» Birding DFW
Bird Finding around Fort Worth, Texas
compiled by Carl B. Haynie updated by various contributors in 2008
This bird finding guide hopes to highlight some of the better birding locations found within Tarrant County.
Tarrant County occupies nearly 900 square miles in the northeast central region of Texas. It is an area blessed by a wide variety of habitats and geographical zones including the lower rolling plains, eastern and western cross-timbers, grand prairie, blackland prairie, and post oak savannah. It is little wonder then, in this land where East meets West, observers have recorded over 370 species of birds here or about sixty-three percent of all species documented for the state.
A bar graph check-list of the birds of Tarrant County is available from the Fort Worth Nature Center, 9601 Fossil Ridge Rd., Fort Worth, TX 76135, (817) 237-1111, for $2.00 if you include a stamped, self-addressed, standard-sized envelope with your order.
1. Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge - The Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, consisting of 3,412 acres, is located northwest of the city on Lake Worth. To reach the refuge, drive two miles northwest of the Lake Worth bridge on SH 199 (Jacksboro Highway) to the entrance on the right. It is open 9 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Saturday, and 12 noon to 5 pm Sunday, except on City of Fort Worth holidays. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, Saturday hours are 7 am - 5 pm. The refuge is closed on Mondays. There are over 20 miles of trails (from one-half to seven miles long) through a wide variety of habitats. These include woodlands with a half-dozen oak species, river bottoms, prairies, extensive marshes, and the lake. Buffalo have been reintroduced to an enclosed area and are thriving. White-tailed Deer, Beaver, Coyote, and Bobcat are also resident, but not in enclosed areas. Canoeing is allowed on the river, lake, and marshes, and is the best way to see the birds of these areas. A 900-foot boardwalk over Lotus Marsh has been provided to allow visitors to view the marsh from above. The Lotus Marsh boardwalk is wheelchair accessible. The park now has an entry fee.
Upon entering the refuge, follow the signs to the Hardwicke Interpretive Center building. Stop in and get trail maps for the Lotus Marsh boardwalk and Greer Island areas. There are natural history exhibits, classes, workshops, guided trail walks, a herbarium, an excellent natural history reference library, etc. . Checklists and books are on sale covering the nature center, Tarrant County, and much more. Check with the office for programs available. There is no entrance fee to the refuge.
The Center features a picture window overlooking a courtyard where water and food is provided for wildlife. Binoculars, books, and seating are available for the observer. Twenty to twenty-five bird species per day come in to feed each winter including Harris' and Fox Sparrows. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Purple Finch have been recorded in winter. One October day, a male Black-throated Blue Warbler graced the courtyard. Other visitors are Gray Fox, Raccoon, Opossum, Eastern Fox Squirrel, and White-tailed Deer.
In summer, check the hummingbird feeders for Black-chinned and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Year round, keep an eye out for Wild Turkey. This species was reintroduced several years ago and the nature center grounds are the best place in the county to find these shy birds, particularly in early spring and during early morning hours.
Directly north of the Hardwicke Center is the Trinity River which can be reached by trail or by car (a scenic road runs along the river from the Lotus Marsh boardwalk to Greer Island). Here, along the river and just below the nature center building, listen in spring and summer for Yellow-throated Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, and Northern Parula. These birds are best seen in the vicinity of the Cross Timbers levee. Keep an eye on the skies in spring and summer for Anhinga (rare) which nested here in 1987.
As you make the drive upriver to the Lotus Marsh Boardwalk, stop, look, and listen along the way in the winter months for Rusty Blackbird, Purple Finch, and Winter Wren. The boardwalk itself is a good vantage point year round to watch for Wood Duck, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Barred Owl. In summer look here for nesting Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Black-chinned Hummingbird, White-eyed Vireo, and Prothonotary Warbler. Take a spotting scope out to the pavilion on the boardwalk. In summer, scan the skies for Mississippi Kites. In winter, scan the ducks on the river for Cinnamon Teal (rare) and Hooded Merganser. The nearby River Bottom trail is a great location in winter to look for Winter Wren and American Woodcock (rare).
