Powderhorn WMA Bioblitz: May 19-21

Our observations for the weekend.
Our observations in identify mode (including research grade).
Our observations in identify mode (needs ID only).

Powderhorn Wildlife Management Area is on the coast between Port O'Connor and Indianola. View an iNaturalist map here.

Coordinates of entrance to the WMA: 28.434577644041553, -96.53424007243173

Google Map showing entrance, headquarters, and boundaries (WMA in yellow, State Park area in red). Unless I hear otherwise, we are restricted to the yellow WMA area.

Overnight, primitive camping is available on the WMA. There is electricity, water, ice machine, refrigerator, and bathrooms (but not showers). The gate (see location up at the top of this post) should be unlocked but please be sure to close the gate behind you. The building 1.6 miles down the road from the gate will be our headquarters. There are no shade trees in the vicinity of the headquarters, but the building has a shelter on the backside to provide relief from sun and rain and the building will be open in the event of a storm.

There are some locations near the WMA that folks may be interested in visiting on their way to or from the WMA. The location of Powderhorn and these other points of interest are shown in this map.

TPWD webpage

Posted on February 04, 2023 10:30 PM by pfau_tarleton pfau_tarleton



Posted by rymcdaniel 4 months ago (Flag)

Can one stay for part of it? Friday and Saturday are my typical days off so I could come out for the 19th and 20th.

Posted by brencero 4 months ago (Flag)

Absolutely! Come and go as you please.

Posted by bosqueaaron 4 months ago (Flag)

Can I be lazy and just RSVP here instead of emailing you? I'll be your best friend...

Posted by kimberlietx 4 months ago (Flag)

Super excited about this! :)

Posted by sambiology 4 months ago (Flag)

You and me both, Sam!

Posted by annikaml 4 months ago (Flag)

I am officially signing up!

Posted by bacchusrock 4 months ago (Flag)

I'm excited! I will bring some cameras and audio devices. Hoping there is electricity somewhere for the MV light. Swamp rabbit has been found south of there in Aransas NWR seems like a possibility at Powderhorn. Car camping. Coffee drinking. Overall positivity! @sagaciousoctopus

Posted by mikef451 4 months ago (Flag)

I am planning to make it. Don't think I can take Friday off at the moment. So I will drive partway down on Friday night and then get there Saturday morning if that would be okay. At least that is my plan right now.

Posted by brentano 3 months ago (Flag)

Tagging a friend. @pufferchung

Posted by mikef451 3 months ago (Flag)
Posted by kimberlietx 3 months ago (Flag)

Sent email & hoping there's a spot still open!

Posted by lulubelle 3 months ago (Flag)

@prairie_rambler Tagging someone I hope can join us.

Posted by connlindajo 2 months ago (Flag)
Posted by bosqueaaron 2 months ago (Flag)

A few additional details: on site there is electricity, water, bathrooms (but not showers), and good roads.

Posted by pfau_tarleton about 2 months ago (Flag)

Thanks for the update on information--will you send more out once it gets closer?

Posted by oceanicwilderness about 2 months ago (Flag)

I'd say that I'm getting excited about Powderhorn...it's just around the corner...but don't want to jinx the weather. @sambiology, do we just drive in the gate like we own the place....or will we need to be let in?

Posted by pfau_tarleton 25 days ago (Flag)

Let me find out! :)

Posted by sambiology 25 days ago (Flag)

If anyone is acquainted with someone not on the attendees list, but might be interested, let me know and we'll invite them.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 25 days ago (Flag)

Russell, recently I communicated with @puffin21 about attending.

Posted by mikef451 24 days ago (Flag)

I am tagging @jeffmci9 in case he is interested.

Posted by connlindajo 19 days ago (Flag)

A training opportunity came up at work. Looks like I will only be out for Saturday (weather permitting. fingers crosse). What time does this shindig kick off and is there a meet up planned or where do we enter? I've only been out to Powderhorn once.

Posted by brencero 18 days ago (Flag)

Unfortunately, I won't be able to be there.

Posted by lulubelle 18 days ago (Flag)

Is anyone going and staying in Port Lavaca by any chance?

Posted by bosqueaaron 18 days ago (Flag)

@bosqueaaron There's a chance my accommodations may change, but at the moment I'm booked to stay in PL. You can msg me :)

Posted by kimberlietx 18 days ago (Flag)

I've got coordinates and a Google Maps link to the entrance gate up in the description (it's at the south end of 1289). @sambiology is still waiting to hear back from WMA staff about when we can start arriving. There's no kick off planned or official meet time...folks will be trickling in on their own schedules. I don't know yet where our "headquarters" will be (there are two buildings on-site), but @sambiology will be posting as soon as he finds out those details.

