Located in Coleman and Concho Counties, this has traditionally been the lake to find Bald Eagles, ducks, and loons during the winter months. Vermilion Flycatcher, Verdin, Canyon Towhee, Bullock’s Oriole, Pyrrhuloxia, Cassin’s Sparrow, Golden-fronted and Curve-billed Thrasher are also present during the spring/summer months.
Directions from Abilene: Take Hwy. 83/84 south out of Abilene. When the highway splits, take 84 toward Coleman. Approximately 15 miles before Coleman, turn south on CR 503 and go through the small communities of Valera and Voss. Turn right onto CR 2134 towards Leaday and bird this road for passerines. At Padgitt Park stop at the lake and scope for ducks and shorebirds. The picnic area is also a birdy stop.
Return to CR 503 (also known as the Ray Stoker Jr, Highway) and continue around the lake towards Kennedy Park. Turn right onto CR 1929 and stop at the Marina/Grocery/Grill to purchase your car pass. Go towards the boat dock for another view of the lake and then bird the picnic areas around the lake. At the pavilion area (view shown in above photo), check the lake for loons. Common and Pacific have been found here. Wintering sparrows, Bewicks and Cactus Wrens, Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Sage Thrasher have been found in the habitat around the lake.
Return to CR 1929 and continue towards the south of the lake. The next place to stop and bird is the area behind the dam (see photo below). On the south side of the road before crossing the overflow area there is a small parking area with a roadside marker. From here look down at the marshy areas and look for Marsh Wrens (in winter), Common Yellowthroat (year round) and other passerines. Be sure and check both sides of the road. There will probably be more ducks on the water here.
From here you can continue west towards Hwy. 83. Turn north onto 83 and return to Abilene via Ballinger, Winters, and Tuscola. This is a great road to look for hawks.