Birding Site Guide to

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D.C. ROGERS LAKE (FAYETTE)
Edge Wade, 2016
185 acres (acreage of lake only, full site much larger) Howard Co.  DeLorme  30, H-2 (called Fayette Lake on some maps)
GPS: 39.1581243,-92.7193957
Owned by City of Fayette; management agreement with MDC.  For more information call Fayette City Hall 660-248-5246, or MDC 573-815-7900.
 
Directions:  From Hwy. 5 on the west side of Fayette, turn west onto Rt. E and go 1.1 miles to the MDC sign on the ridge top.  Turn right (north) onto the gravel entrance road.
 
ADA Information:  There are many vantage points for birding around the lake in a vehicle.  The main road and spurs to peninsulas go through a mix of habitats.
 
Features of interest to birders:  Four roads (counting the first one to the privy at the north end of the dam) lead off the main road toward the lakeshore.  Six parking areas provide good viewing points.  The lake has some deep water that attracts diving ducks and loons.  Check the east end (dam area) and the coves on the south side for them.  The west end is shallow and attracts a different suite of species.  The peninsulas, grassland, wooded plots and even the mulch pile area with the adjacent creek at the far west end of the road provide a very good variety of habitats.  Take time to view all as closely as possible.
 
When to Visit/Species to Expect:  This is a good site to check during spring and fall waterfowl migration periods.  Waterfowl will likely be present until the lake freezes over in winter.  A male Barrow’s Goldeneye was seen February 29, 1984.  Eleven Trumpeter Swans were reported here in March 2014, and 5 in February 2016.  Red-headed Woodpeckers have been reliable in all seasons.  The short warbler list for the site is likely more due to lack of visits in appropriate season than for lack of warblers.  The shorebird list is short due to lack of habitat and possibly because the upper reaches of the lake are difficult to access.
 
On entering, the wooded area on the left as you descend to the lake may have a variety of passerines.  Listen for woodpeckers, as all Missouri species are possible here.  At the first sight of the lake on your left, pull over and scope for ducks, loons and grebes (horned and eared have been seen here).  Gulls, terns, cormorants, Bald Eagles, Red-shouldered Hawks and Osprey may be present.
 
The privy lot near the dam provides a good scoping point.  It is lower than the road, but closer to the water.  Watch the power lines for bluebirds, doves, kestrels and an occasional surprise.  As you continue, the road turns left to cross the spillway.
 
Go down each of the roads leading to boat ramps or duck blinds, watching the grassland and trees along the way, and take time to view the lake carefully at the shoreline.
 
The road continues west, beyond sight of the lake, to a shooting range and past that, a mulch pile area with some large trees and a creek nearby.  This area is worth searching for sparrows, wrens, Brown Creepers and other small birds.
 
Toilets:  Two privies, visible from the main road.
 
Camping:  Available all year, primitive sites are along the fourth road off the main road.  There are two picnic shelters; one near the dam end, one along the fourth side road.
 
Hazards/Limitations:  In icy weather the gate is closed at the top of the hill just beyond the entrance off Rt. E.  Waterfowl hunters may be present in blinds, and decoys may be deployed for weeks).  The shooting range at the west end is often busy.  Be careful in the turn-around at the brush/mulch pile, as it may be very muddy beneath a veneer of dry soil.  You may want to park at the shooting range and walk into the mulch area.
 
Nearby Birding Sites:  Peters Lake (a hiking trail along the south side of D.C. Rogers connects with Peters Lake about 2 miles to the west); Franklin Island CA; Boone’s Lick SHS; Hungry Mother CA; Moniteau Creek CA; Davisdale CA.
Fayette City Lakes