Continued from part 2.
Wildcat Park: This small park is short on trails, but a great place to bird watch in the off-months. During warm weather early morning viewing is possible, but the park fills up with folks, and noise, pretty quickly. There is a wheelchair accessible observation deck. Originally, the deck was a handicap access for fishing and was over the stream. Today, the channel has shifted and unless the stream is swollen, the deck is land locked. It does offer a view of both water and woodland. Kingfishers and woodpeckers, robins and warblers can be heard, if not seen. Mallards and Canadian geese are often in the area. During warmer months the bird traffic in the park shifts across the creek into the section of the park inaccessible to the public. Park (link).
Prophetstown St. Park: This is the newest of the Indiana State Parks. Once wetlands and prairie, Prophetstown encompasses land that was hunted by various tribes. Today, the area is being restored to prairie and wetland while sporting modern facilities. The re-establishment of prairie allows for species long absent. Soon, summer prairie species will start showing up. The pine forest houses owls, cardinals and blue jays. Trail 2 along the back ridge has shelter and food for woodland species. Eagles and hawks can be seen on a regular basis. The pond often has visiting waterfowl such as swans in addition to the standard ducks and geese. With the restoration, there is some talk of restocking the park with prairie chickens. Park (link).
Wabash Heritage Trail: The trail encompasses several habitats. The Burnett’s Creek section is heavily wooded with the creek running through. Woodland species and some waterfowl can be seen. From Davis Ferry to the downtown the trail goes past farmland and golf course with a river forest border. Hawks, eagles and various waterfowl compete with blue jays, woodpeckers and warblers for the hiker’s attention. In the downtown section from Harrison Bridge to Tapawingo, the variety of birds is more urban. Fortunately for Lafayette folk, many of the avian visitors are accustomed to the urban setting. Heron, eagles and hawks are seen even in this section. The section near Ouiatenon is primarily farm fields with some woods. Eagles, waterfowl, wetland birds and hawks can often be seen. Trail (link).
Continued in part 4.