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Common Nighthawk

Senior Bus Trip to 2 New Preserves

Houston Audubon’s Senior Bus Trip for the month of January 2018 took the hearty group to two new parks in Harris County.

The first stop was to the 100 Acre Wood Preserve. Precinct 4 opened the preserve in April 2013 following the donation of land from Houston Endowment. Bayou Land Conservancy upholds a conservation easement on the property, assuring its continued protection. The preserve includes pocket prairies, wetlands, and forests featuring a variety of trees, such as mature post oaks, pine trees, American beautyberry, river birch, and American sycamore. The group hiked the one-mile trail to Cypress Creek and enjoyed great looks at Cedar Waxwings and American Robins. It was a very cold and blustery morning in the 100 Acre Wood which had us all wondering about Winnie the Pooh. We managed to snap this photo of the group at the trailhead along Cypress Creek. After a chilly hike through the forest we tallied a solid 17 bird species and a visit from some deer before heading off to our next destination.

Our second stop was the brand new Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve. This new park opened in April of 2017 and is clearly a popular destination for walkers, joggers and anyone wanting to stroll lakeside through the forest. The preserve was donated to Precinct 4 in January of 2009 after Kickerillo Companies and Mischer Investments acquired it from Hewlett-Packard to create The Vintage, a community in northwest Harris County. Ultimately, the property will connect with the 100 Acre Wood Preserve on the opposite side of Highway 249 and become part of the Cypress Creek Greenway trail system, which connects hundreds of acres of parks along Cypress Creek.

The sun was finally out and the lake was gleaming. Beaver activity could be spotted in several areas and one of the naturalists on staff at the preserve showed us the beaver lodge on the lake. This trail around the lake meanders for almost 2 miles so we hit the trail after a quick lunch break. Ring-necked Ducks, Osprey, egrets and more were a delight to find as we made our way along the forested edge. Everyone was thrilled to get really good looks at Pine Warblers which were prevalent along the trail. We tallied 21 species for our first visit to this beautiful park. After over 5 miles of walking and birding the tired group enjoyed some sweets on the way home on the bus. Thanks again to Precinct 3 for providing this great service to seniors.

Join us for our next adventure on February 5th!