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From the TX 43 bridge over Big Cypress Bayou, go north on TX 43 about 4 1/2 miles (or from FM 2198, go north on TX 43 about 5 1/2 miles), and turn right (northeast) on Johnson Road/MC 3416. Johnson Road passes large areas that have been clear-cut and are in various stages of regeneration. Around the intersection with Andrews Road/MC 3419, listen and watch for warblers in summer and sparrows in winter. Prairie Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat (left), Common Yellowthroat, etc. have been recorded in summer; and Eastern and Spotted Towhees plus several species of sparrows in winter. American Woodcocks have been found here at dusk in winter, displaying over the short, scrubby open areas. These open, cut-over areas begin to regenerate quickly, so the specific locations change from year to year.
Continue along Johnson Road to Greening Road/MC 3420. The Greening Road turnoff is approximately two miles down Johnson Road from TX 43. Turn right (southeast) here and follow the dirt road about 0.6 mile to a swampy area with many dead snags on the left side of the road. A yellow State Park and WMA sign should be visible on at least one of the trees along the side of the road. This part of the Caddo Lake Wildlife Management Area can be quite productive for a wide variety of wetland and woodland species. Watch and listen for Northern Parula; Yellow-throated, Prothonotary, Kentucky and Hooded Warblers; Louisiana Waterthrush and American Redstart in summer; plus Barred, Eastern Screech, and Great Horned Owls; Wild Turkey; seven species of woodpeckers, etc. Wherever the canopy opens, watch the sky for Anhinga (right), Mississippi Kite, herons and egrets (primarily summer), plus Red-shouldered Hawk (year-round) and other raptors (primarily fall and winter).
Swainson's Warbler (spring/summer) and Rusty Blackbird (winter) have both been found in the Wildlife Management Area. However, access to the WMA, even for "non-consumptive" purposes, is by permit only. If you venture beyond the county roadway, you must have with you one of the following: a Texas Conservation Passport; an Annual Public Hunting permit; or a Limited Public Use permit. These can be purchased where hunting and fishing licenses are sold.
Return to TX 43 and turn left, heading back south about a mile to FM 805. Turn left (east) on FM 805 (toward Carter's Lake) and follow the signs to Pine Needle Lodge. Pine Needle Lodge has offered lodging, rental canoes and a picturesque view of the backwaters of Caddo Lake, although at this writing, it may not be open. In this area, one can often find Yellow-crowned Night-Herons (right) and occasionally Black-crowned Night-Herons; Fish Crows; nuthatches; Carolina, House and Winter Wrens, and several species of warblers. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has been working to clear access to the water in the area south of FM 805.
On the other side of TX 43 and south of Boots Walker Road, the Walker farm has hosted bird banding activities since September 1996. So far, 132 species of birds have been recorded here, and 68 species have been banded, including Bewick’s Wren (left), Painted Bunting, Henslow’s, Grasshopper and Le Conte’s Sparrows (top right), as well as 11 additional sparrow species, and 14 warbler species. For contact information, directions and more about the bird banding activities at the Walker farm, check our Bird Banding Web Page.
Nuthatch photo by Diane Jones. All other photos on this page by Bob and
Dorothy Metzler. Copyright © 1999-2009. All rights reserved.
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Webmaster address: caddobirds(at)hotmail.com. Page last updated: May 21, 2011.
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