In the meantime, here's a TPWD video to watch:

Posted by pfau_tarleton 18 days ago (Flag)


Posted by centratex 15 days ago (Flag)

I'll be there! Excited!

Posted by k8thegr8 15 days ago (Flag)

Updated information about facilities. There is electricity, water, ice machine, refrigerator, and bathrooms (but not showers). The gate (see location up at the top of this post) should be unlocked but please be sure to close the gate behind you. The building 1.6 miles down the road from the gate will be our headquarters. There are no shade trees in the vicinity of the headquarters, but the building has a shelter on the backside to provide relief from sun and rain and the building will be open in the event of a storm.

I don't know exactly when I'll arrive (sometime Friday around or after lunch). If you get there earlier than me, please leave some kind of documentation of your presence on the WMA (a note or something in the building).

Posted by pfau_tarleton 14 days ago (Flag)

Thanks Russell. Are there any organized plans for mothing Fri or Sat nights?

Posted by bosqueaaron 14 days ago (Flag)

@jeff_back I can't remember if I told you about this bioblitz.

Posted by bosqueaaron 14 days ago (Flag)

@bosqueaaron: Absolutely nothing is organized! But electricity is at the headquarters, so folks needing a plug can set up there. Those with batteries can set up further afield if desired. For example, there's a very nice wooded area 1 mile further down the road that would be an excellent spot for battery setups.

Also, I just got word from the manager that we may be restricted from the State Park area. He provided a map which I added to the Google Map showing where that is (the red polygon). The yellow polygon is available in its entirety.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 14 days ago (Flag)

Here's a map showing what appear to me to be the main roads on the WMA along with distance markers. I'll bring printouts of this map also.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 13 days ago (Flag)

I am hoping to arrive between noon and 1pm. See you folks there!

Posted by mikef451 12 days ago (Flag)

I'll probably be in around 6 or 7 pm on Friday

Posted by bosqueaaron 12 days ago (Flag)

@chasingchickens and I will be there! But we will likely be arriving pretty late on Friday, like 8pm or later.

Posted by wildcarrot 12 days ago (Flag)

I will probably arrive mid-afternoon Friday.

Posted by annikaml 12 days ago (Flag)

I'm hoping for a mid-afternoon arrival on Friday, but it just depends on how distracted I get along the way. I'm known for stopping a LOT. Actually, I'm staying in Port Lavaca, so by the time I get to HQ it will be early evening I bet. Several of you have my phone number in case I don't show by dark!

Posted by kimberlietx 12 days ago (Flag)

See you folks on Friday sometime in the afternoon. Should be an interesting and fun adventure.

The map was very helpful @pfau_tarleton but don't you usually mark distance between stars in light-years?

Posted by jcochran706 12 days ago (Flag)

Will see you all there! Arriving Thursday afternoon to check out the scenery in the area. Hopefully GTWT Adopt-a-Loop sites.

Posted by connlindajo 12 days ago (Flag)

I expect to show up Saturday morning.

Posted by bacchusrock 11 days ago (Flag)

Likely showing up Friday around 8pm or so.

Posted by knightericm 11 days ago (Flag)

For those of us who can't wait until tomorrow, here's an interesting paper about a disjunct population of Hemileuca peigleri in the Powderhorn area.

Posted by bosqueaaron 11 days ago (Flag)

@pfau_tarleton I hope they give us permission for that red area on your map. Isoetes texana is in a pond in that area apparently.

Posted by knightericm 11 days ago (Flag)

Well… My kids came down with a stomach bug, so I’m going to have to sit this one out. I hope the good weather forecast holds and that y’all see lots of amazing stuff!

Posted by laurahaynes 11 days ago (Flag)

@knightericm, cool. I bet it occurs on the WMA also. Heres a link to paper describing it for those interested in this rare endemic plant. https://www.phytoneuron.net/PhytoN-Isoetestexana.pdf

Posted by pfau_tarleton 11 days ago (Flag)

Excited to see some folks tomorrow and through the weekend!!! I'll probably be there at around 7 or so.

Also, here's a fun search -- look for the species that you've not seen from Calhoun County, TX (just replace "unobserved_by_user_id=sambiology" with your username instead of "sambiology"): https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?hrank=species&place_id=1766&subview=map&unobserved_by_user_id=sambiology&view=species

I'm really hoping to see this tiger beetle: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/120976-Habroscelimorpha-dorsalis

Posted by sambiology 11 days ago (Flag)
Posted by knightericm 11 days ago (Flag)

Have fun everyone. Looks like I am sitting this one out. Hope to see folks at one of the ones in the upcoming months.

