North Alabama, Northeast Loop | Jackson | Best Seasons: Fall | Spring | Summer
The Roy B. Whitaker Paint Rock River Preserve (Site # 40, Northeast Loop) was a working farm until Mr. Whitaker, wishing that future generations be able to enjoy the farm he loved so much, sold it to The Nature Conservancy who now manages it for conservation. These rolling fields sit alongside one of the most diverse freshwater ecosystems east of the Mississippi, and the healthy riparian forest along its banks helps to maintain that diversity.
For the visiting birder, the excitement is all in the grasslands where Grasshopper Sparrows buzz and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers perform their aerial acrobatics. Explore deeper into the woodland, and you should find Great Crested Flycatchers and Red-eyed Vireos, both of which nest in the area. Of course, almost anything could turn up during migration, so it’s worth investigating all habitats during spring and fall.
GPS: N 34.6725, W 86.3282
Amenities: Hiking, Parking
The Nature Conservancy
2100 1st Ave. North, Suite 500
Birmingham, AL 35203
(205) 251-1155 Ext. 104
From the intersection of US Highway 72 and AL Highway 65 between the towns of Gurley and Paint Rock, drive 0.3 mile to the Roy B. Whitaker Paint Rock River Preserve on the north (left) side of the road. Turn north (left) at the preserve sign, and carefully cross the railroad tracks to the parking area.
ACES-Graham Farm & Nature Center
Fantastic birding opportunities abound at the 491 acre Nature Center. Sightings of Cerulean Warblers, American Redstarts, and Worm-eating Warblers have all been reported. Flycatchers are typically seen during summer months. Loggerhead Shrikes can be …
Goose Pond Colony
Goose Pond Colony (Site # 38, Northeast Loop) is a public recreational development built on a peninsula on the northern side of Guntersville Lake south of Scottsboro. This location makes for some excellent birding, especially during the winter. Stop …
Gorham’s Bluff / Coon Gulf
Gorham’s Bluff (Site #45, Northeast Loop), a planned community, rises on the southern side of Raccoon Creek, a very scenic arm of Guntersville Reservoir. The Bluff provides an incredible vista of the creek and the surrounding area, as well as exempl …
Mud Creek Wildlife Management Area
Mud Creek Wildlife Management Area (Site #42, Northeast Loop) has numerous impoundments that are likely to turn up a great variety of species. Access roads leading into the area also make Mud Creek easy to bird. Check the ponds in fall and winter for …
North Sauty Creek WMA / Sauta Cave NWR
North Sauty Creek (Site #39, Northeast Loop) has an excellent display of waterfowl and wading birds that occupy the area. Park on the roadside and scan the creek for waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds, especially during migration or in the winte …
Russell Cave National Monument
Russell Cave National Monument has been home to wildlife and man for thousands of years. This peaceful setting combines food, water, and shelter with tranquility and beauty. Following the elevated boardwalks and nature trails can lead to eastern wood …