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Birding Trip to William B. Bankhead National Forest (NABT)
April 24, 2016 @ 7:00 am - 1:00 pmFree
Bankhead National Forest (BNF) in northwestern Alabama is 180,000 acres of mesic hardwood, mixed pine-hardwood, shortleaf pine, oak-hickory, hemlock-white pine and mountain longleaf pine forest, with many limestone bluffs, swift flowing streams and waterfalls, through which flows Alabama’s only nationally designated Wild and Scenic River, the Sipsey. The 26,000-acre Sipsey Wilderness, the second largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi, is also found here. Migration birding this time of year is usually quite productive in BNF and we’ve had some great trips there the past few years.
Our meeting place will be different, to get us to the birds more quickly. We’ll meet at Site 14 of the North Alabama Birding Trail (Central Firetower). From the intersection of AL Hwy 24 and AL Hwy 33 in Moulton, head south on Hwy 33 for 11.4 miles into BNF. The orientation kiosk is located near the firetower on the left side of the road. From there we will go south a short distance and spend most of our time birding along the northwest road, a beautiful setting with a wide range of forest habitat types varying in age, composition, and management (bordering the Sipsey Wilderness).
Other areas we may visit (time permitting) include Brushy Lake Recreational Area, Sipsey River Picnic grounds, Borden Creek trailhead and, possibly, Walston Ridge Road. You are encouraged to visit the BNF website for more information on birding opportunities there. From west Huntsville/Madison to the meeting place is about an hour-long drive, via Decatur (34.3452, -87.3393). – Ken Ward, Leader (256-837-5646)