map from Google Maps
are arranged geographically, not alphabetically. You can click somewhere
on the map above and be transported to the right place in the list of names and
descriptions below. We made up some names;
took others from common usage over the years; and some are official.
lists are a work in progress. Most of
the birds are in photos on The
Monthly Bird Journal pages. To
find specific mentions or images of a species, use the
Search of My Sites to find the words, and the photos
will follow. Beware, since it's a search of all my sites, some
findings may be about art or poetry instead of birds. I
keep adding species to the lists as I remember old ones
or encounter new ones.
Place Names & Birds
Rock Trail is a continuation of the Walking/Biking Path
around White Rock Lake. It starts north, across Mockingbird
Lane, on the corner
and Lawther, the street that goes almost all the way around the lake.
Well, it used to. After the fire department couldn't find the Dreyfus building
until it burned to the ground, The City changed the name of Lawther in several
places around the lake. The Trail continues through mostly green spaces north
of LBJ Freeway.
Rock Creek - from at or just
north of Mockingbird Bridge to just north of LBJ. See Up
the Creek with a Paddle, continuing south of the Spillway and
Spillway Steps through the dark green area on the
map that is the golf course, under I-30 and beyond. I should probably note
that the phrase "White Rock Creek" also applies to many other short and long
creeks in and around Dallas, Texas. It's become such a popular name, it hardly
means anything anymore.
Bridge - There used
to be a wide bicycling path marked in yellow with road humps across the
south side of the bridge. I suspect there were many accidents. Bicyclers
are not known for following prescribed rules, stopping at stop signs
or lights, going the right way, yielding or those other traffic niceties.
Now walkers and some bikers take the Singing Bridge. Others risk
suicide against the sometimes bizarre auto traffic in the name of
Bridge (below) for a list
of birds in that area.
Island - small island under and protruding south from Mockingbird
Bridge. It's been called that since at least the 1980s. Probably,
at one time, Pelicans hung out there. Now they spend most of their
social, preening, daylight and dark-night rest time in Sunset Bay,
scouting out in all directions. The island disappears in high water, but I've
never seen a pelican there, although they sometimes fish that area
in large, Esther Williams-style synchronized-swimming groups. map
Yellow-crowned Night Herons, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets,
Double-crested Cormorants, Muscovy Ducks, Ruddy Ducks can
sometimes be seen from the bridge diving, Mallards
Bridge - The biking
and walking bridge immediately south of Mockingbird Bridge. I call it "singing,"
because in any wind, the whole thing hummed loudly — you could feel
the wood boards and metal braces vibrating. But they fixed it, so it doesn't
sing anymore, although I still call it that.
Not to be confused
with the rhythmic but mostly silent, queasy-uneasy shaking most
bridges experience during and just after joggers or walkers
cross the bridge. The motion sometimes makes stomachs queasy and careful
photography impossible except at bridge joints where two spans come together.
The only White Rock Walking bridge that does not waver is Garland bridge,
although the Bent
not as shaky. map
are not many birds there. I have seen a few American White Pelican flyovers,
Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Muscovy Ducks, Black- and Yellow-crowned Night
Herons. Sometimes Great Blue Herons (big gray) stand under the trees on the far
(west) side left in the photo above, and very often there's a Great Egret
(big white) fishing under the car bridge, especially on the
west side — unless
somebody's let their dogs loose to swim there, in which case
no birds will be in sight. Dogs are supposed to be on leashes,
but usually are not, and nobody seems to care. Scissor-tailed
Flycatchers are common in the tall weeds up the hill (visible
at the bottom of the photograph above) in late spring and summer.
Park - stinky protrusion where we're most likely to find dogs off
leashes, although it's normal, albeit illegal, all around the lake.
Few doggers pick up their poop, and through City design or individual
human neglect, loose dogs are occasionally seen chasing — and catching — birds
in the water. map
Same birds as the Singing Bridge area
Thistledown Road in 2001 — unleashed
dogs are still common there,
but the tall weeds, amazing bio-diversity and thistles are long gone.