Posted by rymcdaniel 10 days ago (Flag)

Looks like @chasingchickens and I will be arriving much later tonight than expected - my day job got in the way of my fun - so we're going to find a hotel nearby and join y'all early in the morning Saturday!

Posted by wildcarrot 10 days ago (Flag)

Be sure to sign release form in barn upon arrival.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 10 days ago (Flag)

All participants will need to sign a liability form at the barn, about 1.6 miles inside the gate. Keep the front gate closed and latched.
Do not travel off the rock roads. It's very wet right now, do not travel off the roads and tear up secondary roads. Walking secondary roads is fine.
Keep all gates as you find them. If you open a gate close it behind you. We have cattle on the property.
Watch out for venomous snakes and alligators. Assume every body of water (including bar ditches) has an alligator in it.
Please keep the bathroom clean.
If you have any problems or questions, contact me at 361-205-1510

Powderhorn WMA Area Manager

Posted by dpwalker 10 days ago (Flag)

I am having to back out. Hope to get to the next one. Enjoy and be safe.

Posted by centratex 10 days ago (Flag)

Alas alas, I will not be able to make it. The AC went out in my truck and I need to get it fixed ASAP.

Posted by brencero 10 days ago (Flag)

Hi Everyone! Hope you all made it back safe and sound from Powderhorn WMA. It was great seeing you all again. My best activities were bird and moth focused. There was a bit of a bird migration spurt while we where there, with many flycatchers coming in on Friday and Saturday, including dozens of Eastern Wood-Pewees. There were also some nice warblers in several places, including in the large live oak patch along the road near the bay in the State Park area by the white building. So much activity there on Saturday, absolutely alive with birds (flycatchers of several species, warblers, orioles, thrushes, Blue Grosbeaks, etc.). Today there, barely saw a pewee and had no warblers or other migrants. Thanks to Chuck's tip though, today I went over to the shell beach and lagoon area and had Ruddy Turnstone, Wilson's Plover, beautiful breeding-plumaged Dunlins, and some other sandpipers.

Many thanks to Russell and Sam for arranging this wonderful outing! See you next time.

Posted by jcochran706 8 days ago (Flag)

So, the mosquitoes were memorable, but so was everything else! I had such a great time gathering with folks.

It'll take a while for everyone to get observations uploaded and ID'ed, no doubt, but I think we documented a LOT of biodiversity here.

Thanks to all involved!

Posted by sambiology 7 days ago (Flag)

Mosquitos? What mosquitoes? I don't remember any mosquitoes.

It was interesting to see how the change in weather from Friday to Saturday changed the insect diversity on the sheets. Saturday night had so many more numbers and much more diversity.

Thanks Dan (@dpwalker) for allowing us this opportunity. We hope that our observations will contribute in some way to understanding the rich biodiversity of this place. The prairie off the road northeast from the barn had an amazing diversity of plants--particularly legumes. It will take a couple of weeks before all our observations are posted and identified. After that, I'll try to put together a summary of our observations.

Our observations for the weekend.
Our observations in identify mode (including research grade).
Our observations in identify mode (needs ID only).

Posted by pfau_tarleton 7 days ago (Flag)

I want to thank everyone, especially Russell and Sam - except the mosquitoes - for making this another great bioblitz!
It will take me a lot of time to get my observations uploaded, but I know I saw a lot of new and to me interesting things at Powderhorn. My moth sheet is covered with eggs deposited by the flannel moths, I'm waiting to see if they will hatch. I also got the county to 106 bird species, so hurrah!
You all looked confused when I talked about Lucky Luke, the cartoon about American Old Wild West, so I looked it up and it was created by a Belgian guy and mainly distributed in Europe. So no shade on you all!

Posted by annikaml 4 days ago (Flag)

I finished my uploads (whew! not bragging, really!) and we are now officially over 1000 species observed! Several of them are first records for Texas on iNat. And some of them are first records for iNat globally (including several of @mpintar's aquatic insects).

Posted by pfau_tarleton 3 days ago (Flag)

I was very pleased to find a few species, particularly Belostoma confusum. I have maybe 5 other species that are not verified since I only found females. Also six species are possible actual new state records for Texas: Celina slossoni, Desmopachria leechi, Suphisellus puncticollis, Paracymus lodingi, Haliplus confluentus, and Peltodytes dietrichi. Although it is not surprising that any of them were found there.

Posted by mpintar about 4 hours ago (Flag)

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