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TYWAPPITY COMMUNITY LAKE

Mark Haas, July 2018

184 acres, Scott Co., DeLorme 58, H-3

GPS: 37.187377, -89.639719

MDC owned. For information, call 573-290-5730

Directions: From Chaffee, take Highway A (E. Parker Ave.) east one block to Highway RA. Turn left and go one mile to the lake. 

ADA Information: The best birding is on the one parking lot that serves the area. The entire 42-car lot is paved. There is an ADA privy, covered fishing dock, and four picnic tables beneath a pavilion.

When to visit/species to expect: Any time of year can be good for woodland birds. Expect all of the resident woodpeckers year-round and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers in winter. Also in winter, in addition to the permanent residents, you’ll find Hermit Thrush, Winter Wren, kinglets, and Yellow-rumped Warbler. Keep an eye to the sky for Bald Eagle. Watch for Eastern Phoebe, which is found here year-round. 

During spring and fall migration, warblers, vireos, and thrushes can certainly be found here. This under-birded area has listed 24 warbler (including Canada, Bay-breasted, and Wilson’s) and six vireo species. An additional 8-10 species are very possible with increased birding effort. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and orioles are often seen in the tall trees around the parking lot during migration.

In summer, expect all of the resident woodland vireos and flycatchers, including Yellow-throated Vireo and Acadian Flycatcher. You can also expect Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Summer Tanager. Eastern Kingbird and Warbling Vireo nest in more open areas. Prothonotary Warbler, Northern Parula, and Louisiana Waterthrush will be here, and often Kentucky Warbler.

Features of interest to birders: This area is at the north end of a north/south ridge surrounded by Mississippi River delta farmland. It is a natural migrant trap. Neotropic species, especially warblers, vireos, and thrushes will stop here. The 37-acre lake is surrounded by wooded hills. There is a 2.5-mile loop trail through the woods around the lake. Elevation changes make the trail moderate difficulty.

Best birding can be found within the semi-open land near the dam, boat ramp, and picnic area. And your best views of the sky and water are here. The woodland edge along the picnic area faces east, so it can be very good for migrants on a cool, clear morning in spring or fall.

Walking the entire trail around the lake can also be rewarding for woodland species, especially during spring migration. Four benches are spaced along the trail, with three providing nice views of the lake.

If your time or energy are limited, a good birding strategy is to work the open ground only, or do that and also walk the trail around the first big cove on the west side of the lake. This is the easiest portion of the trail and representative woodland birds will be found there. Then double back to the parking lot.

Other than Wood Duck, the lake attracts very few other ducks--during spring and fall migration. With a steep wooded shoreline, the lake attracts no shorebirds and just a few waders like Green Heron and Great Blue Heron. Thickets that hold winter-resident and migrant sparrows are limited; the best ones are located below the dam, north side of the picnic area, and at the upper end of the lake’s west cove. White-throated Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, and Eastern Towhee are probable here in winter.

 

Picnic Areas: Pavilion with four tables and two grills. Four other picnic tables and one grill in grassy area around the parking lot.

Toilets: one ADA privy

Camping: none

Hazards/Limitations: This is a popular fishing lake with a boat ramp. Only electric motors are permitted. The lake is closed to hunting.

 

Nearby Birding Sites: General Watkins CA, Sand Prairie CA, Delaney (Robert G.) Lake CA. Birders’ Guides are available for all.