From the parking lot of the Lotus Marsh Boardwalk, one can hike north along the old Equestrian Trail. No longer open to horse traffic, this trail follows the river channel north through some of the best River Bottom woodland in North Texas. In winter, look for Hairy Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Phoebe, Winter Wren, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Rusty Blackbird, and Purple Finch. In summer, look for Great Crested Flycatcher, White-eyed and Red-eyed Vireos, Prothonotary Warbler, and Summer Tanager. When you come upon a flock of chickadees and titmice in the refuge, examine the titmice carefully, particularly in dryer post oak woodland habitats. Many will be Tufted Titmice or intergrades between Tufted and Black-crested, but a few could turn out to be Black-crested. In migration, look for warblers including Northern Parula, Ovenbird, Canada Warbler, and Mourning Warbler. The trail eventually intersects a power line cut. While this power line cut detracts from the scenic beauty, the edge habitat between forest, field, and river environs makes up for it in terms of species diversity. Here, expect to find many of the birds previously mentioned in addition to Indigo and Painted Buntings in summer and Swamp, Fox, Song, and Lincoln's Sparrows in winter. Red-headed Woodpeckers can sometimes be found here as well.
Downriver from the Hardwicke Center, at the opposite end of the refuge, lies Greer Island where one can hike out on a causeway and bird the island. In years when Lotus plants inundate either side of the causeway, this can be a great place to look for Least Bittern, Common Moorhen, and even Purple Gallinule (very rare) in summer. In years of very low lake levels, this same area in late summer can harbor a wide variety of shorebirds and has been the site of rarities like Roseate Spoonbill, Tricolored Heron, and White Ibis. In other years, expect to find Pied-billed Grebe year-round (rare in summer), plus many of the species listed for the Lotus Marsh boardwalk and old Equestrian Trail. Common Goldeneye (rare in winter) have been found here as well.
2. Eagle Mountain Fish Hatchery and Dam - Located in northwest Fort Worth, the 78 acres of the Eagle Mountain Fish Hatchery and the adjacent dam to Eagle Mountain Lake are an excellent place to bird between late summer and spring. All ducks that migrate through or winter in the area can usually be found here. Before planning a visit, be sure to call the Water Control District Office, (817) 237-8585, to obtain the latest combination to the gate. Despite a "No Trespassing" sign at the entrance, birders are welcome to enter per an agreement between the Fort Worth Audubon Society and the Tarrant County Water Control District offices. The adjacent dam is an excellent vantage point from which to scan for migrating hawks, cranes, and other species. There is a step ladder to get over the fence separating the fish hatchery from the dam. Permission should be obtained from the Water Control District office prior to climbing the dam. To reach the hatchery from NW Loop 820 (Jim Wright Expressway), exit at Azle Ave and head west. Go one block and turn north on FM1220. Go north about 2 miles, then turn west (left) onto Ten Mile Bridge Rd. After 3.7 miles, turn north onto Eagle Mtn. Circle and go 0.6 miles to the entrance on the right.
In late summer, watch for the possibility of Tricolored Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, and White Ibis. In migration, watch for Am. White Pelican (on the lake mainly), Least Bittern, White-faced Ibis, waterfowl, Osprey, Mississippi Kite, and rarities like Broad-winged Hawk, Peregrine Falcon and Prairie Falcon. This is a good area during migration to watch for Tree and Bank Swallows amongst the more numerous Barn, Northern Rough-winged, and Cliff Swallows.
Between October and April, the hatchery is a dependable area for finding many species of ducks including Canvasback and Greater Scaup. The ponds should be checked carefully in late winter and early spring for Cinnamon Teal. In mid-winter, you may find Common Goldeneye in the largest pond which is located at the hatchery's east end. Ponds that have a good deal of Lotus growing in them sometimes shelter a Least Bittern in migration. In migration, check any White-faced Ibis over carefully: Glossy Ibis is fast becoming an annual occurrence here and has occurred here in the winter months as well. In fact, this is where Texas' first accepted Glossy Ibis was found in 1983.
From the dam, look for loons, Eared Grebe, Horned Grebe, mergansers, and Bonaparte's Gull on Eagle Mountain Lake in the winter months.
