Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Christmas Bird Count Season in West Texas

Beautiful scenery and interesting species diversity should make a CBC detour through West Texas worthwhile, more dates will be added as we hear about them:

19 December - Davis Mountains CBC
20 December - Balmorhea CBC

For more information, contact  Mark Lockwood mark.lockwood@tpwd.texas.gov

Friday, November 13, 2015

B.J. Bishop Wetlands / Presidio County

Fantastic news for birds and birders, the eagerly anticipated wetland is finally birdable! *post is backdated

EDIT: via Carolyn Ohl -
"I was there about a month ago and they wouldn't let you drive the road down to the wetlands. Apparently you have to use a scope from the highway. There is a dirt dike that you can get a little closer on."


Subject: [texbirds] new birding location at Presidio
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2015 18:10:51 +0000

Dear TexBirders,
There is a new man-made wetland in Presidio County that is open to the public. The B.J. Bishop Wetlands at Loma Paloma is located 0.5 miles east of Fort Leaton State Historic Site on the south side of Ranch Road 170. The new sewage treatment facility for Presidio is located on the opposite side of the road and the wetland is fed by treated water that is released from that plant. Parking is located on the northeast corner of the wetlands and access is on a maintained gravel road 0.3 miles farther east across from the Loma Paloma RV Park. Please park in the designated area and walk around the wetland on the road that encircles the site. I was there on 11 November and although I did not see anything unusual I did have 27 species of birds during my short visit. Highlights included Snow Goose, Wood Duck, Ferruginous Hawk, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, and singing (western) Marsh Wrens. I have placed a photo of the wetlands taken from RR170 on my Flickr site at:


If you are working on a Century Club list for Presidio County, this is certainly a place that can't be missed. To my knowledge it is the only publically accessible wetland in the county.


Mark Lockwood
402 E. Harriet Ave.
Alpine, Texas 79830


More information:
I was at the BJ Bishop wetland in mid-August and again on October 30. The RV Park Manager, Donna Arce, is very friendly, and very interested in the birds that are visiting the wetland. You might be able to sweet talk her into accompanying you down closer to the wetland on the gravel road that Mark Lockwood mentions, but my experience is the same as Carolyn's concerning trespassing.
Eventually the owners of the wetland plan to build a bird blind up by the Ranch Road, but it sure would be nice to have it be closer to the wetland.
Maybe a more local birder could persuade them?
Nice birds on October 30 were 2 White-faced Ibis, a Long-billed Dowitcher and ducks.
Jane Tillman
P.S Fort Leaton picnic area was quite birdy too with Green-tailed Towhee
and Brewer's Sparrow very cooperative.