] [Jackson Nature Park] [Kerr WMA] [Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area] [Lost Maples]

Key to Getting Around
Areas so marked include one or more of the following:
Easy walking = level walking, good conditions
Hiking = more difficult walking, paths may be steep or in rough condition
Auto = can be birded from a car

Please report broken links to: web@saaudubon.org


Bamberger Nature Park & Leon Creek Greenway

Both areas are in northwest San Antonio (inside Loop 1604 and west of IH-10). From 1604, exit at Babock and drive south about 1.6 miles to the Bamberger Nature Park lot on the left. From IH-10, exit at DeZavala and drive west about 1.75 miles to the light at Babcock, turn right and the Greenway parking lot is about 0.7 miles on the left. Oak trees and brush with some open areas attract many resident birds and migrants including warblers, tanagers, orioles, and flycatchers. Map Easy walking

Bamberger Nature Park is located at 12401 Babcock Road, where Babcock crosses Leon Creek. Over 70 acres with paved walking trails.

The Buddy Calk Trailhead, the first completed phase of the Leon Creek Greenway, is across the road and a little south at 12160 Babcock. The parking area just east of the creek on Babcock provides trail access to the Earl Scott ("Oxbow") Pond area. Some areas can be muddy in wet weather, so wear appropriate footwear.


San Antonio Botanical Garden

Located at N. New Braunfels & Funston (555 Funston Place), it covers 35 acres. The front section is ornamental gardens which are good for hummingbirds. The northeast part demonstrates three biotic ecosystems of the state along the Texas Native Trail. You should be able to find Long-billed Thrasher, Verdin and Bell's Vireos in season. The Bell's Vireos and Verdin have nested near the pair of adobe houses. Locate both by call. Verdin has a single, sharp, high pitched chip. Bell's Vireo asks a question with its call. This is a good migrant trap. The hilltop location gives a good view of the San Antonio River valley. The pond is a great place to find Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, Wood Ducks, Green Heron, and Common Moorhen. Read this article for a virtual birding tour.

There is a very nice field trip to the garden on the third Saturday of each month with a leader from the SA Audubon Society. Visit the San Antonio Botanical Garden web site; phone (210)-821-5115. Open daily 9:00 AM-5:00 PM. Click here to view, save, and/or print a nice map (180K) of the center. Easy walking


Brackenridge Park, Avenue A Ave A

Avenue A, at the south end of Brackenridge Park (south of Mulberry), has become known for migrating passerines. Avenue A runs through the park across the San Antonio River from River Road. Map You can park on Ave A or River Road and walk. There is a footpath over the dam at the southern end of Ave A, so you can bird both sides of the river along both Avenue A and River Road. [Warning: If you park on Ave A, don't leave valuables in sight inside your vehicle.] The street runs along the west side of the Brackenridge Golf Course, and the logical northern extension goes up towards the San Antonio Zoo.

You should be able to find migrant passerines, Red-shouldered Hawk, Golden-fronted and Ladder-backed Woodpecker, White-winged Dove, Wood Duck, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Carolina Wren, Green Heron, Black-crested Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, and a combination of riparian and open field birds. American Robins have been nesting here in recent years. Ave A gridded map (76K).  Larger version (200+K, better for printing). [Photo by Joan Lasswell] Easy walking, Auto

San Antonio Zoo: Located at the north end of Brackenridge Park, 3903 N. St. Mary's. Has the same as above plus some native species in some of their walk-through areas. Yellow-crowned Night-Herons and Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks nest here. Click on San Antonio Zoo to visit one of San Antonio's premier attractions. You can call the zoo at (210)-734-7184. 



Braunig Lake

Braunig and Calaveras Lakes, managed by the S.A. River Authority, are warm-water outlets from power plants with some wetland habitat surrounded by Tamaulipan scrub habitat and some open grassland. Map

Victor Braunig Lake is in SE Bexar County, adjacent to IH 37 as one heads southeast towards Corpus Christi. The park entrance is about five miles SE of the intersection of IH 37 and Loop 410. From IH 37 south, take the Southton Road exit, go under IH 37 and travel south on this currently two-way access road to the park's entrance. The phone number for Braunig Lake is (210)-635-8259; 17500 Donop Road. There is an entrance fee at this park that is also good for the same day at Calaveras Lake (below). The brushy areas of the Braunig Lake park have a good selection of permanent resident birds, including Pyrrhuloxia, Cactus Wren, Curve-billed Thrasher, Greater Roadrunner, etc. Birders often find stray gulls on this lake in the fall and winter. Aerial Photo Easy walking, Auto

