Best Place to Bird-Watch

Lost Valley Trail

On a good morning at Weldon Spring Conservation Area, you can spot 60 species of birds on the Lost Valley Trail, reports Pat Lueders of the St. Louis Audubon Society. Setting out from the trailhead just off Highway 94, you meander north about a mile before arriving at the eight-mile loop. If you head left, you'll pass through an open field where sparrows tend to congregate toward the end of October. Past that, you come to the beaver ponds, and you might catch some redheaded woodpeckers and orioles bustling about. Should you head right at the fork and go uphill through the forest, you'll soon reach a creek where birds like to splash around. The real star of this trail, however, is the cerulean warbler, whose numbers have dwindled enough to raise bird lovers' concern. These warblers depart by the end of August, but return every spring for summer breeding. And when they do, their songs fill the woods.

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