Birding Site Guide to

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LICK CREEK CONSERVATION AREA
Edge Wade: edgew AT mchsi.com  updated 12/16/08
317 acres  Boone Co.  DeLorme 30, H-5
GPS:  39.1500048464,-92.3849694801
Map:  http://extra.mdc.mo.gov/documents/area_brochures/9228map.pdf
MDC owned; for information call 573-815-7900
 
Directions:  From US 63 in northern Boone Co., go about 3.25 miles west on Hwy. 124, then right onto Oak Grove School Rd.  Bear right at the fork at about .25 miles.  Go a total of 1.8 miles on Oak Grove School Rd. to the entrance on the left.
 
When to Visit/Species to Expect:  Anytime.  Spring passerine migration should present the best birding here.  Expect Swainson’s and Gray-cheeked Thrush.  Breeding species are typical for oak-hickory habitat in the region. The pine plantation below the dam is worth checking for pine warblers and wintering northern invasive species, such as nuthatches, crossbills and owls.
 
Features of interest to birders:  The 12-acre lake is the centerpiece of the area.  It is surrounded by 265 acres of regenerating oak-hickory woodland, 34 acres of old fields in advanced succession, and 6 acres non-prairie grassland with some native warm season grass.
 
A 4-acre mature pine plantation adds a dimension with potentially good birding.  Access is easiest from the far side of the dam (more gentle slope).
 
A one-mile trail loops from the parking lot, going across the dam, turning right at the end of the dam, then along the lakeshore and through the woods to the entrance road about 0.1 mile from the entrance and about 0.3 mile from the parking lot.
 
An old field ridgetop area across the dam from the parking lot (straight, rather than right to follow the trail) leads to two interior access two-tracks that end at boundary lines, so one must backtrack.
 
From the west side of the parking lot, a path leads down toward a severely eroded old county road. This old road provides a route into the southwest part of the area, and into the pine plantation from the west side.
 
Toilets:  None
 
Camping: Primitive, along road and in parking lot
 
Hazards/Limitations:  The long-abandoned county road provides some access into an area heavily eroded by farming activities.  It can be treacherous footing.  The remains of the bridge over intermittent Lick Creek cannot be walked; one must go down into the creek bed and back up.
 
Nearby Birding Sites:  Tri-City Community Lake, Bennitt (Rudolf) CA, Finger Lakes SP, Rocky Fork Lakes CA.