The cattail marsh located near the east end of the hatchery has traditionally been good for rails during the winter months. Lately, however, the marsh has been too choked by cattails to be very productive. Nonetheless, it is still worth a check for Sora in migration and for Virginia Rail in winter. Playing a tape of rail calls is usually needed to elicit a response. Swamp Sparrows and Marsh Wrens can still be expected in winter as can Common Yellowthroats in migration.
Many other rarities have shown up at the hatchery over the years including Surf Scoter, Laughing Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, and Sedge Wren.
3. NW Tarrant County - Best possibility for longspurs. Go north on IH 35 from north Loop 820 to State Highway 287. Take Hwy 287 n.w. approximately 5 miles to the Willow Springs exit and look for fields west of 287. N. of Blue MOutn road and east of 287 (a bit south of the golf course) are potential fields in the county but they will likely be gas-welled or become residential soon. Pick a cold, blustery day in January or February. Here, you stand the best chance of finding McCown's Longspurs in addition to Lapland and perhaps even a few Chestnut-collared Longspurs. Horned Larks are usually common. Driving the back roads in this area such as Blue Mound Road or Willow Springs Road will sometimes yield large flocks of longspurs in winter. Look for flocks of McCown's and Lapland Longspurs in the plowed agricultural fields and Chestnut-collared Longspurs in the taller grassy fields. Lark Sparrow (summer), Lark Bunting (occasional in winter), Grasshopper Sparrow (summer), and LeConte's Sparrow (winter) have also be found here. This area use to have more potential but due developing residential areas, the fields and ag areas are very limited.
4. Tarrant County Junior College - NW Campus - Located at NW Loop 820 at the Marine Creek Parkway exit, this campus can be good in December - February for Lapland Longspurs. Check any Horned Lark flock, particularly in the large field south of the college entrance road. The coldest days, especially the days immediately following a cold front passage (a norther) seem to be the best times. On rarer occasions, it is possible to find McCown's Longspur here as well. Chestnut-collared has occurred in large numbers only once as this species prefers taller grass than exists on the campus grounds.
5. Marine Creek Lake - This small lake behind the TCC - NW campus can be good at its north end for ducks in winter.
6. Cement Creek Lake - This small lake is located in north Fort Worth at the foot of the Meacham Airfield. In past years it was surrounded by reeds and cattails which in summer harbored Least Bittern and King Rail. Recently, the vegetation was bulldozed in an attempt to remove the danger of blackbird flocks interfering with aircraft. Since then, Least Tern (migration), several species of shorebirds (migration), and a good assortment of ducks (winter) have been seen here. The lake is located at the southeast corner of Loop 820 and Business Hwy 287. To reach the parking area for the lake, take the Hwy 287 (business) exit from north Loop 820 and go south (toward downtown) about a half mile. Turn right onto a gravel road which parallels the Meacham Airfield fence line (check the airfield for longspurs in winter) until you reach the parking area. Birders and fisherman are welcome to park here and walk down to the lake. Cliff Swallows nest in the Loop 820 culvert in summer, and Vesper, Savannah, and sometimes a few LeConte's Sparrows can be found in the grassland to the north and west of the lake in winter. Occasional small flocks of longspurs have been found on the slopes surrounding the lake.
7. Camp Joy and Wildwood Park - Perhaps the best location on Lake Worth for observing a large variety of bird species are these two adjacent parks located on the west end of the lake. The most exciting news here was the discovery a few years ago of an active Bald Eagle's (southern race) nest in Wildwood Park. The nest site itself is being kept secret but visiting birders stand the best chance at spotting one or more eagles over Wildwood Park between November and March. The nesting constitutes one of only two known occurrences in North Central Texas. Offshore from Camp Joy, scope the lake for loons and waterfowl. Pacific Loon has occurred once, and there have been multiple sightings of both Common and Red-breasted Mergansers in winter. Horned and Eared Grebes can be expected in winter, and Hooded Mergansers have occurred in large numbers. Check the woody, sometimes swampy, shoreline in Wildwood park for Winter Wren in winter and the hackberry trees in Camp Joy for Red-headed Woodpecker.
