The Anniston Museum occupies landscaped grounds surrounded by a mature pine-oak hilltop forest. The woodland component coupled with the elevation makes the site well-suited for a role as a spring and fall migrant trap. Woodland songbirds and woodpeckers are present throughout the year, and the added attraction of the Museum’s outstanding exhibits make this a site worthy of inclusion on any visitor’s itinerary. The Museum serves as a Gateway site for the Appalachian Highlands Birding Trail, and is a good place to get help with your questions about the trail. Be sure to spend some time birding the pond in Jaycees Park at the base of the hill, just off Highway 21.
A little bit off the beaten path but well worth the time, Frog Pond Overlook merits a visit for anyone birding in the Anniston-Gadsden area. The Frog Pond itself is situated in the Choccolocco Forest. Bird the foot path to the pond for woodland species, the pond for wetland species, and the adjacent forest for canopy birds. The Frog Pond is compact, and the immediate area can be covered in 90 minutes. Allow a good half day for the surrounding forest.
Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge protects the largest stand of mature Longleaf Pines north of the state’s coastal plain. Home to the elusive Bachman’s Sparrow, the Refuge is also known for its abundance of Brown-headed Nuthatches, and large coveys of Wild Turkeys. The mountain ridge is great for spring and fall migrants, and an excellent hawk-watching spot in fall.