Lake Saracen

Located in Pine Bluff just behind the courthouse and at the front of Regional Park.  The lake is about 500 acres and has a paved hiking trail as well as a fishing pier and an elaborate landing.  The best time to go is during migrations and in the winter.  If the water is low and mudflats appear, look for shorebirds any time of the year for Killdeer and Least Sandpipers could be seen anytime.  On the water you can see Gulls, migrating Terns, lots of ducks, Cormorants, Pelicans, Grebes, and Herons as well as Shorebirds.  The trail goes by wooded areas and open fields.  The woods are good for a variety of woodland birds and the fields can host several different species of swallows.  Lake Saracen is a reliable place to see these notable birds:  Black-necked Stilt, Caspian Tern, Wilson’s Snipe, American White Pelican, Canvasback, Ruddy Duck, Black Tern, Belted Kingfisher, and others.

Pelican flock

Pelican flock

In the last couple of years Saracen has hosted a few rare winter residents that include Virginia Rail (documentation of overwintering through Dec ’13-Jan ’14 by yours truly), American Bitterns, and possibly Soras.  If mudflats are exposed throughout the winter, one can possibly find Yellowlegs and Least Sandpipers throughout the winter.

Lake Saracen plays host to several species of dragonflies and butterflies as well as other non-bird wildlife.  White-tailed Deer are quite tame and are easily viewed from the trail as well as other mammals.

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer

Variegated Fritillary

Variegated Fritillary

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