Calaveras Lake

Calaveras Lake is located in SE Bexar County. Take IH 37 south past the Loop 410 intersection. Take the Hwy 181 exit to Floresville (exits right, but loops over.) Proceed to Loop 1604 (Anderson Loop). Take 1604 north (left) to Stuart Road. Turn north (left) on Stuart and take the first left into the park. For more info, please call Calaveras Lake at (210)-635-8359; 12991 Bernhardt Road.There is an entrance fee that is also good for the same day at Braunig Lake (above). The northern parts of the park get less public impact. Look for Marsh Wrens, Swamp and Lincoln Sparrows and Common Yellowthroats in the reeds along the lake. Also keep an eye out for Bittern in the reeds. Osprey and American White Pelicans are common on the lake. In the winter, this is a good place to find out-of-range Gulls. The scrubby areas along the roads are good for Common Ground-Dove, Pyrrhuloxia, Bewick's Wrens, and Sparrows. Aerial photo Easy walking, Auto


Comanche Lookout Park

Off Nacogdoches Road (FM 2252) north of Judson Road in NE San Antonio, inside Loop 1604. This new park has good trails with varying habitat and a good variety of migrants, besides a great view all around.Map Interesting Topo map (1992) shows the dramatic rise in elevation. Hiking


Converse North Park

Directions to the park are similar to those for Live Oak City Park.Map Take I-35 north towards Austin from Loop 410, exit to Judson Road, and turn right at the first stop sign after you get off of IH-35. After about a mile, Judson Road joins with Topperwein to become Topperwein. You will see signs for the Live Oak City Park, but continue on Topperwein past Kitty Hawk and take a right at Windburn Trail. The first street on left is Balanced Rock, take this street and as it turns to the right it becomes Spring Town St. Stay on Spring Town and it will run into the park. There are restrooms at the parking lot; playground for kids. Local police patrol the park. Hours: 8:00 AM to Midnight.

Birding the park can include difficult walking, especially in wet weather with lots of mud. Wear appropriate footwear. Habitat includes a pond, dam, and open and wooded areas. This would be a good park in both Spring and Fall for migrants, notable for a diversity of sparrow species in the winter and a year-round variety of waterfowl and wading birds in the pond. You may want to bird this park together with Live Oak Park on the same day, as they are near each other. Easy Walking, Hiking

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Crescent Bend Nature Park

This Bexar county-owned park is managed by the city of Schertz and is located on Schaeffer Road just on the south side of Cibolo Creek. Once a trailer park, recent hundred year floods proved the land uninhabitable. The county purchased the park through available funds from FEMA. Further information and news can be obtained on the park website.

From I-10 east, go to 1518 and turn north and go to Schaeffer Road where there is a brown sign to the park. Go 3 miles to the park on the left just before the road crosses Cibolo Creek

Alternatively, from the entrance to Randolph AFB on FM 78, continue east on FM78 to 1518 on the edge of the AFB and turn right. Go to the brown sign for the park and turn left. Go 3 miles to the park on the left..Map. Easy Walking


Crownridge

Crownridge Canyon Natural Area

 
Newly-opened, March 2006. This is a 207-acre nature park (no pets allowed) with a trailhead at the parking lot. Most trails are gentler climbs than nearby Friedrich Park or than Eisenhower Park in town. The main trail (1.3 miles) is a wide, paved one; at the high point of the main trail is rough nature trail (.5 mile), a little more challenging. SAAS birders have already found Bushtit here, and expect Golden-cheeked Warblers to be vocal during breeding season as in Friedrich. Turkeys roam the area, too.
Northwest of San Antonio, outside of Loop 1604:
--On Babcock Road (from 1604), go north about 2.5 miles to Luskey. Turn right onto Luskey and go about half a mile to the park on your left.
--When accessing from IH-10, take the Camp Bullis Road exit. Turn left onto Camp Bullis Road, continue straight (west) for 1.5 miles then turn right on Luskey for 4 miles to the park entrance on the right.
Rest rooms, water fountain. 7222 Luskey Boulevard map  Easy walking, Hiking
 

Eisenhower Park

Located on the northwest side of town 1.1 miles outside of Loop 1604 on NW Military Hwy (19399 NW Military Hwy). The park entrance is on the left before the US Army Camp Bullis entrance. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Natural Area Park was formerly part of Camp Bullis, a training ground for the US Army. It was opened to the public in 1988 with a 5-mile trail system of varying difficulties, an overlook tower on the high point at the rear of the property, restrooms, picnic areas, some primitive camping, and a large reservable pavilion. The park covers over 300 acres. A large signboard at the trailhead shows all the trails. Park page from San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department.