9. Western Oaks Road - This dead end road can be reached by taking Silver Creek Road west from its intersection with Loop 820 in west Fort Worth. From Loop 820, follow Silver Creek Road for 2.3 miles, and turn left onto Western Oaks. Do not park or stand on road! 18-wheelers and construction trucks do not heed the speed limit. Park off the road, close to the dips near the end of the road. In the winter months, especially, small numbers of Rufous-crowned Sparrows can usually be found at the end of this road. This is the only known site in Tarrant County for viewing this species. Chuck-will's-widows (early summer) and E. Screech-Owls (year-round) can be heard calling before first light. Harris' Sparrows are numerous here along the roadside in winter. The real attraction here during the winter months, however, is American Woodcock. During late winter (February) and early spring, look and listen for these birds in courtship flight at dawn and dusk.
10. Fort Worth Zoo Grounds, Forest Park, Trinity Park, Botanic Gardens, Greenwood Memorial Cemetery - All these parks are within a mile or two of one another just west of downtown Fort Worth near the intersection of University Drive and Interstate 30. The best birding can usually be found in the Botanic Gardens located a block north of this intersection on the west side of University Drive. During spring and fall, migrants can fill the trees. Lazuli Bunting was found here many years ago in May. Forest Park and the zoo grounds are located approximately one mile south of I-30 on the east side of University Drive. Great for spring birding, the richness of the undergrowth north of the zoo has attracted winter rarities such as Green-tailed Towhee.
11. Tanglewood - Situated in southwest Fort Worth, the Tanglewood area is beginning to rival the Arlington and Colleyville parks in terms of migrants and rarities. To reach it from Interstate 30, go south on Hulen Road for 1.7 miles. Turn left on Hartwood, and proceed 0.4 miles to Pebblebrook Court. Turn right and note the park on the right as you follow Pebblebrook. This park consists of a tree-lined creek running along the right side of the street. Birders are welcome to park along Pebblebrook Court and bird the creek bottoms. Both Kentucky Warbler and Hooded Warbler have been found here in recent years in addition to Yellow-breasted Chat, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, and many other more common species.
12. Foster Park - This park still ranks as one of the best migrant traps in the Fort Worth area, probably because it runs north-south and usually has running water. Many of the same species have been recorded here as mentioned for the Arlington and Tanglewood parks. Close to 30 species of warblers and 7 species of vireos have been recorded. To reach this park from Interstate 20 in southwest Fort Worth, exit at Trail Lake Road and travel north for 0.7 miles to Granbury Road. Cross Granbury Road and proceed another 0.2 miles to South Drive. Turn left on South Drive and immediately look for the parking lot on the right. Walk the bike path into the park. Early mornings and weekdays are best to avoid excess people traffic. There are ponds at the south end of the park that have waders and ducks. First Saturday walks are conducted by Jean Ferguson from September through April. See fieldtrip page.
13. Southwest and West Fort Worth neighboorhoods - Inca Dove, and White-winged Dove colonies can be found in southwest and west Fort Worth neighborhoods. Both species can be found along the 2900 block of Conejos Drive in far west Fort Worth with relative ease, especially in the summer months. To reach this area from the I-30 and Loop 820 interchange, drive east on I-30 for about a half mile to the Las Vegas Trail exit. Take Las Vegas Trail south for 0.3 miles to Mojave. Turn left and go two blocks to Conejos Drive. Turn right and begin listening and scanning the neighborhood here for both species.
14. Monk Parakeet Colony - Like several other major metropolitan areas in Texas, Fort Worth has its colony of Monk Parakeets. This introduced but established species can be found by looking for the one tree full of their nests at the southeast corner of 6th Avenue and Boyce Street in south Fort Worth just south of the Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary. The colony has been present since about 1987, aided by the owners of the residence who put out feeders.
15. Benbrook Lake - Benbrook Lake is located approximately 12 miles southwest of downtown Fort Worth. From downtown, drive west on IH 30 to US 377, then southwest about five miles to the lake. The lake has about 40 miles of shoreline (3,770 surface acres at conservation pool level), and six parks with camping, picnicking, fishing, boat ramps, marinas, and restrooms.
