Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Places to View Beautiful Birds Within Driving Distance of Midland- Part 1

Part 2
Do you have the same problem we do with finding somewhere interesting to go when you live in Midland? We are so far from anywhere!

Here is a list of places within one-day driving distance where people from Midland can see beautiful birds.

I will add to this list as time permits. If you have a suggestion for an addition to the list, please post a comment.

Albuquerque, NM: Friends of the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Reserve. Bosque del Apache NWR will be a good day's drive from Midland, I guess, but it looks like it would be worth it. The Refuge is located just east of Interstate 25 midway between Albuquerque and Las Cruces, just south of Socorro (It's about an hour and 15 min south of Albuquerque).

Sandy Seth sent me an e-mail saying: "It is such a beautiful place, and one of the best birdwatching places in the country! We are having our Festival of the Cranes soon (November 18-23) and there are great lectures and workshops and tours, and I'm sure people in Midland would love that!"

Christoval, TX: The Brown Ranch, Hummer House and Texas Gems "Eighteen miles south of San Angelo, Texas, nature enthusiasts are welcome to visit the Brown Ranch located along the banks of the spring-fed South Concho River. While this West Texas oasis is unique for its natural beauty, it is distinguished from other wildlife habitats because of thousands of tiny hummingbird inhabitants. The Brown Ranch is the summer home to Texas' largest concentration of breeding Black-chinned Hummingbirds. Numerous bird species are native to the area and are joined by migrant birds as the season change."

Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX: MD Resort Bed & Breakfast Dallas Fort Worth Texas "There are many birds native to the north Texas region, and with so many trees and a wonderful environment, you are bound to see some while bird watching at MD Resort. robin cardinal meadowlarks mockingbirds ring necked doves red tail hawks sissortail and humming birds are just a few birds you might encounter while bird watching at MD Resort! "

Fredericksburg, TX: Quiet Hill Ranch "Bed and Breakfast is home to a large number of native and migratory birds and butterflies and offers wonderful opportunities for bird watching, wildlife photography and nature viewing in the Fredericksburg, Texas area of the Texas Hill Country."

Midland, TX: Sibley Nature Center There are day trips listed that you may find interesting.

San Angelo, TX: San Angelo State Park and O. C. Fisher Lake The area of the park that is my favorite is a little wooden hut for bird watching that sits in a wooded area by itself. It is just a beautiful site to watch birds. I have seen the following birds while there: Altimira Oriole, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Curved-Bill Thrasher, Cardinals (I saw a family of them with the young one still being fed by the mom), Cedar Waxwing, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Pyrrhuloxiz, and many others that I can't remember the exact identity of (I wish I had written them down). You can view pictures of all of these and other birds at Birds of Texas.

The little hut has windows that open completely (no screens) and there are barrels of seed for when the feeders are empty. We just helped ourselves to filling the feeders. The hut has wooden benches that can get uncomfortable, but there is room to squeeze in your own lawn chair. There's a clipboard with a yellow pad on it where anyone who wants to can make an entry with the date and the names of the birds you saw.

Just outside the hut, there is a pretty little rock fountain where the birds like to drink and bathe. I just love this spot and could absolutely spend the day there!

Driving directions from Midland: From Hwy 87 South, take the FM2288 exit right. Pass the North Shore entrance and cross Concho River. Go to the South Shore entrance (about 8 miles from Hwy 87). The fee is $3.00 (as of 9-13-08). When you get through the entrance, there's a little wooden sign on the right that points the way. It says, "Wildlife Viewing Area." You can drive right up to it.

By the way, there are bathrooms to the left in the parking lot just after you enter the park. Here's a great website for Friends of San Angelo State Park.

I'd be so pleased if anyone who visits any of the above destinations would leave comments about your experience so we can all enjoy it with you.

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