Our guests asked for a place to hike and enjoy the birds and wildlife that this area is so famous for, so we purchased an additional 50 acres of unspoiled wilderness with 1.5 miles of hiking trails for use by our Guests. This gives us a total of almost 100 acres which includes woodlands, huge oak trees, a seasonal creek, meadows, and hills. This area is loaded with birds, deer, and other wildlife. This is also a great place for bird watching.
April 12, 2001 – River Oaks Resort is honored to report that the State of Texas has just included our nature trail system as part of its Great Texas Wildlife Trail.
Last year 147 different species of wildflowers were counted in this area! The Two-Flower Anemones (Anemone edwardsiana) have mostly gone to seed, and have seemingly been replaced by Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium ensigerum). This lovely flower is not really grass, but actually an iris, and opens each day when the sun comes out. Mixed with the purples of Prairie Verbena (Verbena bipinnatifida), it makes a vibrant contrast to the many yellow composites Engelmann Daisy (Engelmannia pinnatifida), Slender-stem Bitterweed (Hymenoxys scaposa), and Slender-leaf Hymenoxys (Hymenoxys linearifolia). Several white flowers just began to bloom including Old Plainsman (Hymenopappus scabiosaeus), White Evolvulus (Evolvulus sericeus), Corn Salad (Valerianella amarella), White Rock Lettuce (Pinaropappus roseus), and Prairie Fleabane (Erigeron modestus). Golden-Eye Phlox (Phlox roemeriana) and Scarlet Penstemon (Penstemon triflorus) are throwing in a nice splash of hot pink.
Other sightings include: False Day Flower (Commelinantia anomala), Day Flower (Commelina erecta), Spiderwort (Tradescantia sp.), Crow Poison (Nothoscordum bivalve), Wild Garlic (Allium drummondii), Large Buttercup (Ranunculus macranthus), Peppergrass (Lepidium virginicum), Silver Bladderpod (Lequerella argyraea), Huisache (Acacia farnesiana), Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora), Texas Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis), Deer Pea Vetch (Vicia ludovicina), Stork’s Bill (Erodium texanum), Yellow Wood-Sorrel (Oxalis dillenii), Western Primrose (Calylophus hartweggii), Limestone Guara (Gaura calcicola), Pink Evening Primrose (Onothera speciosa), Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis), Redbud (Menodora heterophylla), Gray Vervain (Verbena canescens), Annual Pennyroyal (Hedeoma acinoides), False Nightshade (Chamaesaracha sordida), Prairie Paintbrush (Castilleja purpurea var. lindheimeri), Texas Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa), Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella), Fragrant Gaillardia (Gaillardia suavis).
At River Oaks Mini Golf Links you can sit in a shaded gazebo area and watch Inca Doves come to water at the fish pond. Cactus Wrens, Painted Buntings, and Black Capped Vireo may be seen flitting among the huge Oak trees. Rufous, Ruby Throated Humming Birds and Hooded Orioles dine at the sugar water feeders. Summer Tanagers and House Finches are often seen in this lovely natural area.
Our nature trails, which start right behind the Mini Golf, afford the birder an opportunity to see Brown Crested Flycatchers, Canyon Towhees, Crowned Sparrows, and Scrub Jays. In the evenings, listen for the Common Poorwill, Chuck Will’s Widow, Eastern Screech Owl, and the Great Horned Owl. Keep your eyes open for Zone-tailed Hawks and Wild Turkeys. The Huttons Vireo and the golden-cheeked warbler are often seen on our nature trail.
During early spring look for Eastern Bluebird, Eastern Wood-Pewee, and Yellow-breasted Chat. The Greater Roadrunner can be found dining on the wide variety of lizards.
Although not birds, one of the largest colonies of Mexican Free Tail Bats in the US is only a couple of miles away. Many visitors drive over at dusk and have a tailgate party while watching the bats rise like smoke from their cave.
There are birding areas less than an hour’s drive from Concan where a large variety of shore birds and Ducks can be found. A total of 228 bird species have been spotted in the Frio Canyon around Concan.
March Bird List: Wild Turkey, Loggerhead Shrike, Ash Throated Flycatcher, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Vermilion Flycatcher, Purple Martin, Red Winged Blackbird, Turkey Vulture, Black Vulture, Red Shouldered Hawk, Harris Hawk, Sharp Shinned Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Zone Tailed Hawk, Crested Cara Cara, Eastern Phoebe, Canyon Towhee, Rufous Hummingbird, Black Chinned Hummingbird, Carolina Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Scott’s Oriole, Hooded Oriole, Scrub Jay, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, American Goldfinch, Pine Siskin, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Golden Fronted Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, American Kestrel, Mourning Dove, White Winged Dove, Inca Dove, Rock Dove, American Robin, Great Tailed Grackle, European Starling, Eastern Bluebird, Bronzed Cowbird, Brown headed Cowbird, Greater Roadrunner, Sandhill Crane, White Eyed Vireo, Scissor Tailed Flycatcher, Northern Mockingbird, House Sparrow.
The Great Concan Bat Caves are made up of several caves. The entrance to the Cibolo cave is about 50 ft. high and 25 ft. wide. The passage widens gradually for a distance of about 250 ft. when the outer cave is reached. The shape of the cave is like an inverted limestone bowl about 200 ft. high and 300 to 400 ft. in diameter. About 120 ft. up from the floor is an opening about 8 ft. square which connects to more of the cave system. In 1877 the deep guano on the floor of the entrance chamber caught fire. During the fire, smoke was seen to exit 2.5 miles away on the other side of the hill. The largest cave in the system is the Uvalde cave which is reported to be at least 6 times as large as the Cibolo cave. Bats exit the caves starting about 4:30 and continue until 10:00 at night. This is a great place for a family tailgate party.
Open summer evenings only – moderate prices.