Kimbell Lake’s hardwoods within the RV park and the understory around the margins are worthy of birding for Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Downy Woodpeckers, and Great Crested Flycatchers. Canoe Kimbell Lake and the tupelo and bald cypress swamps that surround it. In spring and early summer, multiple pairs of Red-bellied and Pileated woodpeckers fill the air with a cacophony of calls and drumming. Northern Parulas, Prothonotary Warblers, and Common Yellowthroats announce their presence with their distinctive and easily recognizable songs. Great Egrets and Great Blue and Little Blue herons stalk the swamps. And be sure to listen for the distinctive two-syllable “Na-ha” call of the Fish Crow.
During winter, spring, and early summer, it is possible to canoe/kayak from Kimbell Lake to Parker Lake and to other smaller unnamed lakes located southeast of Kimbell Lake. In late summer and fall and during periods of drought, this may not be possible. The maze of interconnected lakes can be tricky to navigate. A compass or GPS is recommended for those who want to explore the more remote areas reachable from this site.
This site offers access to the best example of tupelo and bald cypress swamp on the Piney Woods Birding Trail. The trees are second growth and have not yet achieved the size of the original forest. (Large stumps give testimony to the size of the virgin forest.)
Access: Free, open from 6:00 am until dusk
GPS: N 31°30.334’ / W 87° 54.777’
Contact: City of Jackson Parks and Recreation
PO Box 1096
Jackson, AL 36545
Amenities: Parking, Camping (RV hook-ups), Canoeing, Fishing
From Parker Lake, return to Alabama Highway 177. Turn right (south) and go 0.6 miles, right onto the unpaved road after the Kimbell Lake RV Park sign. Drive 100 feet and turn right into the RV park. Access to Kimbell Lake is at the back of the RV park.
Bashi Creek Public Use Area provides the birder with access to the floodplain forests along Bashi Creek. Canoeing/kayaking east up Bashi Creek in the spring and summer lets you immerse yourself in excellent riparian habitat; sycamore, oak, and cypres …
Great Crested Flycatchers, White-eyed Vireos, Northern Parulas, Summer Tanagers, Indigo Buntings, and Orchard Orioles are common summer residents. Check the lawn area for Common Ground Doves, and watch for Swallow-tailed and Mississippi kites either …
Purple Gallinules, Snowy and Great egrets, Little Blue Herons, and Wood Ducks are regulars along the dikes separating the ponds. Watch the willows in the western pond for Yellow-crowned Night-Herons. Black Terns and Swallow-tailed Kites may be presen …
Mature cottonwoods cover much of the meander core, while willows and some small cypress occur at the water’s edge. Birding is excellent year-round and spring and fall can bring a wide variety of migrants. Winter brings Bald Eagles, House Wrens, and O …
Birding around the Parker Lake boat ramp can be productive, but a canoe or kayak is needed to fully enjoy this site. Paddling slowly through the twilight of the dense tupelo and bald cypress forest that lines the margins of the lake in spring and sum …