Meadows - The walking path around the Dog Park area was once publicized
for its "natural" meadows. Not anymore. The City destroyed
all the Thistle and other exotic plants the place was ripe with.
It smelled better before and was colorful and wildly beautiful with a remarkable
variety of plant life, and a serene sense of separation.
once saw Passion Flowers (the rare squat ones that puff out from
the ground) growing there. But since its northern portion became
a dog park with normal and continuous implementation of the City's
Habitat Destruction Machines, the plant life along that shoreline
have been normalized down to deadly boring with a concrete path. map
so long since I've enjoyed being there that I don't remember
any birds but Great Blue Herons along the east edge, and
egrets near the point of the south shore, although those
rarely show up there since the urbanization of Thistledown Meadows. Lots of cormorants,
of course, in autumn and winter, since that once-wild and trail-free area borders
Cormorant Bay, just below.
Bridge - on Lawther south of the so-called Biker's Parking Lot (one
of only two on the lake that you have to drive over gravel to get
to). Unlike all other lake walking bridges, it's gray and incorporates
a bend in the middle. It was intended to keep heavy walking traffic
from further destroying the shore, which gets seriously
thinner over the years. A park bench still sits on the west, land
side of the bridge, though it is much less used now, since mostly
what you can see from there is the bridge. map
Cormorants a plenty, gulls of many
species, Great Blue Herons, egrets, coots, Mallards, grebes
Bay - All winter, hundreds (perhaps thousands) of black Double-crested
Cormorants perch in the trees around the upper edges of the bay.
They basically do two things up there, dry their wings from swimming
and diving into the lake, and scat.
When it's cold, that area has the
pungent stench of cormorant scat, which turns the sidewalks, grass
and trees so white it looks like snow. Especially noticeable
at night, there's a loud hiss as the stuff falls through the air and
trees and splats on the ground. Wear a hat or walk fast, and hold your
nose. It's probably the best place in the park to photograph cormorants
Same as Bent Bridge above, which is
in Cormorant Bay.
Heron Park - updated earlier this century to include
a stone bridge over the creek I've watched families
out in the creek slamming away at some poor snake. I didn't want to call
it Dead Snake Park, but I've often seen Green Herons there, so I called it that.
I named it after a
Green Heron who hunted among the reeds there.
It had been there for several years, and I have seen
it on the periphery since. I doubt it approved of all the new concrete. I sure
don't, but I have seen one Green Herons along the edge
of the lake north of the parking lot and pier.
Point - is called something else by the City, according to a plaque
there. But I have settled on the name, Free
Advice Point, because more people identify with the occasional presence
of guys on a blanket or small tent there offering free advice. If I could find
my original of the map, I might change it there, eventually. There used to be
more benches there than anywhere at the lake, but the City pulled most of them
out and replaced them with picnic tables instead. The Point is almost directly
across the lake from the Bath House Cultural Center.
cormorants, Great Egrets; I've seen up to three pelicans on a log well out from
there, and others swim by sometimes.
Bay - Mistakenly named for the green Monk Parakeets that
fly across the bay several times a day, this area has been called
that since at least the 1980s, and many people argue that they are too parrots.
Even KERA-FM's Everything You Ever Wanted to Know repeatedly claims
they are parrots. But they are Parakeets. map
three separate environments on the various sides of this
diverse bay: North has
tall trees and a big parking lot with a boat launch, small fishing pier and lots
of gulls, coots and egrets.
South has more tall trees, hilly grass and two creeks
running through with coots, egrets and a resident Kingfisher
who races around screaming its staccato cry and dives for
And the west end has zillions of reeds right down to
the water where Great Blue Herons and egrets hide, and Red-winged
Blackbirds flock while American White Pelicans sometimes
swim through looking for fish. On hot summer nights, the
area is alive with a symphony of frogs and insects aplenty. We often stop along
the bay side of the access road, a little toward the road from the porta-potties
just to listen to Nature's symphony.
