Bashi Creek Public Use Area provides the birder with access to the floodplain forests along Bashi Creek. Canoeing/kayaking east up Bashi Creek in the spring and summer lets you immerse yourself in excellent riparian habitat; sycamore, oak, and cypress forest line both sides of the creek for several miles upstream from its confluence with the Tombigbee.
Much of the 84-acre Washington County Public Lake is surrounded by mixed second-growth forest with dense underbrush. Anhingas, wading birds, Ospreys, and Bald Eagles are regular visitors to the lake. Orchard Orioles, Purple Martins, and Barn Swallows nest in the picnic area. Brown-headed Nuthatches, Hooded Warblers, and Eastern Towhees are found in the pines and underbrush.
Purple Gallinules, Snowy and Great egrets, Little Blue Herons, and Wood Ducks are regulars along the dikes separating the ponds. Watch the willows in the western pond for Yellow-crowned Night-Herons. Black Terns and Swallow-tailed Kites may be present in late summer, and American Bitterns are winter residents.
Bird the hardwoods within the RV park and the understory around its margins for Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Downy Woodpeckers, and Great Crested Flycatchers. Then canoe Kimbell Lake and the tupelo and bald cypress swamps that surround it. In spring and early summer, multiple pairs of Red-bellied and Pileated woodpeckers fill the air with a cacophony of calls and drumming. Northern Parulas, Prothonotary Warblers, and Common Yellowthroats announce their presence with their distinctive and easily recognizable songs. Great Egrets and Great Blue and Little Blue herons stalk the swamps. And be sure to listen for the distinctive two-syllable “Na-ha” call of the Fish Crow.
Mature cottonwoods cover much of the meander core, while willows and some small cypress occur at the water’s edge. Birding is excellent year-round and spring and fall can bring a wide variety of migrants. Winter brings Bald Eagles, House Wrens, and Orange-crowned Warblers. Ospreys and Caspian Terns frequently fish the waters below the dam during migration.
Extensive marsh in the east and southwest parts of the old quarry, now lake and cypress swamp southwest of the old quarry will be of particular interest to birders. Shore birds observed on the margins of the lake include Least Bitterns, Soras, Least and Spotted sandpipers, Greater Yellowlegs, and Killdeer.
Birding around the Parker Lake boat ramp can be productive, but a canoe or kayak is needed to fully enjoy this site. Paddling slowly through the twilight of the dense tupelo and bald cypress forest that lines the margins of the lake in spring and summe …