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A Look at Chinkipin Bluffs July 17, 2010

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Birds, Columbus Junction, Parks, Wild Flowers.
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Chinkapin Bluffs

Chinkipin Bluffs Recreation Area is a Louisa County park that provides an unusual mix of habitats and land use. The picture above shows the playground beside the grassy picnic area. The park also includes a prairie demonstration plot, wooded hillsides, and a segment of the Hoover Nature Trail.

Beside the Hoover Trail, there are three others. The easiest is a crushed-rock trail around the edge of the picnic area. A longer trail passes through the prairie demonstration area, skirts a paw paw tree trial plot and then traverses the boundary between a portion of the park that is still being used to grow corn and a wooded hillside. The third trail, the red one on this map, is a more strenuous hike up, down and along the base of bluffs.

Those of you who are regular readers know that when I visit parks I’m on the lookout for birds, wildflowers, and bugs. The prairie demonstration plot, pictured here, was great for all three. I counted half-a-dozen varieties of butterflies.

Demonstration Prairie

I was a little surprised that most of the birds where hanging out within a hundred yards of the parking lot. Worth noting were an Eastern Towhee, an American Tree Sparrow (that should have been in Canada), and a Common Yellow-throat. There were several Indigo Buntings, including the one I featured in a post last week, and enough other birds and flowers to keep me happy for several hours.

The scenic overlook is also worth a visit. Here’s a wide angle shot taken from the viewing platform.

Chinkapin Bluffs Overlook

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