Old Lock 8 Park has several interesting features, including the extensive early second-growth area along L Street between Akron and Lock 8. This scrub is excellent for seeing bluebirds, goldfinches, towhees, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Red-tailed Hawks, Great Horned Owls, and Field Sparrows all year. Prairie warblers and Chats are quite common from spring through early fall.
At the entrance to Lock 8 at the end of L Street, there is a swamp on both sides of the road. This area may produce Swainson’s Warblers, in addition to multiple Prothonotary Warblers, Orchard Orioles, Acadian Flycatchers, and Common Yellowthroats from April until October. Swamp and Song sparrows are here with Winter Wrens in the cooler months. Watch for Red-shouldered Hawks and Barred Owls all year, here and throughout the recreation area.
There is a paved parking area to the left of the park entrance. The boat ramp is to the north. The wet woods have many of the birds found in and near the swamp.
Follow the main paved road to the south, along the river. The mature trees should prove productive for spring and fall migrants. Eastern Bluebirds, Great Crested Flycatchers, and Yellow-billed Cuckoos are conspicuous in the breeding season. As the woods open up along the river, look for roosting vultures, hawks, and on occasion, Bald Eagles.
The road sweeps through an open stand of tall loblolly pines. Look for woodpeckers, Pine Warblers, and Brown-headed Nuthatches here. As the road winds back to the north toward the parking area, there are scattered picnic tables. The understory is thick here. White-eyed Vireos, Gray Catbirds, and Common Yellowthroats are common breeding birds. There are always towhees here, and the winter brings scores of sparrows, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and Palm and Orange-crowned warblers.
This is a very remote site, and was hit by tornadoes in early 2023. As the canopy recovers, the location will change.
GPS: 32.8941701 -87.78627269
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) (Mailing address)
Black Warrior and Tombigbee Lakes
34 Resource Management Dr.
Demopolis, AL 36732-1546
From I-59/20 in Greene County, take exit 40 (Eutaw/Aliceville) and merge onto AL 14 E. Follow AL 14 for a total of 11 miles, passing through Eutaw (fuel, food, limited lodging available). Turn left onto AL 60 E and proceed a further 5.4 miles, turning left (west) onto 4th Street. In 1.5 miles, jog first right, then left to join L Street. Remain on L Street for 2.7 miles until it dead-ends into Flemming Street at the entrance to Lock 8 Recreation Area.
Amenities Available: Boat Launch, Picnic Tables, Restrooms
The Arcola Boat Ramp is essentially the only public-access area in the region known collectively as the Hale County Bottoms. Look for wetland songbirds, other bottomland and wet-woods birds in the timber, and scour the marsh for American Bitterns (fa …
Exceptional grassland birding awaits at the State Cattle Ranch. Standout birds include Dickcissels, Loggerhead Shrikes, American Kestrels, Grasshopper and Lark sparrows, Northern Bobwhites, and Barn Owls as breeding birds. Summer waders include Wood …
One of several similar recreation areas along the Black Warrior, Lock 5 is a small park with ample parking, restrooms, a picnic area, boat ramp, and mixed-age hardwood and pine woodlands. The site is good for spring and fall migrants, breeding songbi …
The park’s many large Mississipian-era American Indian mounds dot a large open field with multiple marshes. Red-winged Blackbirds, a few herons, and the occasional shorebird may be seen here. The west side of the park abuts the Black Warrior River. I …
Payne Lake is a productive site for woodland and riparian birds in all but the dead of summer. Open, mature trees near the lake are excellent for riparian songbirds. The pinewoods slopes along the road to the north have Bobwhites and turkeys. Look fo …