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.
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.
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.
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.
DeSoto State Park ‘s Talmadge …
The region around Buck’s Pocke …
A large, well-visited park with staff, Lake Lurleen features a huge deep-water lake, extensive parking areas, and picnic areas under massive pines. Look for migrants in the forested areas in spring and fall, hundreds of swallows – mostly Cliff – and easy-to-find songbirds such as Eastern Bluebirds, Brown-headed Nuthatches, and (from spring through fall) Northern Parulas, Pine and Yellow-throated warblers, kingbirds, and Orchard Orioles. Look for gulls and waterfowl in winter, and a few waders throughout the year.
The twin sites along the shores of 500-acre Lake Jackson provide boardwalk access through and above cypress hammocks, palmetto and scrub woods, and dense tangles of wetland and swamp plants. This is a superb site for wetland-loving songbirds, and a reasonably good spot to find wading birds, a few shorebirds, and gulls in winter.
Frank Jackson State Park is a 2,050-acre park centered on 1,000-acre Lake Frank Jackson, and offers boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, camping, and picnicking. There are also a number of nature trails and boardwalks providing access to islands and marshy areas which hold substantial promise as for birding. Woodlands bordering the lake are mostly mature mixed hardwoods. Trails give access to songbird areas, while the forest edges attract migrants. Expect to see waterfowl and gulls on the lake in the colder months.
Lakepoint Resort State Park is situated on the shoreline of Lake Eufaula, and offers a marina, lodge, golf course, meadows, pine woods, grassy fields, and water treatment lagoons. You can find birds ranging from Eastern Bluebirds and Dark-eyed Juncos to nesting Ospreys, Bald Eagles, and Brown-headed Nuthatches. There are also waders, shorebirds, and wintering waterfowl. Located a short distance from Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge, Lakepoint Resort State Park is a great place to stay while exploring this key birding area.
Blue Springs State Park is a quiet, 103-acre park featuring a clear blue underground-fed spring. The natural spring has a sandy bottom, pumps 3,600 US gallons of water per minute, and stays at a constant temperature of 68 °F. The spring is now contained in several concrete pools, and swimming is permitted. Some of the best bird habitat in the park is in the thickly wooded area below the swimming pools where the springs returns to its natural channel and flows along a shallow stream bed to its junction with the Pea River, a short distance away.
Bladon Springs State Park’s well maintained 357 acres are accessed by a single main road, which leads to picnic pavilions, 10 camper hookups, and 4 mineral springs. The central portion of the park is forested in open mature pines and a few hardwoods with a mowed understory, while the park’s periphery features a dense hardwood canopy with a think understory. There are good numbers of songbirds and woodpeckers (including Hairy and Pileated). Expect to see numerous Northern Parulas, Yellow-throated Warblers, Orchard Orioles, Eastern Wood-Pewees, and Summer Tanagers.
Chickasaw State Park consists of 520+ acres, of which several acres are open mature mixed pine-oak woodland. The park has a few picnic pavilions, restrooms, a small wading pool, a playground, and several camper hook-ups. The interior of the park is forested in mature, open pines and hardwoods with little midstory and a mowed understory. There is a belt of dense, all-age woods surrounding the developed part of the park. Look for migrants and wintering songbirds, especially canopy species in all but the hottest months.
A particularly attractive Dallas County site for woodland and riparian songbirds. Home to waders in late summer and fall, as well as a smattering of ducks in winter. Paul M Grist State Park is a convenient and easily reached site well-worthy of a half-day’s visit. The extensive hiking trail around the lake is worth the trip by itself.
Meaher State Park’s 1.327 acres are situated in the wetlands of Mobile Bay. There are two boardwalks that offer the visiting birder an extensive view of the Bay. Winter time brings in American White Pelicans and waterfowl, while in other seasons, a wide variety of wading birds, gulls and terns may be observed.
There is a small admission for sightseeing, including birding. The end of the pier is an excellent viewing point for seabirds, especially in winter. Previous Christmas Bird Counts have yielded Red Phalarope and all three scoters at this site. Northern Gannet is common offshore during the winter months.
Perdido Pass/Alabama Point East is part of Gulf State Park and consists of beach and sea oat habitat where there are opportunities for bird observation, fishing, and viewing both Perdido Pass and the Gulf of Mexico. (Formerly Florida Point when the state border was located at Perdido Pass.)
Gulf State Park Pavilion is a large, covered picnic pavilion with tables and benches, restrooms and water fountains. The pavilion closes at sunset. This is another great place to look for seabirds, particularly in winter. Northern Gannet is common off shore during migration. Any flock of loons should be carefully studied for Red-throated and Pacific. Walk the beaches for plovers and peeps.