Birding Site Guide to

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Edge Wade, December 2008
4,114 acres  Johnson, Pettis & Saline Cos.  DeLorme 35, B-10
GPS:  38.9235166246,-93.5681593953
Directions: (2 Units)
Unit 2:
The larger tract is reached from I-70 Exit #59 (Concordia), going south on MO 23, or from Knob Noster and US 50 by going north on MO 23.  The directions below assume the approach from the north.
At CR NE 1200  (Lafayette/Johnson Co. line), a left turn (east) leads to NE 1051 going south.  NE1051 ends at a parking area.  The road east from this is NE 1075, leading to two more parking areas and connecting with roads along the area perimeter and parking areas on the east and south sides.
By continuing south on MO 23 beyond NE 1200, the fist entrance to a parking area is NE 1150.  Continuing down MO 23, on the left are a parking area for the shooting range and then one on the north side of the Blackwater River.  If MO 23 is followed south of this lot, MO 23 makes a 90 degree turn east.  As it turns south again, NE 900 continues east.  Take NE 900 to NE 925 to access the south parking areas.
Unit 1:
Two of the three parking areas are reached from roads off Rt. NN.  Rt. NN is reached from MO 23 by following the NE 900/NE 925 route around the south perimeter of the area, or from MO 23 then east on Rt. E.
From the junction of Rt. NN and NE 925, go north on Rt. NN.  At the junction of Rt. NN, Dunksburg Rd., and Blackwater Rd., take Blackwater Rd. north into the second tract.
The third (northeastern corner) parking lot is reached from County Road 336.  The easiest route to this parking lot is from I-70 Exit #62 (Emma).  From Emma, go east on CR 330, south on CR 307, west on CR 332, then south on CR 336 to the lot.
When to Visit/Species to Expect:  Waterfowl may be abundant from late fall through winter and early spring.  Snow and Ross’s Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese and Cackling Geese may stop here to join larger numbers of Canada Geese.  Duck species will be varied.  Two Trumpeter Swans have been reported in late February.
If water levels allow mudflats to develop, spring and fall shorebird migration viewing should be excellent here.
Access is good to a variety of habitats (old fields, grassland, forest and woodland) where expected passerines may be seen.
Features of interest to birders:  This is a large, diverse area with an unusually broad array of easily-accessed birding opportunities.
There are more than 800 acres of managed wetlands in several pools:
Unit 2
150 Hole can be reached by a walk along a two-track south and east from the parking lot near the Blackwater river on MO 23.
Two pools (Pool 2 and Greenwood Pool) are on the south side of NE 1075.  They can be viewed from the parking lots or from the road.  There is no shoulder on this road.  If you choose to view from it, park the car in a lot and walk to a viewing position on the road.
Unit 1
From the parking area on Blackwater Rd., a very short walk leads to a view overlooking 7130 Pool to the north.  Parts of Pool 5 (northwest) and Pool 6 (southwest) can be seen from here.
More of Pool 6 and Swan Pool can be viewed from the seasonally closed road, when open.
Access to the southwest side of Swan Pool, Creek Pool and Lewis Pool is by levee (walking only) from the parking lot on the Blackwater River at the end of the gated, seasonally closed road.
East Slough and Savage Pool are reached from the parking lot off NE 336.
In Unit 2, two large ponds are reached by a mown path from the eastern parking lot on NE 925.
Although there are no designated trails, several paths and two-track old field roads meander through the area.
Toilets:  None
Camping:  4 primitive areas (all at parking lots in Unit 2)
Hazards/Limitations:  A portion of the area is a refuge from October 15 through the close of the waterfowl season. The refuge portion is closed to all activity during the closure dates.
The road connecting the two southern parking lots in Unit 1 is closed to vehicular traffic with a gate brom October 15 through waterfowl season.  Birders may walk this area, but hunters may be present.
A shooting range is on the west side, just off MO 23.
Road NE 1075 has no shoulders; be aware of traffic if viewing waterfowl from it.
Blackwater River flooding affects the area and can close MO 23.
Nearby Birding Sites:  Pape (Edwin A.) Lake, Knob Noster SP, Maple Leaf Lake CA, McAllister Springs Access.