From Loop 820 and Hwy 377 in Benbrook, drive south 1.3 miles to a traffic light and a sign that indicates "Benbrook Dam". Turn left here onto Winscott Road [formerly Lakeside Drive]. After 0.4 miles a road to your right (Beach Road) leads generally south along the western shore of the lake. Continuing on Winscott Road for another 0.3 miles, a second road to your right (Lakeside Drive) leads below the spillway, past the Pecan Valley Golf Course, and around the east side of the lake. Continuing on Winscott Road, past the intersection with Lakeside Drive, for another 0.5 miles, you will come to Memorial Oak Road. Turn right here at the sign for Memorial Oak Park and park in the parking area at the end of the road. Birding opportunities abound in the wooded areas on either side of the river in this park. This is usually an excellent park for finding migrants in spring and fall. The woods here are good in winter also. Barred Owl and Red-shouldered Hawk are resident.
From the intersection of Winscott and US 377, Holiday Park can be reached by driving south on US 377 for 4.4 miles, and turning left at the sign "Holiday Park". This is just before the bridge over Clear Fork Trinity River. Follow this road into the park. This is a camping area; therefore it is necessary to advise the attendant in the entrance booth that birding is the objective of the visit. Immediately after passing the entrance booth, turn right and drive south to the boat launch ramp. The shallow bay here is one of the better birding spots at the lake. Light is best in the morning. Scan the dead trees in the water with a scope in late summer and early fall for Neotropic Cormorant, which has become a regular visitor. A well-established Great Blue Heron rookery exists directly across the bay from the boat launch. A drive north from the entrance booth will eventually take you to a road block. The open woodlands along the way between the road and the lake can result in good birding also.
16. Rocky Creek Park (on the southeast end of the lake) and 17. Mustang Park (on the southern end), offer more extensive woodlands and less visitor use. Mustang Point in Mustang Park offers a good vantage point for scanning the lake with a scope. Red-breasted and Common Mergansers can sometimes be found in winter, and Mountain Bluebirds were found here in 1994. Some portions of Mustang Park are closed in winter.
Scan the lake for Horned Grebe and Bonapartes Gull which can be found in good numbers in winter. Sabine's Gull, Laughing Gull, and Black-legged Kittiwake are among the rare gulls found. Common Goldeneye are sometimes present in winter, and large rafts of Redheads and Ruddy Ducks are not uncommon during spring and fall migration. Look for Osprey also in migration. All the parks are good for wintering sparrows, including Harris', Fox, and other land birds. The Cottonwoods and Willows lining the lakeshore, especially at Holiday Park, can be good places to search for nesting Warbling Vireos and Orchard Orioles.
18. Markum Ranch Ponds - This ranchland off Aledo road in far west Fort Worth is dotted with stock ponds and landscaped ponds that act as a magnet for ducks. Mute Swans have been introduced here. Black-bellied Whistling-Duck has occurred once. During the 1995-1996 winter, Short-eared Owls invaded north Texas and could be found in numbers along Markum Ranch Road. To reach this area from the IH 30 and Loop 820 interchange in west Forth Worth, go south on Loop 820 for 2.7 miles to IH 20. Go west on IH 20 for 2.6 miles and exit onto Markum Ranch Road. Take Markum Ranch Road south. There are stock ponds along the way here. After 1.2 miles, Markum Ranch Road will deadend into Aledo Road. Turn left and begin looking on the left for several landscaped ponds. The latter ponds are usually the best for waterfowl.
19. Wheaton (Pyramid Road) - Located in extreme southwestern Tarrant County, this area consists primarily of rolling, upland prairie land with scattered clumps of hackberry and mesquite trees. To reach this area from the intersection of Hwy 377 and IH 20 in Benbrook, drive south on Hwy 377 for 7.1 miles. At the highway crossover here, turn left onto Pyramid Road and follow this gravel road into this largely undeveloped subdivision. Look and listen in the clumps of Hackberry for Bell's Vireo (summer), Ladder-backed Woodpecker (year-round) and in the brush for Harris' Sparrow (winter). In the fields, look and listen in summer for Cassin's Sparrow and Grasshopper Sparrow, and in winter for Western Meadowlark. Bullock's Oriole is a real possibility here in summer.