Boat House and
Lagoon from Garland
near Bent Bridge Across the Lake
House Lagoon - The Boat House used to be a boat house, where fishermen
and others parked their boats. Then for decades it was a favorite
(but dangerous — lots of concrete right angles and murky water)
fishing area. Now it looks like an all-White enclave for rich people with fancy
rowing boats and one conspicuous motorboat, whose motor is probably larger than
the legal limit of horsepower allowed on White Rock Lake. map.
In the grass along
this side of the boathouse in the photograph above, I once watched and photographed
a Great Blue Heron deftly strip more than a dozen fish off an absent fisher-person's
line. It's a regular haunt for the parakeets who live in the
Big Hum (electric
substation) up the hill from the dam. There used to be dozens of Yellow-crowned
Night Herons, but now it's mostly Black-crowns. Several Wood Duck pairs raise
young in the lagoon on the far side almost every spring. American
White Pelicans visit there and even spend the night sometimes. Great Egrets spend
early mornings there, a ghostly scene in early morning fog. I once photographed
a Summer Tanager flying quickly up the lagoon.
New Boat House - is bigger than the
old one, and I wonder what use it is. It does reflect a lot of light
and even from the east side of the lake, it can be blinding when
the sun is low. Its parking lot seems to be the official parking area for
exclusive parties in the Filter Building, red and center in
the photo below.
Left to right: The Pump House
at the North End of the
Dam, The Filter Building
and New Boat House from Garland Road
Pump House - used to be where Dallas water was pumped out of the
lake. Most of our potable water now comes from much further away,
and the Old Pump House building has become exclusive offices for
civil servants. Closed to the public and lately policed by rent-a-cops
who prohibit overt photography of the dam for idiot Homeland Security
reasons, supposedly to protect us all from terrorists who have not yet learned
how to use Google Maps.
holds back a lot of water, letting a controlled amount sluice through
the wide Spillway Area, where it turns a sharp left angle south into
White Rock Creek. There was once a walking bridge directly
over the the dam, connecting the actual dam with the
all-concrete flood-watching area along Garland Road that got washed
away a few years ago in our latest
"100-year flood" that happens about every decade. map.
Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, grackles,
starlings, cormorants, sandpipers, Little Blue Herons, Killdeer and
Sandpipers and other peeps of many varieties, ducks galore, even eagles have
been seen in and over the area.
(The Old Fish Hatchery Area) - used to be a fish hatchery of
large rectangular "pans" of
water for raising fish (the light rectangles on the map above).
It's probably the best area around the lake to find wildlife — both
animals — including
beaver, foxes, rabbits, some middle-sized cats, and a wide variety
of birds. It's
where many Audubon Bird Tours start. It is beautiful and dense with
tall trees. Only trouble is the paths don't necessarily go where you want, and
some don't go anywhere at all. Poison Ivy grows wild all over. And there's
all those branches and leaves blocking our avian photographic views. map.
The Fitchery (Anna named it that) is beautiful,
though stifling in summer, a little dangerous with those pans of
water and not much to keep the clumsy from falling in, is
home to countless birds. I've heard that Black-bellied Whistling
Ducks raise their cute little black & white striped, downy young
there. I've often seen egrets and herons, woodpeckers, starlings, robins,
red-wings, grackles, titmice, Mallards and many
other species there. Various woodpeckers can be heard,
seen and sometimes photographed.
It's where I photographed Bart the Barred Owl
and screaming Red-tailed Hawks, one of whose nests can be seen in spring from
the top and about the middle of the dam overlooking the Fitchery.
Spillway - spills water along a long concrete apron between land
areas. After it sluices southwest down the spillway,
water is splashed suddenly in a left angle southeast down the Spillway
Steps, emptying into White Rock Creek (the south end) that escapes
over a couple of picturesque water falls through the golf course
and out under I-30. map.
Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons
(adult and juveniles), Black-crowned and Yellow-crowned Night
Herons, cormorants, pigeons (of course, they live under the bridge),
sandpipers, acres of Ring-billed Gulls during the winter, flittering Barn Swallows
and many more species fly over the area. My Bald Eagle was
flying there, also, although I photographed it across the lake at Winfrey Point.
