Ashland City Park preserves 27 acres of mixed hardwoods and pines along a tributary of Horsetrough Creek, with a well-maintained walking path as well as children’s playground, picnic tables, and a skateboard park. The land to the left (east) of the entrance road provides an opportunity to survey old-field habitat. Expect to see Eastern Meadowlarks and Field Sparrows throughout the year. Red-tailed Hawks hunt here, and this is a good place to spot Great Horned Owls.
The Alexander City Sportsplex is an island of green minutes from US-280. Varied habitats promise a worthwhile birding destination. Trees here are home to resident songbirds, and provide a welcome stopover for migrants. Hawks and vultures soar above, Eastern Bluebirds nest throughout, and dense second-growth at the south end of the park is good for Indigo Buntings, sparrows, wrens, and more.
Central Alabama Community College offers access to an open lake, scattered stands of mature hardwoods and pines, and a forested area as well as open, grassy lawns, all of which will attract their share of birdlife around the year.The lake in the center of campus merits a look for swallows, waders, orioles, and kingbirds. Nearby large pines have Brown-headed Nuthatches, Pine Warblers, and woodpeckers. The woods to the south side of the loop road are often productive, and the open pines and the wooded slope on the backside of campus are worth a look. Combine this site with a stop at nearby Sportplex.
Chewacla State Park’s 696 scenic acres offer a 26-acre lake, swimming area, playgrounds, hiking trails, a modern campground, picnic areas with tables, grills and shelters, and newly renovated cabins. The woods in the park are good for a variety of woodland songbirds, so be on the alert for such birds as Summer Tanagers, Wood Thrushes, and American Goldfinches. The presence of the lake and streams within the park adds significantly to the number and variety of species one may encounter here year-round.
The Clay County Public Fishing Lakes are attractive and open, with waders and Wood Ducks present year-round. Expect waterfowl in winter; look for Ospreys and Bald Eagles over the lakes all year. Fields near the entrance have Northern Bobwhites, Eastern Meadowlarks, Indigo Buntings, Blue Grosbeaks, and Red-tailed Hawks. All-age woods around the lakes abound with songbirds. Look for swallows and Purple Martins over the water.
Confederate Memorial Park is a little-known jewel. The upper portion of the park features open understory and mature canopy trees — outstanding for flycatchers, woodpeckers, bluebirds, warblers, and vireos. The cemetery area affords open views of sky for soaring birds. Walk the nature trail; it is bird-rich. The area near the cistern is an outstanding location for Swainson’s Warblers and Acadian Flycatchers.
Cooter’s Pond Park, on the banks of the Alabama River, is divided into two parts — the upper section offers wooded areas, open fields, picnic pavilions, and views of the Montgomery skyline. The lower section offers a riverwalk and access to picnic areas and boat ramps. Cooter’s Pond is full of songbirds – Prothonotary Warblers, Northern Parula warblers, American Redstarts, Yellow-billed Cuckoos, and even Painted Buntings are here in the warm months. There are always Eastern Bluebirds and Brown-headed Nuthatches; watch the water for Bald Eagles, Ospreys, and waterfowl, the latter primarily in winter. Excellent year-round, this site can be phenomenal during spring and fall migration.
Fort Toulouse-Jackson National Historic Park is situated where the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers meet to form the headwaters of the Alabama River. The park preserves relics of over 6,000 years of human history within its 165 acres of woodlands and fields bordering the two rivers. The rich riparian habitat makes this especially attractive to birds. After turning off US 231, check the fields for Eastern Meadowlarks and Northern Bobwhites – and Northern Harriers and American Kestrels in winter. The open swamp on the right of the entrance road has Anhingas and Prothonotary Warblers.
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park commemorates the battle in 1814 between Colonel Andrew Jackson and the Creek Indian nation. The fields, forests, waterways and trails of Horseshoe Bend NMP offer excellent opportunities to observe birds in a variety of habitats. The bluffs overlooking the river offer stands of River Birches, with the nearby understory featuring multitudes of bird-attracting American Beautyberry bushes. Birds found in good numbers in spring and summer include Northern Parulas, Yellow-throated and Hooded Warblers, and American Redstarts, Wood Thrushes, Summer Tanagers, and Yellow-billed Cuckoos.
