This trip highlights one of the areas birded during the Guntersville Christmas Count. We’ll visit the north side of the dam and nearby fields, including the well-known and privately owned “hawk farm”. The hawk farm is ordinarily closed to the public but permission is granted to bird there during the Christmas Count and on this trip. The dam area and farm are both excellent for raptors. There are always bald eagles around, and usually a nesting pair whose nest may be visible near the dam. We should also get good looks at both types of vultures, Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawks, Kestrels, Harriers, etc.
If we are lucky, we may pick up one or two unusual species that have been seen irregularly over the years, e.g., Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Rough-legged Hawk, or Golden Eagle. Songbird variety is also very good in this area. Meet at the north end of Guntersville Dam, off Hwy 431, at the pavilion parking lot on the left, as you enter the dam facility. WE’LL ALL NEED TO BE TOGETHER TO VISIT THE FARM AND ARE NOT ALLOWED BEYOND THE STABLE AREA AT THE TOP OF THE HILL. – Ken Ward, Leader (256-837-5646; firstname.lastname@example.org)