20. Winscott-Plover Road - Nearly every raptor recorded in Tarrant County has at one time or another been spotted along this road which parallels the county line south of Lake Benbrook. The road transects a large expanse of rolling prairie used primarily as ranch land. From US 377 and Loop 820 in Benbrook, drive south on US 377 for 6.4 miles to FM 1187. Turn left on FM 1187 and go east for 4.1 miles. Turn right onto Winscott-Plover road and proceed 1.7 miles to the railroad tracks. Immediately after crossing the tracks, turn right again onto the east-west (unmarked) portion of Winscott-Plover road. It is this stretch going west that is the most productive for sighting birds of prey. Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, and American Kestrel predominate in winter as does Red-tailed Hawk and Swainson's Hawk in summer, but White-tailed Kite, Ferruginous Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Golden Eagle, Crested Caracara, Merlin, and Prairie Falcon have all been recorded here. In spring 1996 two months following widespread grass fires, American Golden-Plovers, Upland Sandpipers, and Long-billed Curlews took advantage of the fresh new growth and life that sprouted up afterward in this area. While in this area in winter, keep an eye out for Short-eared Owl, Lark Bunting, Lapland, McCown's, and Chestnut-collared Longspur, and Brewer's Blackbird.
21. Founder's Park, Doug Russell Park, Colleyville Nature Center - In eastern Tarrant County lie several city parks noted for their migrant flycatchers, thrushes, warblers, vireos, tanagers, grosbeaks, and other species. Late spring is the best time to visit the parks, especially following or during a frontal passage. Founder's Park is located just north of the larger Vandergriff Park in south Arlington at the southeast corner of Matlock Road and Arkansas Lane. This unassuming little park consists mainly of a tree-lined creek, but perhaps due to an oasis effect and an ample number of fruiting mulberry trees, it can be an excellent place to find migrating songbirds in April and May. Among the many migrants recorded each spring are notable rarities including Vermilion Flycatcher, Cerulean Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, and Black-headed Grosbeak. Check the mulberry trees for both Rose-breasted and Black-headed Grosbeaks.
22. Doug Russell Park is situated on the west side of Cooper Street in the heart of the University of Texas at Arlington campus. Many of the same species described for Founder's Park can be found here as well.
23. The Colleyville Nature Center (unmanned) is a recent addition to the park system and consists of several self-guided nature trails winding along either side of Little Bear Creek in Colleyville. Larger than both Founder's and Doug Russell Park, it has much to offer the visiting birder. In its short history, well over 20 species of warblers have been recorded including Golden-winged and Hooded Warblers. Red-breasted Nuthatches have been found within the park during the winter months. To reach this park from NE Loop 820, take Hwy 26 (Grapevine Hwy) NE for 4.8 miles. Turn left onto Glade Road and proceed 0.6 miles to Mill Creek Drive. Turn left and follow Mill Creek Drive through a subdivision for 0.3 miles until you reach the park entrance.
24. River Legacy Parks- River Legacy Parks, (817.860.6752), 1,300 acres, is located in the heart of north Arlington next to the River Legacy Living Science Center, 701 N.W. Green Oaks Blvd. River Legacy Parks, one of the premier parks in the region, caters to birders and naturalists as well as outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. Situated along the river bottom woodland of the Trinity River, the parks are home to more than 225 species of birds, providing year-round and seasonal opportunities for bird watching. Amenities at the parks include more than 8 miles of paved hiking and biking trails, a 3-mile mountain bike loop trail, as well as almost 20 miles of unpaved woodland trails open only to foot travel. There are also picnic pavilions, a playground, and wildlife viewing areas.
The 12,000-square-foot River Legacy Living Science Center houses the River Legacy Foundationıs multi-faceted education programs, interactive exhibits, terrariums, aquariums, and a gift shop. The center, fashioned after a childıs fort found in the park, is a fascinating study of architecture, conservation and sustainable design. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Over 25 species of warblers have been recorded in River Legacy Parks, including Hooded Warbler in recent years. Also, Black-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Philadelphia Vireo, Swainson's Warbler, Lazuli Bunting, and Black-headed Grosbeak have been recorded. Broad-winged Hawk, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, several species of thrushes, Gray Catbird, Mourning Warbler, Orchard and Baltimore Orioles are regular migrants. Great Crested Flycatcher, Red-eyed, Warbling, and White-eyed Vireos, and Summer Tanager are among the summer residents to be found. Wood Ducks can often be found on the Trinity River and on the creeks that feed it. Red-shouldered Hawk and Barred Owl are year-round residents.
