Wiregrass | Geneva | Best Seasons: Fall | Spring | Winter
Robert Fowler Memorial Park overlooks the junction of the Choctawhatchee and Pea rivers, and is home to the Constitution Oak, a Live Oak believed to be one of the oldest and largest trees in the state. The park incorporates some interesting habitats: several good spots that overlook one or both of the rivers, multiple large spreading Live Oaks draped with Spanish Moss, a small Cypress swamp, several acres of open mature woods, some thick second-growth, an open grassy field with a fencerow, and mowed lawns.
White Ibises and Cattle Egrets are often present in the meadows, along with Eastern Meadowlarks and Eastern Bluebirds. The lawns may attract foraging blackbird flocks, mostly in winter and spring. The Cypress swamp is a good place to look for herons, egrets, ibises, and perhaps Common Moorhens. Watch for nesting Prothonotary Warblers. Look for swallows over the river, and a broad array of resident and migrant songbirds in the Live Oaks and the forested acreage. The grassy field to the northern edge of the park has coveys of Northern Bobwhites, and Wild Turkeys roam the edges early and late in the day.
The old-field habitat is productive for winter sparrows, and in the warmer months, Indigo Buntings and Eastern Kingbirds are conspicuous here. Work the fencerow and edges for Palm Warblers in fall and spring. The trees near the river attract Yellow-billed Cuckoos, and there are numerous Eastern Wood Pewees and Great Crested Flycatchers in the open mature woods. The dense vegetation to the left (east) of the boat ramp functions as a wren tangle, with many species present much of the year.
Because of its key location at the junction of two rivers, Fowler Park could serve as a vibrant migrant trap in spring and fall. The presence of such varied habitats (riverbanks, cypress swamp, old field, open forest, dense second-growth, grassy lawn) in such a compact area allows it to stand apart as a unique birding destination. Its location within the city limits of Geneva means that it attracts a steady number of local visitors. Birders may wish to visit early or late in the day or on weekdays when the attendance here is low and the noise level and disturbance are at a minimum.The park is open daily and charges no admission. There are clean restrooms, picnic tables and a shelter, a boat ramp, an observation platform overlooking the cypress swamp, and a modern gazebo.
GPS: 31.0286267 -85.858469
Geneva City Clerk (Mailing address)
517 S. Commerce Street
From the intersection of AL 52 and CR 4 (W Magnolia Avenue) in Geneva (Geneva County – all visitor services available), follow CR 4/W Magnolia SE for 2.1 miles. Turn right on S Academy Street and almost immediately, left on E Westville Avenue. This merges into the park entrance road.
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