Water Subliming from the
Steps - directly west of the Spillway, where water courses
down, surges left over a series of concrete steps to exit into White
Rock Creek. In spring and now that the City's finally finished fixing
the Spillways "retaining
walls" that fell in spring of 2006's 100-Year-Flood (after they
let the area between dirt and concrete repeatedly fill with
water), The City blamed the flood. I blame the City which lamely
filled the obvious sink holes with dirt, while the water sluiced down
between the walls and the earth, practically
guarantying the walls would fall, and they did.), it's the best
and most accessible area for photographing birds — except
maybe around the pier in Sunset Bay. map.
Now that the walking bridge is open
again, it's a fabulous perch to look down from and photograph over the guard
rail. I've spent hours watching Great Blue Herons, Little Blue
Herons, Black- and Yellow-crowned Night Herons, pelicans,
cormorants and other species fish there; there's often one cormorant diving on
the deep side along the steps. It should be interesting to see how long the
new "retaining walls" last.
Club Bay - Boat Clubs along this area of shoreline. Usually not
many birds, although egrets and Great Blue Herons, wild gooses, Green
Herons, hawks and Muscovy and many other ducks, even hummingbirds are seen in
the tall reeds by water's edge, although we've seen far fewer Muscovies around
the lake in the last couple years (2013); I suspect poachers have been busy,
and it's a shame, because those large-girth ducks are unusually friendly with
human beings. I have even seen them fly, but it looks like tremendous effort,
and their flapping sounds like a freight train huffing and puffing. map.
Hill - is
called that, because Mockingbird Lane tops its borders. There are lots
more Mockingbirds elsewhere. There's always some at Winfrey Point. Probably
more people call this area Boy Scout Hill, so perhaps there was a jamboree there
Cardinals, Blue Jays; I've heard lots
of reports that pelicans kettle there. I know orioles nest in this area
Big Thicket - thick with trees along and extending
from the Yacht Clubs north toward Mockingbird Lane.
Same as the Yacht Club above,
which is in The Big Thicket.
Bath House Culture Center - an official art and theatre building
sponsored by the City of Dallas, with extensive parking areas for
their and other purposes. map
Mockingbirds (but they're everywhere
at the lake), lots of cormorants and various terns are seen
on the poles of the sculpture in the water behind
the building spring, winter and autumn. Those poles were made for birds to perch
on, but they almost never do in summer. The rest of the year, almost every pole
has a cormorant or gull or tern. Early one May I remember seeing dozens of Great
Egrets flying against great winds along the coast between the Bath House and
Point - Once one of two social buildings along the edge of the lake.
Many weddings and other parties were held there till it burned down
in the autumn of 2006 when the Fire Department couldn't find it.
Before the old Dreyfuss Social Club
burned down, the roof was usually rife with crows. My great
shot of a crow knocking a juvenile hawk out of the air, was taken there.
The only time I've seen a Great
Blue Heron tall in a tall tree was there, and the power lines
often have various birds, including an American Kestrel who still hunts
there. I've often photographed Red-tailed and Red-shouldered
hawks there. It seems to be a natural hawk hunting ground, and they often
In winter, pairs of American Kestrel, either singly or together, hunt from the
elevated wires or tall trees there and up the coast toward The Bath House Cultural
Several creeks feed into the lake through this densely wooded area where
many herons and egrets, Turkey- and Black-Vultures may be found.
The domestic goose noise fills the area
sometimes, but also at least one Great Blue Heron,
a Great Egret, several Turkey Vultures and Black Vultures
have been seen there. That's where I shot a Red-winged Blackbird
chasing a Black (I think) Vulture, several little herons — Yellow-
and Black-crowned, and both Red-tailed and Red-shouldered hawks.
The latter may even nest there. And I'm pretty sure that's where
the coyotes den, they've been seen sunning on the concrete,
especially in the deep of winter, when their mating season is.