To reach the parks and the center from Fort Worth, take I-30 east to the Fielder Road exit in Arlington. Proceed north on Fielder Road for 1.3 miles. Turn right (east) on Green Oaks Blvd and drive another 1.1 miles to the entrance on your left (the entrance to the Parks precedes the entrance to the Living Science Center). River Legacy Parks is also accessible via a new entrance and parking lot at 3020 N. Collins St., where a new pedestrian bridge over the Trinity River connects the parksı east and west trail systems. Patrons can also access about 43 acres of the parks at River Legacy Parks East, 1651 N.E. Green Oaks Blvd., east of Collins.
25. Village Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Drying Beds - Like many such facilities around the state, modernization is claiming the life of these drying beds. With it's closure will go one of the greatest inland shorebirding sites in Texas. However, unitl closure is complete, birders are still welcome to visit the beds dawn to dusk, seven days a week. From the Fielder Road exit on IH 30 in Arlington, go north on Fielder for 1.3 miles to Green Oaks Blvd. Turn right on Green Oaks and go 0.3 miles to the entrance on the left. While shorebirding may be a shadow of what it once was (rarities found include Texas' only record of Sharp-tailed Sandpiper in May 1991 and a Ruff in 1995), quite a few species of sandpipers can still be found, particularly after rains have saturated the beds. If there's sufficient standing water, the beds still manage to attract large numbers of long-legged waders including White-faced Ibis (migration) and several species of waterfowl (winter). Rarities such as White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Mottled Duck (summer), Surf Scoter, Long-tailed Duck and Ross' Goose have been found in recent years. Traditionally, the beds have been the best place in the county to find (in season) Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Cinnamon Teal, Common Moorhen, Black-necked Stilt, Hudsonian Godwit, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, and Rusty Blackbird. DO NOT go beyond barricades. Not open during inclement weather and usually closed for a short time after rains to allow the roads to dry out. Closed by 4:30. Do not overstay or you will spend the night.
Cattail Marsh - Unlike the beds, the cattail marsh located at the south end of the property has continually improved. It is the best place around to look for American Bittern (migration), King Rail (rare in summer), Virginia Rail (winter), Sora (migration), Marsh Wren (winter), and Swamp Sparrow (winter).
Fields to west and north - Check the fields immediately to the west and northwest of the drying beds in late spring and summer for Blue Grosbeak, Dickcissel, and Painted Bunting.
26. Arlington Municipal Landfill (for gulls) - Located in north Arlington at the intersection of Mosier Valley Road and FM 157 (2.0 miles south of Hwy 183) lies one of the best landfills in the Metroplex for gull watchers. Gull enthusiasts flock here every winter and have been rewarded with finds like Mew Gull, California Gull, and Thayer's Gull. Countless numbers of wintering Ring-billed Gulls and a handful of Herring Gulls are joined each year in migration by thousands of Franklin's Gulls.
27. Lake Grapevine - This medium to large lake sits in the northeast corner of Tarrant County and has had it's share of rarities in migration and in winter including Western Grebe and Sabine's Gull. Shorebirding can be very good along the south shore. Several parks offer excellent birding here as well. To reach one of the better sites, take Hwy 114 west from Grapevine for several miles to White Chapel Road. Turn right and follow this road to its end. Scan the lake for gulls and the mudflats for shorebirds. Keep an eye out for the possibility of White-breasted Nuthatch in adjacent Post and Blackjack Oak woodland.
28. Lake Arlington - Situated southeast of downtown Fort Worth, this lake has a boat launch at its northeast end and a small park (Bowman Springs Park) at its southeast end. From these two vantage points in winter, scan the lake for gulls, terns, and waterfowl. In winter, large numbers of gulls roost at the south end while good numbers of ducks rule by day. A scope is mandatory here. Little Gull (multiple records), Black-headed Gull, and Black Skimmer are among the better finds.