The area is mostly dry and rocky with cedar (Ashe Jumiper), scrubby oak and Texas Mountain Laurel. Black-crested Titmouse, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, W. Scrub-Jay, Spotted Towhee, Dark-eyed Junco, Rufous-crowned, Field and Chipping Sparrows, and Bewick's and Canyon Wrens can be found here.

The best walk for birds is the Hillview Trail up along the south fence, a grassy old road, and back down the paved trail. Listen for the Canyon Wrens in the quarry across the fence. The Scrub-Jays are most easily found near the big trailhead sign and the childrens' playground behind the picnic tables. Map Easy walking, Hiking


El Dorado ponds, AKA "Golden Pond"

These two small ponds are in Northeast San Antonio on Beitel Creek, accessible to birders thanks to the El Dorado Subdivision homeowner's association, which cares for the area. This is PRIVATE PROPERTY and privileged visitors should act accordingly.

From the intersection of Nacogdoches Road and Thousand Oaks, go northeast on Nacogdoches (away from the city). Take a right turn (to the east) on Leonhardt Road.* Stay on Leonhardt past the dam which you will see on the left. Turn left on El Arroyo, then an immediate left on Linda Colonia, and park in the cul-de-sac. Walk along the lower pond on the right side to get to the upper pond. Wintering ducks, egrets and herons, and Red-shoulder Hawks; warblers in the Spring; songbirds year-round. Topo map (1992)
*From Loop 1604 in NE San Antonio, take Nacogdoches Road (FM 2252) southwest, past the intersection of O'Connor Road. Turn left on Leonhardt Road and proceed as above. Easy walking


Evans Lake

Small ponds on Post Oak Creek in southwest Bexar County. Depending on the water level, this can be a good place for shorebirds and ducks in the winter. Also good for sparrows. This is private property and must be viewed from the road.
--From Loop 410 (between I-35 to Laredo and TX 16 to Poteet), turn south on Somerset Road (Rt.2790). After you cross the Medina River, turn right on Von Ormy Road, and then left on South Evans Road to the ponds on your left. Park carefully off the road. Evans Road continues on to meet Somerset Road again.
--From Loop 1604 in Somerset, turn north onto Somerset Road, drive about 2 miles and then left onto South Evans Road, and the ponds will be on your right. Map Easy walking, Auto



Friedrich Wilderness Park

The most accessible place in Bexar County to get Golden-cheeked Warblers. Located on 233 acres in NW Bexar County, the Emilie and Albert Friedrich Wilderness Park is about 15 miles from downtown San Antonio. Take Interstate Highway 10 west past Loop 1604. Take the Dominion Drive exit # 552. Drive approximately 1.5 miles and take the turn-around under the Interstate, then take the second right turn on Milsa. Milsa makes a left turn. Friedrich Park will be on your right about 600 yards down.

Expect trails to be steep and rocky. Friedrich park is open 7 days a week. Their number is (210)-564-6401; 21395 Milsa. Park page from San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department. Map Friedrich Park

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers have bred there and Western Scrub-Jays are resident. In many ways, the parking lot is the most birdy because it has the most diversity of habitat. Look for Painted Bunting and Lesser Goldfinch. At present, Black-capped Vireos do not nest here. Golden-cheeks are quite vocal from mid-March to mid-May. Although they are present through early July, they become increasingly quieter as their nestlings progress. The young in the "brancher" stage look for all in the world like a fat, dumpy Verdin. As they get older, they start to look like scruffy adults as they molt into adult plumage. By the time the young leave for the tropics, they are hard to distinguish from adults.

Don't miss the water hole and bench at the windmill on the Water Trail. Pick up a map at the sign-in place just before the trails. Friends of Friedrich Wilderness Park have their own web site.  [Photo by Joan Lasswell] Easy walking, Hiking


Government Canyon State Natural Area

Government Canyon is located in northwest Bexar County. Avian species of special interest there include the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo, Common Raven, Canyon Wren, Canyon Towhee, Scott's Oriole, Black-throated Sparrow, Turkey, and Roadrunner. The area is huge and has many trails of varying degrees of difficulty; wear appropriate clothing and footwear and bring water. With a visitor's center, educational exhibit and store; $6 per day, per person 13 and older, or use your TX State Parks Pass.

