golden-cheeked warbler
golden-cheeked warbler
rufous-crowned sparrow
Nature Quest 2005
based at Concan on the Frio River, Texas
26 April - 1 May 2005
brown thrasher
black-chinned hummer on nest
olive sparrow
eastern wood-pewee
male hooded oriole at banding station
In late April, 2005, we attended the 6th Annual Nature Quest, which was held in the beautiful area of the Texas Hill Country River Region, located in the southwest corner of the Edwards Plateau, west of San Antonio and north of Uvalde.  The scenic limestone hills of the region are carved into canyons by the Frio, Dry Frio, Sabinal, Nueces and Leona Rivers. 

Click here for a location map of the Concan area.  For more information on this annual nature festival, please click here. 

Here are some of the birds we saw during the festival. Links to pages for Lost Maples SNA and the Concan area are below. 
Click here for some highlights of Nature Quest 2006, when we enjoyed the awesome experience of the Sunset Bat Flight.
We had never birded this area before, and we hoped to be able to find the special birds of the Texas Hill Country, the Golden-cheeked Warbler and the Black-capped Vireo, both endangered  species.  We also wanted to take part in the Hummingbird Banding Workshop, a new class being run by Bob and Martha Sargent, founders of the Hummer/Bird Study Group, based in Clay, Alabama, so we registered in advance to do the workshop on Thursday, April 28th. 

We have a small motorhome and stayed at the Seven Bluff Cabins and RV Park, on the River Road (CR 348) - a very nice RV Park, with cabins, too.  It was only a couple of miles from the Nature Quest's HQ at the House Pasture Cattle Company, where some of the workshops and seminars were held.  There were events at Neal's Lodges, which is a few miles further south on the River Road, and is well known as a local birding hotspot, as they maintain several feeding stations amongst the cabins.  Sadly, June Osborne  who was the resident birding expert for many years during Spring migration, passed away in August 2007.  She had been very active with the events, seminars and workshops for Nature Quest - one of them, "Birding by Chair with June" was very popular and always sold out quickly. 
eastern screech-owl
This page was last updated on: March 25, 2012
female hooded oriole at banding station
After attending the Hummingbird Banding Workshop on Thursday morning, we spent the afternoon at Garner State Park (photos below), which is about four miles to the north of the House Pasture Cattle Company, along Hwy 83.  At the visitor center, we were told where the Golden-cheeked Warblers had been seen recently and were very lucky to find one quite quickly - this was along the trail which followed the Old Entrance Road in the West Trails of the park. The warbler was feeding in the oak and juniper trees and was very photogenic - see the first photo above left. Unfortunately, the Black-capped Vireos were very elusive, but we enjoyed our hike and did see about 20 other species of birds and several nice butterflies, including a new one to us, which fluttered high over the oaks and never came to rest with it's wings open.  I did manage to get a photo of it with closed wings and later, was able to identify it as a California Sister (below center)
california sister
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rio frio at garner sp
view north from the west trails area in garner sp
golden-cheeked warbler feeding
golden-cheeked warbler with insect in bill
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Click here to see some information on our visit to