Bay is probably the most wildlife diverse part of the lake (second-only
to the Fitchery), because it is naturally protected from cold north
winds and offers a variety of land and vegetation types. map.
to the year-long presence of 50+ liberated domestic gooses
and multitudes of ducks, it's where the Egrets sometimes
sleep (hundreds of them, well away from shore), and it is winter home to
our annual 7-month winter vacation for a large population
of American White Pelicans (whose tags indicate they spend the rest of the year
in southeastern Idaho, the Dakotas, and east to west-most Minnesota) from mid-September
or mid-October through Tax Day. I've counted as many as 300 pelicans there, although
they do not all stay.
that have been sighted there include: cormorants, all five
of our local varieties of herons — Great Blues,
Little Blues, Green, Yellow- and Black-crowned Night Herons,
all our egrets, woodpeckers, Red-winged Blackbirds, Grackles,
Mallards, Muscovies, (not so much anymore) gooses, Avocets
(a whole flock of them has visited more than once), various
sandpipers, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Egyptian Gooses, Wood Ducks, Pintails,
Gadwalls, Lesser Scaups (first a few males, occasionally a female for a day or
two), Monk Parakeets, Killdeer, Red-tailed Hawks, both Turkey and Black Vultures
and a Belted Kingfisher can often be heard (though they are usually too fast
to be seen or photographed.
I've seen dozens of Cedar Waxwings drunk
on berries in what I call Sunset Forest, up the hill toward
the apartment buildings near Garland Road, and lots of hawks and Kestrel and
owls in the thick of the forest..
Point - The other social building, where firemen repeatedly went
when they couldn't find Dreyfuss as its social building burned down, also offers
a high point for photographing and viewing the lake, especially during storms.
Several festivals are held in the largish parking lot, and it's a great place
to watch firework displays around the city on July 4.
Red-tailed Hawks, pairs of
American Kestrels, an Osprey, Great Horned Owls, mockingbirds
aplenty, grackles, Killdeer nest there where overflow-parking is allowed on the
grass for rich-people-parties, one
Bald Eagle, at least one pair of Yellow-headed Blackbirds
visit both in spring and fall, Red-winged Blackbirds,
jillions of Purple Martins, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, Eastern and Western Kingbirds, Brown-headed
Cowbirds and starlings. There's often a hawk or an American Kestrel or pair of
them hunting from the high wire across the lake-side of the parking lot.
Drive - Forgetting that I called
it "Arboretum Drive" on this map, I usually call it DeGoyler in
the journal. Probably not that many people know what that
is. What used to be the richer-than-God DeGoyler's estate, is now
Dallas' Arboretum, which you pay to get into to see flowers and
creeks and trees and misters misting them. Usually there's sculpture,
fountains, pools and such. There's an incredibly cheap-looking
"Western Town" area complete with a Indian-like teepee own by
the lake, and lately a kid park with rides and a tram threaten to turn adjacent
areas of the park into parking lots.
SAVE White Rock Lake. PAVE the Arboretum.
seen anything but Great-tailed Grackles on the grounds themselves, and I'm not
excited about paying to look at flowers, when they're everywhere else for
free, but they do have free concerts that noise up the lake on Thursday nights
in the summer. I guess the folks on the grounds pay for the privilege,
but dozens to hundreds of canoers, kayakers and people in small fishing boats
gather on the coast at the western edge to hear it.
In the water
along there, however, I've seen thousands of Ruddy Ducks,
small flotillas of Bufflehead ducks, coots galore, Mallards,
Gadwalls, Pintails, lots of Pied-billed grebes, a few Horned and sometimes a
pair of Eared Grebes, Great Egrets, grackles, starlings, cardinals, Great Blue
and Green Herons, and several species of hawks plying the area from the line
of trees along the road, but almost never all at once.
Bridge - a small walking
bridge of the high, rusted iron sides variety, the only one
at the lake that does not heave queasily when joggers run over it. Back
Great Egrets, grackles, starlings,
Barn Swallows, Green Herons, American White Pelicans and