Omussee Creek Park is a community park and natural area for the small historic town of Columbia, Alabama. Picnicking, hiking, camping, fishing, and a boat ramp are available, as well as some first-rate birding. There are several good birding opportunities here. The right fork of the entrance road leads to a tree-lined bluff overlooking the Chattahoochee River. Here among the Spanish Moss is a good place to look for songbirds, including nesting Northern Parulas, American Redstarts, Eastern Wood Pewees, Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Orchard Orioles, and Prothonotary Warblers. Mississippi Kites nest in these woods as well. The left fork of the road heads north to the boat ramp and good views into an inlet where Anhingas, Common Moorhens, and Ospreys nest nearby and are regularly seen. There are picnic tables and a covered pavilion on the banks of the creek, which offers a chance to see River Otters. The open woods near the water can be good for songbirds in all seasons. Look for kites and hawks soaring overhead with the many vultures. On the way out, notice the open agricultural field to the south of the entrance gate – a good place to spot Eastern Meadowlarks, Eastern Bluebirds, and wintering sparrows.
Just a mile down the road is George W. Andrews Dam on the Chattahoochee River. The West Bank Recreation Area offers a picnic area with a pleasant view of the dam. This is a good location to see a few gulls in winter and perhaps Bald Eagles, along with other birds attracted by the river. Be sure to look into the trees and especially into the palmetto scrub along the road. There are a few Swainson’s Warblers in the wet areas, and this is a great place to hunt for Painted Buntings.
These parks are less than 20 minutes away from downtown Dothan and are well worth the time spent to visit, especially during weekdays, when the parks are little used.
GPS: 31.273041 -85.1207529
11300 N State Highway 95
Columbia, AL 36319
75 Picnic Rd, Columbia, AL 36319
From Ross Clark Circle (US 431/AL 210) in Dothan (all visitor services available), take AL 52 E (Columbia Highway) for 14.7 miles. Turn right on AL 95 S and continue 1.3 miles to the first left. Turn onto Omussee Creek Road and follow into the park.
Dothan Area Botanical Gardens offers 50 acres of trees, shrubs and flowers in a variety of habitats. Paved paths pass through manicured lawns, a rose garden, open pine woods, mixed hardwoods, and small ponds. The gardens are easy to bird, with excell …