From the TPWD web site, January 2007: "Schedule: Day use only. No camping or overnight use is allowed. Open Friday-Monday and closed Tuesday-Thursday. The front gate is open from 8AM-6PM. Access to all Backcountry trails is closed at 4PM, access to all Frontcountry trails is closed at 5PM. The Protected Habitat Area trails are currently closed. All other trails are open. All pets are restricted to the Frontcountry trails. Currently there is no Equestrian use pending further trail work to allow safe access. Contact the natural area for more information prior to arrival at site as trails may be closed due to inclement weather or poor trail conditions."

From Loop 1604, go 3.5 miles west on FM 471 (which was Culebra Road) to Galm Road and turn right (north) for about 1.5 miles, to the entrance at 12861 Galm Rd. map Info: (210)-688-9055. Texas Parks and Wildlife has a website with more information, including a new trail map. Hiking

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Trailhouse
Judson Nature Trails, Olmos Park

Located in Alamo Heights at the intersection of Viesca and Greely, the San Antonio Audubon Society maintains the Jack Judson Nature Trails and has their Beginners' Bird Walk here on the second Saturday of each month. From the 5900 block of Broadway, turn west on Ogden near Cambridge Elementary School, proceed west to Greely, turn south (left) one block to Viesca, then right to the parking lot on the left. Map

The Scout-improved trails are good for warblers during migration.Judson Nature Trail During the winter, you can expect to find Hermit Thrush, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, White-throated and Lincoln's Sparrows, and Wood Duck. Winter Wren and Brown Creeper can be found here in the winter, but they are a bit more unusual. Barred Owls and Red-shouldered Hawks nest in and around the trails and can be found there year-round. Trail Map (96K) [Photos by Shirley Bartels] Easy walking

Across Jones Maltsburger is Olmos Park, which will have many of the same birds as above. Lesser Goldfinches are more common here. The back side of the baseball field on the north side of Alamo Heights Blvd quite often produces Verdin and Long-billed Thrasher. In summer, the fields west of US 281 opposite Olmos Park and south of the Olmos Golf Course have been good for Painted Buntings, Western Kingbird, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, and other birds typical of grassy, weedy fields.



Live Oak City Park

This park has open areas, a lake, and woods yielding a wide variety of species. Take IH 35 north towards Austin from Loop 410, exit to Judson Road, and turn right at the first stop sign after you get off of IH 35. Judson Road becomes Toepperwein towards Randolph AFB. At the traffic light at Leafy Hollow Street, turn left. Go to the end of the street which then turns right and becomes the park road. Go to the end of the park road to parking lot. Restrooms are located next to the playground.Map Easy walking
 
Also check Converse North Park, above.


McAllister Park

13102 Jones Maltsberger Road, north of Starcrest and the Police Station. Formerly the Northeast Preserve, this area now has improved trails and a variety of habitat, and a second entrance off west-bound Starcrest north of the San Antonio International Airport. Restrooms and many picnic areas. Here's a nice park map (66K, print in landscape mode). Another map showing more trails, on the web site of the South Texas Off-road Mountain Bikers. Map Easy walking


Medina Riv Pk
Medina River Natural Area

15890 Hwy 16 South, San Antonio, TX 78264. This relatively new park is part of the old Applewhite Reservoir site and is fast proving a great birding spot. Green Kingfishers, buntings, warblers, orioles and tanagers are regularly found here in season, as well as many woodpeckers, vireos, wrens and sparrows throughout the year. Trails of varying difficulty through a nice natural area and along the river.[Stay on the trails and be aware of where you place your feet.] Info and Map from SA Parks & Rec. Open from 7:30 AM until Sundown daily.
--From Loop 410, drive 4.2 miles south on Hwy 16; the park entrance is on the East (left) side just before the Medina River bridge.
--Coming north on Hwy 16 from Loop 1604, the entrance is on the right just across the Medina River bridge.
 
