My Life’s Birds: #177
April 19, 1994 – Springfield Nature Center, Springfield, Mo – When the Springfield Conservation Nature Center opened its doors and its trails in the early 90s (I can’t remember the exact year) it was a big step for nature lovers in the Springfield area. It was a designated place for everyone to experience the unique ecosystem of the Ozarks, and hosted several miles of well-maintained trails and an impressive interpretive center. Because it had such a great variety of habitats, and the fact that it was only about 15 minutes from home, we spent a lot of time here, and it became the place to be for spring migration.
We’d typically take the “Long Trail”, a 2 mile loop that wrapped around the perimeter of the park and, on the far west end, paralleled a stream as it flowed onward to Lake Springfield. In later years we’d come to know this as a slam dunk place for waterthrushes in the spring, largely because of what we came upon this April morning. Several Louisiana Waterthrushes positioned at intervals along the trail, singing, bobbing, and heralding the coming of the rest of the warbler clan.
We’d spend a lot of time at the Nature Center as spring went on. The waterthrushes were only the beginning of the story.
photo from dalia_villarreal via flickr