The Birmingham Audubon Society will offer a field trip to Limestone Park on Saturday, August 11. Everyone is invited to meet BAS trip leader Ken Wills at 7 a.m. at the McDonald’s on Highway 31 at the Galleria. Participants will carpool to various locations around Limestone Park Swamp in Alabaster looking for a rare Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Storks, as well as Anhingas, Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets, all of which have been observed recently in the swamp.
The highlight of the trip will be a chance to use the new birding observation deck at Alabaster’s Limestone Park, which has recently been selected as a site on the Appalachian Highlands Birding Trail. The BAS field trip will join Mayor David Frings and other civic leaders at 9 a.m. for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new birding observation deck, which was funded and constructed through a partnership between the City of Alabaster and the Birmingham Audubon Society. The elevated deck is handicapped accessible, and provides opportunities for local birders and tourists from all over the US to observe the rich birdlife of Limestone Park.
Because of its combination of open meadows, tupelo gum swamps, and adjacent woodlands, Limestone Park is rated by local birders as one of the most exciting locations for viewing a broad range of bird species, including unusual visitors like the Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Storks, and Anhingas, which are rarely seen in Central Alabama. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, BAS trip leader Ken Wills will lead the group to another site on the Appalachian Highlands Birding Trail, Ebeneezer Swamp in Montevallo. For more information about the BAS Field Trip to Limestone Park on August 11, please go to www.birminghamaudubon.org.
Because it provides great birding opportunities for beginning birders as well as for experts, Limestone Park has been named a ‘Magnet Site’ on the new Appalachian Highlands Birding Trail, an initiative led by the Alabama Dept. of Tourism, in partnership with the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, Birmingham Audubon Society, and the State Non-Game Wildlife Program.
Three years in development, the Appalachian Highlands Birding Trail now features 38 approved sites in Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, Etowah, Jefferson, St Clair, Shelby, and Talladega counties, covering an area of over four million acres. The new birding trail is not only a valuable means of attracting more visitors to Alabama, it’s also a great educational resource for our students and an opportunity for inexpensive family outings. Schools can use the trail sites for field trips and families can visit on a Saturdays, Sundays or holidays. The newly developed trail is the sixth of eight organized birding trails that will ultimately cover the state as birding becomes an increasingly important source of tourism revenue for Alabama.