The Alabama Nature Center in Lanark offers 350 acres of forests, fields, streams, wetlands and ponds that are traversed by five miles of boardwalks and trails in three regions: Still Creek Run, Turkey Ridge, and Hilltop Pass. The trails provide easy access to the surrounding woodlands to look for Summer Tanagers, Great Crested Flycatchers, Eastern Wood Peewees, Wood Thrushes, and Yellow-billed Cuckoos. In winter, expect Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets to join the local feeding flocks in the trees, with Hermit Thrushes below.
Lineville City Park provides access to two lakes, one of which is used for fishing. As one enters the park, the lake is surrounded by a walking trail bordered by woods, and featuring views of the highest point in Alabama, Mt. Cheaha. The lower lake is more secluded, and is more likely to be visited by wild waterfowl in the colder months. Expect to see long-legged waders – herons and egrets. Search for resting night-herons and possibly American Bitterns where the vegetation is thickest.
Wind Creek State Park is situated on a wooded promontory overlooking Lake Martin. Ospreys and Bald Eagles nest on the lake and both species may be seen throughout the year. The lake may attract rafts of wintering ducks, most numerous from late November through February. Very good for riparian warblers in warm months, and Red-headed Woodpeckers, Brown-headed Nuthatches, all year. Numerous picnic pavilions, good lake access for swimming, fishing, and boating.
The campus of Southern Union C …
Mount Cheaha is Alabama’s highest point, and it is one of the southernmost locations to find a number of the state’s more interesting breeding birds, such as Blue-headed Vireos, Cedar Waxwings, and Sharp-shinned Hawks. Additionally, Cheaha State Park is located in the middle of the Talladega National Forest.
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Cherokee Ridge has 11 miles of hiking trails, with one skirting the shoreline of Lake Martin for approximately 4 miles. Other areas of the trails are high rocky ridges and bluffs, some with vistas of six to eight miles overlooking Kowaliga Bay and Chimney Rock. Bald Eagles are regularly spotted over the lake; Wild Turkeys are abundant in the lush hardwood forests that surround the trail, as are other traditional woodland birds.
Located on the banks of the Ta …
The nature trail leading throu …
Gold Star Park is a small park in the city of Wetumpka featuring an excellently designed and executed walking trail with very good birding right along the Coosa River. The trail encompasses a surprising variety of habitats – forest, riverbank, and more. It includes several elevated sections that lead through excellent bird habitat.
The Holly Hills Trail is a pleasant walking trail with very good plant and habitat diversity, and should boast a large variety of birds throughout the year. The trail is older and rough in places, but it traverses a number of excellent birding areas, so it is well worth the time and effort. The trail is located in D.A.R.E Power Park, a 30-acre, day-use park on the eastern side of Lake Martin.
Jones Bluff Park is an extreme …
The 73-acre Opelika Wood Duck …
Fox Creek offers good access for birding where Fox Creek empties into Lake Wedowee, adjacent to the Fox Creek boat ramp. The terrain is a great mix of open land, brush, forest and lakeshore, attracting a wide variety of birds from herons to hummingbirds. Expect to see swallows and Purple Martins in spring and summer, and Belted Kingfishers, wading birds, and Wood Ducks throughout the year. During the winter months, additional waterfowl, gulls, and terns appear. Keep your eyes peeled for Ospreys and Bald Eagles.
The Doug Ghee trail, an easy, level, ¼-mile long, handicap-accessible boardwalk, begins just beyond the historic Bald Rock Lodge in the heart of Cheaha State Park. The visitor should expect to see a wide range of woodland songbirds, most of the state’s woodpeckers (notably Pileated and Hairy), some migrants in season, and feeding flocks of wintering birds from October through March. The end of the boardwalk offers a sensational 180-degree view to the north, and is a superior hawk-watching spot from the highest point in the state.
The Parks of West Point Dam are strategically positioned to offer a variety of locations for enjoying the rich birding opportunities around the dam. The various parks also offer panoramic views of the lake, notable for winter gulls and terns. The woods surrounding the Lake are rather open, mostly mature pine and mixed oak, with a good variety of songbirds and raptors. The major attraction here is panoramic views of the lake, notable for winter gulls and terns. Look for loons and other waterfowl in colder months, swallows and Purple Martins in the warmer ones. Bald Eagles and Osprey nest in the vicinity. A good spot for rarities, including Great Cormorant, watch the easy-to-see gulls carefully, as numerous unusual gulls can be present along with the more common varieties.