Notice: An additional Greenway trail opened January 1, 2009. It is 3 miles of paved trail from park office to Applewhite Rd.
[Photo by Joan Lasswell] map Easy walking, Hiking

Miller's Pond Park

Less than a mile inside Loop 410 in the 6000 block of Pearsall Road in southwest San Antonio, this park has a good trail surrounding a pond with a variety of birds to be found. Map Easy walking


Mission San Juan and Espada Dam

This area along the San Antonio River is within the National Park Service's San Antonio Missions National Historical Park along with the 255-year-old, still functioning, Espada Acequia. Resident birds include herons, egrets, Wood Ducks, owls, and woodpeckers among others. The riparian vegetation provides habitat for migrating warblers and flycatchers. Maps and more info are available on the park's web site.



Mitchell Lake Audubon Center

Mitchell Lake is located at 10750 Pleasanton Road on the south side of San Antonio. Take Loop 410 to Exit 46, Moursund Blvd. Take Moursund Blvd. south, away from the center of San Antonio, 7/10 mile to the gate on the left, immediately south of where Pleasanton Road enters Moursund at a sharp angle from the left. Map 

Check the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center web page from Texas Audubon, which now manages the refuge for the National Audubon Society. Call the Center at 210-628-1639. They are open Tuesday through Sunday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM; other hours can be arranged. Field trips are scheduled. There is a $5 entrance fee for adults.

We use a location grid to describe where birds are seen at Mitchell Lake. Click here to view a gridded map of the Mitchell Lake Wetlands. Mitchell Lake

The 624-acre complex has a mixture of brushland, grassland, mud flats, shallow ponds, deep ponds, and a deep water lake. Expect to see Crested Carcara, Black-necked Stilt, Inca, White-winged, and Mourning Dove and Common Ground-dove, Cave, Cliff and Barn Swallows, Vermilion Flycatcher (winter), one or more species of ducks (winter), warblers (spring and fall migration and some wintering species), wintering sparrows, both night-herons, and several species of herons and shore birds. Neotropic and Double-crested Cormorant will be here along with American White Pelicans. Least Grebes nest here in wet years. Painted Buntings usually nest here during the summer.  It would not be surprising to see a Roseate Spoonbill on shorelines. Groove-billed Anis have nested in July at numerous places in the polder-decant basin area. A number of species have been seen here only after hurricanes.

The area is famous for the shorebirds that can be seen on its mud flats. This is especially true in winter and during spring and fall migration. Mitchell Lake has taught us that spring migration lasts until early June, and that fall migration starts in late July. Summer heat and sun can be brutal at Mitchell Lake. Plan accordingly and bring water, hat, sunscreen, and bug spray.

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OP Schnabel OP Schnabel Park

Entrance is at 9600 Bandera Road (TX 16) opposite Braun Road. Several different habitats, 4.5 miles of walking trails of various difficulty levels, and access to French Creek and Leon Creek provide opportunities to find a variety of native species most of the year. Restrooms, playground, and pavilion. Spotted Towhee, Hermit Thrush, Roadrunner, W. Scrub-Jay, warblers and sparrows in season. [Photo by Joan Lasswell] Map Easy walking, Auto

 



Schaezler Ranch: "Warbler Woods"

Susan and Don Schaezler welcome visitors to their 126-acre property near Cibolo, northeast of San Antonio. Wooded and open areas and water features attract many species. This is especially good for spring warblers. Long-billed and Brown Thrashers are residents, and many sparrows and raptors are seen here. Relaxing atmosphere, walking or sitting. Contact Susan at susan@schaezler.net for permission and directions. Aerial view, bird list and directions at <warblerwoods.com>. Easy walking


Southside Lions Park ("Pecan Valley Park")

Located on the near-southeast side of San Antonio, Southside Lions Park includes a variety of habitats. A small lake, the Salado Creek wooded streamside, a dry thicket, some open land, and an adjacent cemetery provide habitat for many different birds. The Salado Creek on the east has been home for Golden-fronted, Ladder-backed, and occasionally a Red-bellied Woodpecker, with Downy Woodpecker and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in season. Flycatchers, phoebes, goldfinches and warblers of various kinds are found along the streamsides and in the tops of these old trees. The small lake has ducks in winter in a small enough area to see them well. The upper stream leading into it often has egrets and herons in season. The thicket in the north portion is good thrasher and warbler habitat in season.

