Fieldtrip: Richland Creek WMA, North Unit wetlands
Date: Saturday, September 2, 2017
Trip Leader: Jim Jones
Duration: 3/4 day
RSVP: trip is limited to 16 participants / 4 vehicles.
Contact: email: jim_jones@fwas.org Mobile: 817-915-6089

Join us this Labor Day Weekend for a 3/4 day fieldtrip to the wetlands at Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area (North Unit) in Freestone and Navarro Counties (about 13 miles east of Corsicana on US 287.) Jim has led groups to this area in late August / early September several times in past years to see Wood Storks, Tricolored Herons, Roseate Spoonbills, Crested Caracara and other early-fall migrant species.

We were not able to visit the unit for a few years due to damage at the facility from flooding in 2015. Jim spoke recently to the local TP&W contact for the WMA and was told the facility is open with about half of the ponds (cells) in service. That is still about 1,000 acres of wetlands! With recent rain storms we may also find water in all of the cells. The north unit consists of over 4,000 acres of wetlands and bottomland forest.

Richland Creek WMA is about 105 miles SE of Bedford. On past trips, Jim arranged carpooling locations. We would meet at 6:00AM at Sam's Club on I-20 and Great Southwest Parkway, and then meet others (who drove from Dallas or points east of the metroplex) at 7:40AM at the Wendy's/Exxon service station at the US287 exit in Corsicana (for a bathroom break... there are no restrooms at the WMA.) Please note this is the exit for US 287 to Palestine. Folks in the past have gotten confused by the several exits on I45 for US 287 and Business US 287.

If you want to meet the group at the WMA gate, let Jim know and he will send directions. Jim hopes to arrive at the gate by 8:00 AM.

Entrance to the WMAs for wildlife viewing requires a Limited Public Use Permit (Item 175). These permits are similar to a fishing or hunting permit. The anual permit fee is $12.00 and is valid from September 1 thru August 31. The permits are available at most sporting good's stores (Walmart, Dick's Sporting Goods, etc.) You can also purchase the permit at the TP&W office at 5400 Airport Freeway, Suite E, Haltom City, 76117. (HWY 121 East to Haltom Rd, continue east on the service road to their driveway entrance. It is the only driveway with a 'tree') Or purchase the permit online at TP&W website.

NOTE: Do not attempt to buy next year's permit until after August 15th, otherwise you end up with the previous year's permit.

Most of the bird watching will be done from our cars and standing alongside the ponds on gravel roads in the WMA. The road is gravel. So it is recommended that you wear good walking shoes. If it is sunny, wear sun protection as there is almost no tree shade around these wetlands. Bring snacks and water for the morning. If folks want we can also eat a box lunch at the WMA. Or we can drive back to Corsicana... I will ask what the group wants to do regarding lunch as we get closer to the date.