Texas Parks wildlife map adds three new San Marcos sites

   An unveiling ceremony Oct. 8 at the Patsy Glen Refuge in Wimberley highlighted the new, revised Heart of Texas East Wildlife map. The series of maps denoting the hotspots for wildlife viewing first debut in 2003.
County Judge Bert Cobb unveiled the road sign
   Since that time new sites were added and new loops were designed to encourage viewing at several sites in a single outing. Wimberley and San Marcos both added three locations with directions to each site and potential critter sighting. Buda and Kyle also came on board, each with their own location.
   The locations have their own road sign with a white Greater Roadrunner on a brown background. The maps are available on-line and through the TPWD website at http://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wildlife/wildlife-trails/hote
   The Texas Parks and Wildlife news release said,
"There are nine wildlife trails that invite nature lovers to visit different regions of Texas to view native wildlife. Highway signs mark more than 960 viewing sites, and the website and updated print maps include GPS coordinates to make it easy for travelers to find some of the best spots to view wildlife. The maps also list contact information, entry fees and operating hours for certain attractions along the trails.
  The Heart of Texas West and Heart of Texas East driving guides are the most recently updated trail maps in the network. Other trails are: Far West Texas, Upper Texas Coast, Central Texas Coast, Lower Texas Coast, Panhandle Plains, Prairies and Pineywoods West and Prairies and Pineywoods East. Each trail includes several smaller trail loops, making for easy driving trips throughout Texas."
  The maps are interactive and not just for birding but also bats, butterflies and other wildlife.   --LJ

October birding hike in Upper Purgatory

  Eleven of us hiked in to Upper Purgatory as the sun rose. It was much cooler and less humid than past months. Colton Robbins led the group as we passed Grandma's Oak and headed northwest on Paraiso through a scrub meadow with several majestic live oaks and many huisache and mesquite trees.
   Trees the birds loved as they flew from tree-to-tree. In addition to guiding the hike and identifying the different birds, Colton provided the list of sightings from our outing which is also posted to eBird.  --LJ

Bird Sightings October 3, 2015
 Binoculars at the ready as the birds were flying between the trees.
Common Ground-Dove  1
White-winged Dove  13
Chimney Swift  4
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  2
Crested Caracara  1
Eastern Phoebe  3
Blue-headed Vireo  1 Carolina Chickadee  8
Black-crested Titmouse  3
Verdin  1
Carolina Wren  2
Bewick's Wren  4
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
Northern Mockingbird  2
Nashville Warbler  1
Yellow Warbler  1
Wilson's Warbler  1
Northern Cardinal  5
Red-winged Blackbird  6
House Finch  2
Lesser Goldfinch  5