To get to the park, leave IH 37 southbound at the Pecan Valley exit. Turn left and go northeast on Pecan Valley Drive one half (.5) mile past Southcross Blvd and the golf course to the park entrance on the right (the park itself is on both sides of the road). Enter and take the road to the right around the lake. This is the most heavily-birded portion, although there is more across the creek and to the west across Pecan Valley Drive. Map Easy walking, Auto


Tom Slick Park

7400 Hwy 151. Formerly a part of Southwest Research Institute but now cut off by Highway 151, the best area in this park for birding is reached from the south entrance. From Loop 410 west, exit east to Marbach Road. Take the northbound 410 access road to Timbercreek Street. Turn right and go almost a mile to small parking area on left. Map A gravel path encircles a quarry pond and travels through woods. The ball fields and a larger parking area are reached off Highway151. Easy walking


Walker Ranch Park

Walker Ranch Historic Landmark Park

12603 West Avenue between Salado Creek and Panther Springs Creek, just north of Nakoma Drive; hours 6 AM to 10 PM. About 1.5 miles of paved and natural-surfaced trails. Good in all seasons. Restrooms and playground. San Antonio Natural Areas website for the park. [Photo by Joan Lasswell]Map Easy walking

 

 

 


Western Bexar County - Mechler & Jungman Roads Mechler Road
An easy drive from town and on the northern edge of the brush country, this is a good spot for winter birds of open, plowed fields and fencerows. Burrowing Owl has been regular here, as have American Pipits, Mountain Plovers, and longspurs. Watch for Merlins among the ubiquitous American Kestrels, along with Say's Phoebe, Horned Larks, Vesper and Savannah Sparrow, and Brewer's Blackbirds.
Drive west on US 90 to just before the Medina County line and turn left (south) on Mechler Road. One landmark has been an irrigation pump on the east side of Mechler Road, approx. 2 miles south of US 90, covered with a blue/green tarp (photo, right). Loop: At the end of Mechler, turn left on Gross Lane, which ends at the Macdona Lacoste Road. Turn left and then left again onto Jungman Road, which will return to US 90. map  NOTE: These are county roads with private property on all sides. [Photo by Shirley Bartels] Auto

Woodlawn Lake Park

1103 Cincinnati. This city park just northwest of downtown includes a good-sized lake that attracts waterfowl, including both domestic and wild geese, ducks, cormorants, herons and egrets. The road that surrounds the park is Josephine Tobin Drive.
--From I-10 East (coming toward downtown from Loop 410), exit at Fredericksburg/Woodlawn. Turn right/west on Woodlawn, go through the light at Zarzamora, and take a left on South Josephine Tobin Drive to the parking area on the west side of the lake (opposite end from the pool).
--From I-10 West (coming from downtown), exit at Cincinnati and go left/west. Cincinnati turns into South Josephine Tobin Drive. Follow it around to the parking area. Restrooms, picnic areas, walking track. Map Aerial photo. Easy walking

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Further Afield


Castroville

West from San Antonio on US 90 about 33 miles, in Medina County. There are several good birding spots here. The area was damaged by flooding in 2002, but is recovering nicely.

Landmark Inn State Historical Park is on the left just after the Medina River bridge, at Florence Street off US 90. Look for Canyon Wren, Eastern Phoebe, Green Kingfisher, and Black Phoebe near the river in the back of the property. Hummingbirds and butterflies come to the plantings on the grounds behind the Inn. There is a small fee. Texas Parks and Wildlife has a website with more information on the Landmark Inn.

Castroville Regional Park is a great birding place any time of year. From US 90 west, turn left at Athens Street and follow the signs.map The ponds at the top of the hill (walkers only) on the west may have Osprey and Egrets, and Black Phoebe has been seen here regularly. [Look for the bench with the SAAS name on it!] New ridge-top trails were opened in early 2006. A walk around the paved perimeter road will touch many kinds of habitat. The little ditch on the right always has water and usually has Green Kingfisher and warblers. This ditch ends at the bald cypress-lined Medina River, which you can follow on around to the left. Couch's Kingbirds have nested in the Pecan trees and Westerns have nested on the power poles. Eastern Bluebirds, Ash-throated and Great-crested Flycatchers, Vermilion Flycatcher, Verdins, and orioles--even an Audubon's-- may be seen. Check the new gardens near the parking areas for hummingbirds. Aerial photo from 1995 Easy walking, Auto

Medina Valley Greenhouse is located north of town on River Road. From US 90 West, turn right on Mexico Street, which turns into River Road outside the town limits. The Greenhouse is on the left side. [You may park here to walk along River Road, but walk cautiously--there is no shoulder and the road curves.] Birders are welcomed. The grounds are lush, blooming plants attract hummingbirds and butterflies, open areas are good for phoebes (watch the fences) and other flycatchers, and large trees are good for woodpeckers.



