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James D Martin Heronry Overlook

The James D Martin Heronry Overlook provides a rare opportunity to observe an active heron rookery, without risking disturbance to the colony. Located at the southernmost edge of James D. Martin Wildlife Park, the heronry is protected from disturbance by its location on a small island in an extensive backwater of Neely Henry Lake, on the Coosa River, despite its proximity to I-759 and Gadsden Mall. Dozens of Great Blue Herons, and Great Egrets are present on their nests from March through late May or early June.

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James D. Martin Wildlife Park

The James D. Martin Wildlife Park offers exceptional facilities for exploring an extensive backwater of Neely Henry Lake, on the Coosa River in the City of Gadsden. In addition to a walking trail along the shoreline, a network of boardwalks allows visitors to walk out into the 300-acre lake, and even to visit wooded islands situated in the lake, providing superb views of the birdlife of this rich and varied ecosystem.

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Kymulga Covered Bridge

Kymulga Covered Bridge

Kymulga Grist Mill was built around 1860 for grinding both wheat and corn. The covered bridge, spanning Talladega Creek, was built the same year, The park is primarily a wooded area, with walking trails through the woods and along the creek. Protected from disturbance for more than 70 years, over twenty-five varieties of hardwood trees have been identified, including the largest Sugarberry tree in Alabama and the largest cluster of White Oak trees east of the Mississippi River. The park is a migrant magnet in spring and fall. Work the stream and the adjacent woodland trails in the early morning and late afternoon, when bird activity is at its peak and when migrants are arriving or departing.

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Lake Purdy

Lake Purdy is a 990-acre reservoir on the Little Cahaba River which provides drinking water for the City of Birmingham. Surrounded by protected woodlands, the lake and its environs have become one of those rare birding destinations that is always interesting – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Begin your visit with a stop on Highway 119 just before the Cox’s Creek bridge, and scan the shallow water, mudflats and grassy fields on the south side of the road, created where Cox’s Creek spreads out just before it empties into the lake.

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Limestone Park

Limestone Park’s interesting combination of wetlands, grasslands, and Tupelo Gum swamp is good for wading birds, swamp and marsh birds, grassland species, and some waterfowl in winter. You will also find songbirds and shorebirds in migration. Best birds are Anhinga (breeds), and Bobolinks, Dickcissels, and Grasshopper Sparrows (late spring). A Roseate Spoonbill is sometimes spotted here in summer. The City of Alabaster has recently added a handicapped-accessible Birding Observation Deck overlooking the wetlands on the North-western side of the park, with adjacent parking for all. Located in a rural industrial area in southern Shelby County, this park preserves a rich remnant of the habitat mosaic that makes this area especially attractive to birds.

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Little River Canyon Center

The Little River Canyon Center, open since 2009, is a Jacksonville State University building located in Northeast Alabama that adjoins the Little River Canyon National Preserve in the city of Fort Payne, AL. With a portion leased to the National Park S …

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Little River Canyon Mouth Park

Appalachian Highlands | Cherokee | Best Seasons:

Canyon Mouth Park offers visitors one of the few opportunities to access the banks of the Little River by car. This is a good place to experience songbirds in the trees near the river, in the dense understory and woods beyond the picnic areas, and along the narrow path that follows the river upstream into the canyon. Soaring birds of prey are frequently seen in the skies above. Picnic tables, restrooms, and ample parking make this a good stopping place for a midday picnic, either before or after exploring the spectacular canyon rim.

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Logan Martin Dam

Logan Martin Dam is notable for being one of the premier locations in the state for viewing wading birds, particularly Black-crowned Night Herons. Waders in large numbers are attracted to the rough water just below the dam, where an abundance of fish are always available near the rocky shoreline. It is also reliable for year-round sightings of Bald Eagles.

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Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge

Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge protects the largest stand of mature Longleaf Pines north of the state’s coastal plain. Home to the elusive Bachman’s Sparrow, the Refuge is also known for its abundance of Brown-headed Nuthatches, and large coveys of Wild Turkeys. The mountain ridge is great for spring and fall migrants, and an excellent hawk-watching spot in fall.

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Neely Henry Dam

Neely Henry Dam on the Coosa River offers great opportunities to observe a variety of water-loving birds. Winter brings gulls (mostly Ring-billed, some Bonaparte’s and Herring, rarely Glaucous, Lesser Black-backed, etc.) and a few Forster’s Terns, primarily over the deep waters above the dam. Colonies of Barn Swallows and Cliff Swallows build their mud nests on the dam structure, and activity is intense from late March to September. This is also a peak time to observe large numbers of wading birds.

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Oak Mountain State Park

Alabama’s largest state park, Oak Mountain offers a rich variety of good birding spots. The fishing lakes at the northeast end of the park, especially the woods around the lower fishing lake, can be amazingly productive. Allot a good portion of your time in the park to this area. Peavine Falls Road is also quite good. Concentrate on the picnic area on the ridgeline on the brow of the mountain, and on the trails at the end of the Falls Road.

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Palisades Park

Palisades Park is an outstanding birding destination throughout the year. Its altitude – the highest point for miles in any direction – makes it a good place to see migrant songbirds in spring and fall. Sitting atop a rocky ridge, it overlooks Oneonta …

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Porter’s Gap – Pinhoti Trailhead, Talladega National Forest

Porter’s Gap is an access point to the Pinhoti Trail, a ridge-line trail linking Alabama and Georgia . The trailhead area provides high elevations for viewing unusual breeding birds nearing the southern end of their range (Scarlet Tanagers, Black-throated Green Warblers, and Ovenbirds), as well as for migrant songbirds in spring and fall. A north-easterly walk along the Pinhoti Trail eventually takes the visitor to a riparian habitat where Northern Parula Warblers, Louisiana Waterthrushes, and Yellow-throated Warblers breed.

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Ruffner Mountain Nature Center & Preserve

Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve is a thousand-acre park preserving the wooded slopes of Ruffner Mountain in the heart of Birmingham. In addition to an extensive trail system, Ruffner Mountain Nature Center offers a variety of camps, activities, and programs for visitors of all ages. Excellent birding can be enjoyed in the mixed vegetation around the Nature Center and the covered pavilion. The park never seems crowded or noisy, and the birds are plentiful. This is a great migrant trap in spring and fall. Virtually any perching bird native to north-central Alabama might turn up at Ruffner Mt. on a given day.

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Ruffner Mountain Wetlands

Ruffner Mountain Wetlands: Alabama Birding Trails

The Ruffner Mountain Wetlands are a series of small marshes and ponds, traversed by a boardwalk and trail, located on the other side of the mountain from the Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. This new wetland area provides visitors to the steep, hilly terrain of the Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve a chance to look for birds in an entirely different type of habitat.

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