Nogueres Road

Nogueres Road

If you don't mind walking on cobblestone streets the mile to Nogueras from Comala, you will often be rewarded with good birding amid huge, spreading fig, parota, and tamarind trees that shade the coffee underneath. Watch for West Mexican Chachalaca (much easier heard than seen!), Orange-fronted Parakeet, Squirrel Cuckoo, Lineated Woodpecker, and Grayish Saltator among others.

Even if you don't walk to Nogueras, there is good birding along roads leading out of it.  As you enter town, there is a fork in the road with a fountain in the middle. Go right at the fork and continue down a wooded hill past the back of the eco-park (see below). After crossing the small bridge, keep right at the forks to a quiet but bumpy rock and dirt road that continues for about one mile. Banded Quail, Gray Hawk, Squirrel Cuckoo, Russet-crowned Motmot, Golden-cheeked Woodpecker, Gray-breasted Martin, and numerous finches and sparrows can found along this road.

Stripe-headed Sparrow - Ann JohnsonFrom back at the fountain, going left and keeping left at the next fork takes you down a steep hill on to another cobblestone road that meanders nine miles through a variety of habitats. White-tailed Kite, Laughing Falcon, Vermillion Flycatcher, Thick-billed Kingbird, and Varied Bunting should be watched for. This road ends at the blacktop that connects Queseria and the road between La Maria and Comala. Immediately to the right is the entrance to the Carrizalillo recreation area which has a campground, small hotel, restaurant, picnic areas, and small lake in a spacious and pleasant wooded area. It appears to be quite busy on weekends so a weekday morning visit is recommened. Admisson 10 pesos per person. Going to the left for a little over two miles will take you back to the road between La Maria and Comala - go left to return to Comala.

White-tailed Hawk being harrassed by White-throated Magpie-Jays - Paul RoisenWhile birding around Nogueras can be rewarding, that's not the only reason to visit this quaint and historic hamlet. Be sure to see the museum and its remarkable collection of pre-Columbian sculptures and statues. These were collected by the town's patron Alejandro Rangel Hildago who not only enjoyed world-wide acclaim as an artist, but who devoted much of his passion to improving the lives of the people of his town. Today, making the the well-known furniture featuring stencils of Sr. Rangle's designs is still a cottage industry in Comala. Admisson 20 pesos per person, which also includes entrance to the collection from his workshop, family photos, etc.

Another part of the Rangel Complex is the downstairs and interior garden of the former Rangle hacienda, and the wonderful "eco-park" outside. In the park, enjoy a stroll through the arboreteum and see examples of plant life from throughout Mexico. Don't miss the dense stands of towering bamboo and the cascades of multicolored bougainvillea. For some reason, bird activity seems to be slow here but take your binoculars and camera anyway.