With a variety of habitats in a relatively compact area, Bell Slough Wildlife Management Area boasts a bird list of 200 species. Specialties include Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-breasted Chat, American Bittern, Gray-cheeked Thrush, and Northern Waterthrush. The latter is easy, if not abundant, along the banks of Palarm Creek in spring. Expect many other wood-warblers, particularly Prothonotary, Kentucky, and Northern Parula, plus Brown Thrasher and several vireos and thrushes.
Stay on the well-defined trails of Bell Slough South for two hours of easy and productive birding or venture off-trail for a more challenging outing to less visited areas where Gray-cheeked Thrush, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, and American Bittern hang out.
Entry to the north end of Bell Slough WMA is via Lake Conway Dam. Turn your scope on the lake before leaving your car and you might just see something rare, like the December ‘07 Black-legged Kittiwake. Cross over the metal sluice gates to access “Bell’s” north-side trails.
Bachman’s Sparrow is the big draw at nearby Camp Robinson. They sing from the same hillside each spring, an isolated outpost for this species. “Camp” is also good for Bell’s Vireo, the occasional Greater Roadrunner, and other birds preferring drier, upland habitat.