Choke Canyon State Park

This park is about 75 miles south of San Antonio via IH 37 near the town of Three Rivers. It has a lot of good South Texas specialties. The park has two "units," the South-Shore Unit and the Calliham Unit. You need to go about 10 miles west of the South-shore Unit to get to the Calliham Unit. The Calliham Unit is usually more birdy, and includes a nature trail that can have many of our 'glamour' species, like Great Kiskadee, Couch's Kingbird, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Curve-billed Thrasher, Long-billed Thrasher and Cactus Wren. The camping/picnic area below the dam at the South Shore Unit has Green Jays, Audubon's Oriole, and Green Kingfisher. Choke Canyon State Park's phone number is (512)-786-3865. Map Texas Parks and Wildlife has a web site describing Choke Canyon State Park. Easy walking, Hiking, Auto


Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne's City Park

From San Antonio, take IH 10 west to the first Boerne exit, US 87. Take this route until TX 46 turns right at the Cibolo Creek bridge. Turn right on 46 and follow to edge of town where there is a sign on the right to Boerne City Park and the Cibolo Nature Center. Go to end of road.map Casts of dinosaur tracks found locally; prairie, woods, pond, and creek habitats and easy trails offer something for everyone, including many warblers during migration. Opens at 8:00 AM, closes at dark. Restrooms, nice people, checklist. Their web site. Easy walking


Jackson Nature Park
This small 50 acre park belongs to the San Antonio River Authority and is located at the CR 401 crossing of the Cibolo Creek in Wilson county. There is some riparian habitat and some open fields. Good trails are not handicapped accessible. There is a porta potty and some picnic tables on the site.The admission fee is $1 by envelope and the gate usually opens at 9 AM unless requested earlier.
Directions: Leaving San Antonio on US 87 toward Victoria go past the highway TX97 to Floresville and watch for County Road 401 on the right before Stockdale which has a brown sign for the Jackson Nature Park. Turn right here and go to the park which is on the left after crossing Cibolo Creek. [Texas Trails Website]


Kerr Wildlife Management Area

The Kerr Wildlife Management Area is a research site for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and is 6,493 acres, representative of the Edwards Plateau habitat type of Texas. It's a good place to find both Golden-cheeked Warblers and Black-capped Vireos in season. TPWD's website has a special page about wildlife viewing at Kerr WMA. The Kerr WMA is 20-30 miles northwest of Kerrville, which is about 60 miles northwest of San Antonio. Take IH 10 west to Kerrville, TX 27 northwest to Ingram, TX 39 to Hunt and FM 1340 to the WMA gate on the right. Address: 2625 FM 1340, Hunt, TX 78024; phone: 830-238-4483. Open year-round, Mon.-Fri., 8:00 AM-5:00 PM except when special hunts or maintenance are scheduled.


Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area

This is one of Kendall county's new parks (August, 2011). It has several viewing blinds, frontage on the Guadalupe River and upland woods. To reach the natural area, travel west on I-10 and take the first exit to Boerne. Turn right on TX 46 and go the stop light at Esser Rd. Turn left and go north to join 474 by the high school. Go on 474 approximately 8 miles to Kreutzberg Rd and turn right and go 2.8 miles to Mark Twain Rd. Turn left and go 1 mile to entrance. Address: 143 Mark Twain, Boerne, TX 78006. Park Hours: 7:00 a.m. to DUSK  [brochure]


Lost Maples State Natural Area

Lost Maples State Natural Area is about 60 miles west-northwest of San Antonio, near the town of Vanderpool. Lost Maples is open year round. This park is popular with birders because it has nesting populations of both Golden-cheeked Warblers and Black-capped Vireos. Other birds that are fairly easy to find there are Green Kingfisher, Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Eastern Pewee, Indigo Bunting, Painted Bunting, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Canyon Wren, Acadian Flycatcher, Lesser Goldfinch, Scott's Oriole and Blue Grosbeak. The park can get very crowded in the Fall when the Maple leaves are turning. The phone number is (830)-966-3413. The rangers there are very bird-aware and will be able to help you locate the birds you wish to find. Texas Parks and Wildlife has a website with more information on Lost Maples State Natural Area. Easy Walking, Hiking

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