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Mulvey Pond Birding Guide

 

 
Location

West Central Indiana

Tippecanoe County, Indiana

DeLorme Page 31, Grid E-9

GPS:   40º 29' 24.39" N    
87º 01' 59.2" W

Directions

From the North: take I-65 South into White County. At exit #193 exit south onto US 231. Continue south on US 231 into Tippecanoe County. Mulvey Pond is located on the west side of the road at the intersection of US 231 and CR 500 N.

From the South: take US 231 north through West Lafayette. Continue west on US 231 / US 52 to the town of Montmorenci. At Montmorenci, follow US 231 as it branches north from US 52. Mulvey Pond is approximately a mile north on US 231 at its intersection with CR 500 N. It will be on the west (left) side of the road. Because of the slope of the land, it's easy to drive past the site without noticing it when approaching from the south. The pond is more obvious when approaching from the north.

Site Description

Mulvey Pond is a wetland in Tippecanoe County located entirely on private property. The wetland occurs in the setting of a 58-acre farm that includes a pond, an adjacent woodland, and marshland located more to the west. There are nearby grassy fields with grazing cattle and farms to the north and south. The receding edges of the pond provide mudflat habitat, largely at the mercy of area rainfall accumulation.

A local beaver population is responsible for creation of the wetland, as their activity blocks the culvert that drains the area. Despite several attempts at removing the beavers and their dam, the owners have found that the area quickly repopulates and the water levels rise again. Cattle continuously graze the land, which prevents the development of marsh vegetation and keeps the grass low enough to see the birds. A drought in 2002 caused the whole property to go completely dry due to insufficient water inflow.

Although birding on the Mulvey Pond property itself is not allowed, the wetland can be scoped from the perimeter roads. Good vantage points from which to scope the area include US 231 and CR 500 N, the latter likely being the best place. Be sure to park your car off the road. There are no trails.

The pond is one of the better places to look for waterfowl and shorebirds in the West Lafayette area. Greater White-fronted Geese have been regular here in the spring, and most dabbling duck species are intermittantly present throughout migration. Diving ducks are known to rest here, but the pond is not deep enough to provide much foraging habitat for them. When the pond recedes enough to produce adequate mudflat exposure, a wide variety of shorebirds can be found during migration. It is definitely a worthwhile stop on the way to Pine Creek Gamebird Habitat Area if you are coming from West Lafayette.

Typical Time to Bird Site: 30-60 minutes.

Birds

Overview:
Bird families most likely to be seen here include hawks, ducks, geese, egrets, herons, sparrows, swallows, and shorebirds.
Specialty Species:
Cackling Goose - November
Yellowlegs species - November
Green-winged Teal - February-March; again in November
Noteworthy Records:
Cattle Egret
Glossy Ibis - (04-May-2001)
Common Goldeneye
Forster's Tern
Sandhill Crane
Yellow Rail - Spring, found dead along CR 500 N
Stilt Sandpiper
Red Knot - (12-September-2002)
Ross's Goose - (17-February-2002); (20-November-2003 through 02-December-2003)

General Site Information

Ownership:
Private property.
Hours:
None.
Fees:
None.
Access Restrictions:
The site is entirely fenced. Access to the property itself is not allowed.
Restrooms:
None on the site. The nearest public restrooms are located in Lafayette and West Lafayette.
Lodging:
The nearest lodging available is in Lafayette and West Lafayette.
Temporal Considerations:
January through May and August through December seem to be the most productive times to visit Mulvey Pond. Very few records exist for June thruogh early August.

Links

Ed Hopkins' Bird Photos
See Ed's collection of photos taken at Mulvey Pond.

 

Credits

Author: Temple Pearson
Additional species accounts: Ed Hopkins
Editors: Darel Heitkamp and Dick Patterson
Last updated: January, 2007

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