The campus of Southern Union Community College is relatively compact, and all areas are easily accessible. The entrance to the college is dominated by massive mature pine trees and tall hardwoods. There is no significant understory and little midstory, so the birds found here spend the majority of their time at significant heights. Expect to see numerous Red-headed Woodpeckers, Brown-headed Nuthatches, and Pine Warblers throughout the year. On the right at the crest of a hill as you drive onto campus is a log cabin, built by students in the 1930s.
Beyond the cabin is an attractive lake. The more distant shorelines have significant vegetative cover, and this is where most of the birdlife should be found. Red-winged Blackbirds are common throughout the year, and Common Yellowthroats are easily found here. The taller trees on the east side of the lake are good for spotting Northern Parula and Yellow-throated Warblers and American Redstarts from spring through fall. Expect to find a variety of flycatchers – Eastern Kingbirds, Great Crested Flycatchers, Eastern Wood Pewees, and Eastern Phoebes here.
Waders and shorebirds may frequent the shallows, particularly on the southern and western edges of the lake. Swallows and Chimney Swifts fly sorties over the lake in the warmer months, and look for vultures and soaring hawks in the open skies above the lake and the rest of the campus. The athletic fields on the back side of the campus merit a look for possible American Kestrels and Loggerhead Shrikes, especially from October through March.
To the southeast of the main entrance is a small hill that leads to a couple of ball fields. Walk toward the small wooden bridge and follow the path along the wet-weather stream here. This area should prove to be productive for Eastern Towhees, Carolina Wrens, Common Yellowthroats, winter sparrows (Song, Swamp, White-throated, Savannah …), and possibly wintering Palm and Orange-crowned Warblers.
Directions: Located at 750 Roberts Street, Wadley, AL 36276. Limited service stations and restaurants are located in Wadley. More services are available in Roanoke (20 minutes away) and in Alexander City (30 minutes away.) From I-20, take exit 168 at Talladega (Talladega County), and follow AL Hwy 77 S for approximately 56 miles to Wadley, AL (Randolph County) Turn left onto Roberts Street and follow .5 mile to the entrance to the college.
GPS: 33.1265227 -85.571199
Southern Union Community College
750 Roberts St
Wadley, AL 36276