Birding in Mineral Wells – Step away from the feeder and step out into nature! Mineral Wells Texas has an active State Park and a massive trailway. We have had some fantastic birding adventures on the lake.
Straight from their flyer – Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway located in Western Parker County and Eastern Palo Pinto County encompasses 3,282 acres of rolling terrain and is dissected by several deep canyons. Fed by Rock Creek, the lake itself covers 646 acres. This area is part of the TOS Reporting Region II Map. Texas Parks and Wildlife list this area as Osage Plains. The Trailway consist of 262 acres spanning the 20 miles of abandoned Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwestern (WMW&NW) railroad bed that travels between Cartwright Park on the northwest edge of Weatherford to the southwest and ends in downtown Mineral Wells. All creating a endless series of bird habitats for covering a wide variety of species.
Over 173 species of birds have been recorded inside the park. Some of the best birding in the park can be done on a kayak ride up Rock Creek where species indicative of river bottom woodland can be found. A kayak ride along Rock Creek in summer can yield nesting Yellow-crowned Night-Herons and Great Blue Herons plus a variety of woodland species such as Red-shouldered Hawk and Barred Owl. Hooded Mergansers, Wood Ducks and other duck species usually hide out in winter at “Lost Lake” located upstream from Lake Mineral Wells along Rock Creek. Lost Lake is currently a dry dust bed. I bought a Kayak to check out the claims. I will continue to monitor and update through postings.
Again from the flyer – Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailways is truly a point where “east meets west” in Texas. White-eyed Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo and Prothonotary Warbler near or reach their western limit here in north Texas, while the Rufous-crowned Sparrow and Black-crested Titmouse are examples of those reaching their eastern limit. This mix of eastern and western species also includes both Ladder-backed and Downy Woodpeckers as well as Ruby-throated and Black-chinned Hummingbirds. Other favorite birding areas include the primitive camping areas, the Trailway, the marsh and woods immediately below the spillway and Penitentiary Hollow. STAY OFF the spillway, just saying!
We have visited the lake on many, many occasions. Biking, Canoes, Boating, Fishing and Camping are the big five for the lake. As of a few months ago, it now has a big sixth for me – birding!