A visit to the Beaverdam Peninsula Tower (Site #24, Northeast Loop) in the summer may make visitors wonder why the tower is even mentioned. This broad observation platform sits in wheat and corn fields dotted with a few Red-winged Blackbirds. While a visit in the summer might not impress, once fall is in the air, this drastically changes.
During the colder months, the broad observation platform is situated right in the center of an ‘all-the-birds-can-eat’ buffet. Every morning and evening, hundreds of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese fill the fields, loafing about or picking at the seeds from last summer’s crop. This wonderful concentration of bird life should be checked carefully for unusual ‘hangers-on’ such as Greater White-fronted and Ross’ geese. Horned Larks and American Pipit may be found feeding in the fields.
GPS: N 34.6110, W 86.8537
Amenities: Lookout Tower, Parking
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)
2700 Refuge Headquarters Rd.
Decatur, AL 35603
While parts of the parking area offer handicap access, the tower is the reason for this location, so consider it a not accessible location for birdwatching purposes.
From the intersection of I-565 and Greenbrier Road, near Greenbrier, take exit 3 onto Greenbrier Road. Travel 1.8 miles south to the road fork. Take the right fork and travel 0.6 mile until the road turns sharply to the right, but continue straight ahead onto the gravel road and take an immediate left. Tower will be visible a couple hundred yards farther along the gravel refuge road on the right.
The Decatur Hospitality Nature Park (Site 17, Central Loop), nearby US Highway 31 Causeway, and the Decatur Boat Harbor provide a great opportunity to scan the waters of the Tennessee River for winter waterfowl and shorebirds. This area is one of th …
Round Island Recreation Area (Site #22, Central Loop) provides access to the north side of the Tennessee River and an excellent vantage point for viewing winter waterfowl as well as cormorants, loons, and grebes. The pine woodland that surrounds the …
Swan Creek Wildlife Management Area (Site # 21, Central Loop) on the Tennessee River is managed for waterfowl and small game, although it supports many more species. Mudflats can be covered with shorebirds, serving as a key attraction to this area in …
Arrowhead Landing (Site # 23, Central Loop) is located on Limestone Bay, another corner of the fertile Wheeler Reservoir and the Tennessee River. There is an outstanding view of the bay and the wooded areas on Beaverdam Peninsula. Watch the open wat …
The Beaverdam Swamp Boardwalk (Site #25, Central Loop) leads the visitor into the heart of the largest Tupelo Swamp in Alabama. While exploring the boardwalk, watch the canopy for active flocks of Tufted Titmice, Red-eyed Vireos, and warblers. The s …
White Springs Dike (Site #20, Central Loop) on Wheeler NWR is one of the premier birding sites of the Tennessee River Valley in Alabama. The dike runs between a de-watering area on the north side and the Tennessee River on the south. Intrepid birders …