Old Creek Town Park, on the shores of Lake Eufaula, is a recreational park featuring a beach area, picnic area and pavilion, a children’s “Playground of Dreams,” a fishing pier, and boat landing. This well-wooded 205-acres park also offers great opportunities for birding.
Immediately after entering through the park gate, turn left to access a short wooden bridge and the entrance to a nature trail. This area is most likely to be active for wrens, sparrows, and kinglets in fall and winter. The paved park road cuts through mature hardwoods on both sides of the road. The edge can give good views of migrants in spring and fall. To the south side of the road, there is a broader grassy edge. Eastern Towhees, Brown Thrashers, and Common Ground Doves often work the grassy edge here, and the lower hardwoods attract various songbirds.
Return to the main park road and follow east. There is a grassy area fronting the entrance to several athletic fields. A wet-weather stream grown up in cattails cuts through the grassy lawn. Look for Song and Swamp Sparrows here in the cooler months. Waders – particularly Cattle Egrets and White Ibises – often forage on the grassy lawn or in the cattails. Check the light standards above the ball fields. There may be a Red-tailed Hawk, or for that matter an Osprey or a Bald Eagle perched here. At night, look for Common Nighthawks over the lights from April through mid-September.
Follow the main park road to the east. To the left there is a playground situated under tall pines; try to spot Pine Warblers, Brown-headed Nuthatches, and flycatchers. The park road leads to and loops around an open short-grass field on the right and more mixed hardwoods to the left. The grassy field attracts nesting Loggerhead Shrikes, Eastern Kingbirds, Eastern Bluebirds, Barn Swallows, and Purple Martins, any or all of which may be perched on the fenceposts or power lines around the field. White Ibises and Cattle Egrets often work the field here, and following a spate of wet weather, shorebirds may be seen feeding in the field, mostly in spring and fall. You might spy American Pipits in winter. American Kestrels may be found here from September through March.
Due east is a pier and covered fishing shed that makes a good observation point. Look for deep water gulls and terns, ducks, grebes, and loons in the river during the colder months. Eagles and Ospreys may be seen over the water year-round. There is a picnic shelter and public restroom building to the southwest side of the open field, and in the southern corner of this section, there is a good view of a vegetated inlet. Look for herons and egrets, as well as waterfowl (in the colder months) and Anhingas.
As the park road leads back toward the playground, follow along with the playground on the right to reach a swampy inlet to the right, a small floating dock to the center, and a wooded lakebank trail on the left. Explore. The parking area by the small pier is a convenient hub to work from in order to sample many of the park’s habitats in a short amount of time.
Old Creek Town Park is a site that provides excellent species and habitat diversity, and birds rendered relatively calm by their constant proximity to park visitors. A well-maintained, “civilized” site with many close looks at good birds. You can easily combine it with the endless edge of the adjacent Yoholo Micco Trail.
Directions: From the intersection of US 431 and US 82 in Eufaula (Barbour County, all visitor services available), proceed north on US 431 for .4 mile. Turn right (east) on Lake Drive for 1.1 miles to reach the gate.
GPS: 31.9155347 -85.119306
Eufaula, AL 36027