I was editing my forthcoming book, “A Birders Guide to the State Parks of Texas,” when I recalled a pleasant and successful trip Jackie and I had in 1994 to Goliad State Park.
Since I am about as dedicated to the study of history (particularly Texas history) as I am birds, the trip was a double delight. Historic missions in Goliad County include Mission Espiritu Santo state historic site, Presidio La Bahia which is near the state park and the site of the capture of Fannin’s men who were later executed on Santa Anna’s order. The cry at the Battle of San Jacinto was “Remember Goliad, Remember the Alamo.” The Fannin Memorial Monument is there to remind us of the sacrifice the men made to win our freedom.
You may have wondered why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The day commemorates the victory of General Ignacio Zaragoza who defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
And so back to the birds. Goliad State Park is located on the San Antonio River and with its mild climate has a number of birds to be seen all year long. Some of the key birds you might see include white-tailed hawk, green kingfisher, golden-fronted woodpecker, paraque, buff-bellied hummingbird, Couch’s kingbird and long-billed thrasher.
On the river trail we saw a number of resident birds, and in the summer you can find birds of color such as blue grosbeak and painted buntings. There are open fields where a variety of sparrows can be seen.
There are several trails that can be walked, but remember it is South Texas and can be very hot in the summer. About 150 species pass through here during spring migration, which is obviously the best time to go.
So plan a trip next spring and allow enough time to see the birds and the history.
I just got the proof copy of the birding Texas parks book, which will also contain some of my columns. Jackie really got excited about it and begged me to give her the copy — and I did.
“It’s perfect,” she said as she headed for the kitchen.
I followed and found her putting the book under the short leg of our dining room table.
“It’s just the right thickness,” she said.
We just celebrated our 68th anniversary — I doubt we will make 69.
Boswell is a Greenville resident and author whose birding column is syndicated. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.