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Wheeler NWR Audubon Christmas Bird Count (NABT)

December 15 @ 5:30 am - 5:00 pm

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is the oldest and largest citizen science event in the world. For over a hundred years, people have gathered during the winter holiday season to identify and count birds. In the process, they have created a vast pool of bird data that is a valuable source of information on the status and distribution of early winter bird populations. Parties of birders are assigned to different parts of a count circle, 15 miles in diameter, to…

Guntersville Area Audubon Christmas Bird Count (NABT)

December 26 @ 5:00 am - 5:00 pm

This Count, in another well-known birding area in northern Alabama, yields a wide variety of songbird, raptor and waterfowl species. The format is the same as that of the Wheeler Count. Unlike the Wheeler Christmas Count, there is no single gathering spot for folks to meet and join a group. For this reason, please contact Linda Reynolds if you are interested in joining one of the eight parties of counters; meeting times for different parties may vary. The meeting spot…

Wheeler NWR -Beaverdam Peninsula Tower/Limestone Bay/Arrowhead Landing/White Springs Dike (NABT #20, 23, 24)

January 6, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join us for another trip to one of our favorite birding areas, as we look for waterfowl, raptors, cranes, a variety of songbirds, etc. Expect to be behind locked refuge gates for 2-3 hours, afterwards lunching at Apple Lane Farms, for those interested. Take the Mooresville exit off I-565, go south on Mooresville Road and meet at the parking area near where it intersects with old Highway 20 (34.627442 -86.880186). – Dick Bruer, Leader (256-714-1992; dick.bruer@gmail.com)

Audubon Field Trip: City of Guntersville Waterfront Parks

January 12, 2019 @ 7:00 am - 5:00 pm

With thousands of ducks and a good number of loons, the deep waters of Lake Guntersville deliver excellent waterfowl birding throughout the winter months. The details: Meetup is at 7 a.m. at the Food Giant in Pinson (6662 AL Hwy. 75), located off I-20 E/I-59 N (Exit 134 for AL-75/Roebuck Parkway). Turn left onto AL-75, and Food Giant will be on the left after about eight miles. From there, we’ll caravan and carpool to the City of Guntersville waterfront parks. As…

Guntersville City/Dam North/Hawk Farm (NABT #37)

January 12, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 1:30 pm

The Guntersville area provides some of our best winter birding, as we explore a variety of habitats along Guntersville Lake, the Tennessee River and nearby areas. We’ll convene at the Guntersville Chamber of Commerce parking lot, on the south end of the Hwy 431 bridge, birding first along the lakefront and some other spots of interest; we should see a large number and variety of waterfowl, water birds, raptors and songbirds. We’ll break for lunch around 11-11:30, then reconvene about…

Town Creek Embayment, Wheeler Dam, Joe Wheeler State Park (NABT #2, 3, 4)

January 19, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

This trip primarily targets waterfowl and other water birds, but also includes some productive songbird areas, especially in the state park. We’ll meet at the WalMart parking lot off Hwy 72 W in Athens (34.786933 -86.958486). - Dick Bruer and Harry Dean, Leaders (256-461-0626; hdean@hiwaay.net)

Guntersville Waterfront/Peninsula, Guntersville Dam South (NABT #35, 36)

February 2, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

This trip starts on Sunset Parkway along the west side of Guntersville. We should see a great variety of ducks, many loons and grebes, possibly some odd terns and gulls, eagles, etc. Meet in Guntersville at the Chamber of Commerce parking lot on the south end of the Hwy 431 bridge. From there, we’ll go west on the Lake Loop Road and bird the waterfront. The tour will then go south and across the Hwy 69 Causeway to the south…

Mallard-Fox Creek Wildlife Management Area/Wheeler Dam (NABT #1, 2)

February 9, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 1:00 pm

We’ll start with the Mallard-Fox Creek WMA and work our way west, searching for water birds, sparrows and other winter residents or early migrants. Mid- to late-February is a transition period for waterfowl and other birds, and weather will play a key role in what we see. We’ll meet at the Ingalls Boat Harbor Pavilion in Decatur: from the direction of Huntsville, cross the river bridge and take the first right onto Alt 72/20 (Wilson St.). Go about a mile…

Wheeler NWR-Limestone Bay/Arrowhead Landing/White Springs Dike (NABT #20, 23, 24)

March 2, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Our final trip to White Springs Dike for the season is in its third year, at a time when we are usually taking a break, as waterfowl start moving out of the area, and prior to spring migration. Duck numbers are still usually good, but with less variety, with migrating Blue-winged Teal moving through, good numbers of Green-winged Teal and Shovelers around, etc. A couple of years ago we got a big surprise, with the presence of a beautiful male…

Monte Sano State Park (NABT #29)

March 30, 2019 @ 7:00 am - 9:00 am

On this trip, we hope to catch some early spring migrants, especially Louisiana Waterthrush. To get to our meeting spot, take Monte Sano Boulevard off Governors Drive at the top of the mountain and follow the signs to the park; once there, go in the direction of headquarters and park at the Camp Store, in the gravel, if possible. (34.745325 -86.511672). – John Ehinger, Leader (256-536-2716; johnehinger@yahoo.com)

Hays Nature Preserve/Goldsmith Sanctuary (NABT #29)

April 13, 2019 @ 7:00 am - 10:00 am

NABS has birded both areas regularly, especially Hays; there should be a few migrants present, especially neotropical songbirds. Meet at Hays which, from Huntsville, is about a mile past the Publix shopping center near Hampton Cove on Hwy 431, on the left just past the Taylor Lane light (there is a sign). Follow the road to the parking area on the right (34.644106 -86.466389). – Bill McAllister, Leader (256-534-8354; billmcallister94@gmail.com)

Wheeler NWR – Blackwell Swamp/Penny Bottoms/Buckeye (NABT #26)

April 14, 2019 @ 7:00 am - 11:00 am

This area has been getting more attention lately as a prime birding spot. There is flooded woodland and marsh habitat here, which can be explored by car, on foot or by canoe. A variety of wetland species may be present, including Great Blue Heron, Great Egret and Green Heron, and perhaps some other less common species, such as Snowy Egret or Little Blue Heron. Common Gallinule and Anhinga are rarely found here and you might get a glimpse at an…

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