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

November 3 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

This traditional NABS route is one of the best we have for productive late fall/winter birding and among the best places in the state to get great looks at a variety of waterfowl, which should just be arriving to overwinter. Birding with a group like NABS provides an opportunity to drive behind locked gates (provided we have at least eight people!), thus gaining access to the best areas to see lots of ducks and geese. We’ll be birding by car…

Wheeler NWR – Visitor Center and Garth Slough (NABT #16)

November 10 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

We’ll first spend some time around the Visitor’s Center, including especially the wildlife observation building. There should be considerable numbers of Sandhill Cranes in the fields beyond the observation pond and it’s also possible to see a Whooping Crane or two, if some are in the area. We’ll then head to Garth Slough on the Refuge and bird along the Tennessee River and slough, looking for passing waterfowl, cranes, gulls and eagles, songbirds, raptors and possibly some shorebirds, depending on…

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

November 18 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Attendees will get to see another interesting part of the refuge on this trip. This area runs parallel to the Tennessee River and should yield a nice variety of songbirds, raptors, waterfowl and other species. 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)

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

December 1 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Our second trip to the White Springs Dike area should be productive. Waterfowl variety and numbers will likely be impressive and most or all winter-resident songbird species will be around. We’ll head first to the goose tower observation platform, then bird nearby Beaverdam Peninsula, which is excellent for waterfowl, raptors, cranes, some open-country songbirds (pipits, horned larks, possibly longspurs), etc. Then we’ll head to Limestone Bay and White Springs Dike along our regular route, where we’ll be behind locked gates…

Swan Creek Wildlife Management Area (NABT #21)

December 8 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am

This trip will give us a chance to visit one of the most productive segments of the Wheeler NWR Christmas Count circle. There is active duck hunting at Swan Creek and this drives away most of the waterfowl. However, the area has lots of other birds. One area of interest is the set of fields on the north edge of the management area (behind the old warehouse). This spot usually has a number of sparrows, often including White-Crowned and, occasionally,…

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)

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…

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