So many of us, or maybe it’s just me…want to believe that Spring is right around the corner. To that end, I wanted to talk about birding and different spots to do just that and so much more in Waupaca County. Waupaca County has wonderful water resources and timeless charm in all seasons which makes it a haven for many species of birds and a great spot for birders. What many see as some of the most majestic birds, Bald Eagles, we have many sightings in Waupaca County.
Hartman Creek State Park & Emmons Creek Fishery Area are 2 properties that are popular destinations to canoeists, kayakers, hikers and birders alike. It is located west of Waupaca off of Hwy 54. These 2 areas offer 2,800 acres to explore including parts of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. It offers a mix of habitats including pine and hardwood forests, oak savannas, old field, marshes, lakes and upland meadows. This type of variety attracts lots of birds, upwards of 253 species. Volunteer naturalists at the park offer interpretive programs throughout the summer.
Keller Whitcomb Creek Woods State Natural Area is a 97 acre SNA which includes the headwaters of Whitcomb Creek, a sand bottomed, fast flowing, Class 1 trout stream with brown and brook trout. This property located north of Iola, consists of a mixture of white & red pine as well as red & white oak, flowing into a mesic forest of hemlock, yellow & paper birch and sugar maples. Nearer the stream consists of almost pure white cedar. The ground layer of vegetation offers many species of ferns. Many songbirds, such as Mourning and Nashville Warblers, can be found here.
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We have action at our bird feeders all winter long. The real treat comes in the Spring for all of us, when we will see friends we haven’t seen for awhile. The Waupaca County area is a very desirable birding area, we have nesting eagles approximately 5 miles northwest of us. We have been blessed to see them fly over our property several times. However on this day, my joy came in a slightly smaller package. These smaller colorful birds came to visit today, and I was very excited. I am told the small blueish bird is an Indigo Bunting , I didn’t see them at all last year, so to have them back is indeed a treat. I have friends who are incredibly passionate birders, studying them and learning about them. Me…I am not quite there yet, I would say though that I am most passionate about them as they adorn the feeders and I can watch them while I am in the kitchen…that is a piece of heaven on earth.
Hartman Creek State Park and Emmons Creek Fishery Area, Waupaca
Keller Whitcomb Creek Woods State Natural Area, Iola
Mukwa State Wildlife Area, New London
Myklebust Lake State Natural Area, Iola
Waupaca County Sturgeon Trail, New London