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Field Trip: Bull’s Gap, Talladega National Forest
April 13, 2019, 7:00 am–5:00 pm
UPDATE: We have had a few requests that we make travel arrangements to see the Red-cockaded Woodpeckers at Talladega on this trip, which entails arriving about a half-hour before sunrise. Greg Harber will be meeting folks at 5:15 a.m. (same meetup location—Publix at Lee Branch) for those who wish to try to see the Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, and Matt Hunter will meet everyone else at 7:00 at the same location. We’ll still plan to meet at the Sylacauga McDonald’s at 8:00 a.m.
Scenic Bull’s Gap, located on the Alabama Birding Trail in the southern reaches of the Talladega National Forest east of Sylacauga, hosts many colorful neotropical songbirds. Among them are Summer and Scarlet Tanagers, Black-throated Green Warblers, Ovenbirds, and Worm-eating Warblers. We may even find Blue-headed Vireos, which breed in the higher elevations.
We will also visit Red-cockaded Woodpecker colonies that are located west of Bull’s Gap, along AL Hwy 148. As time permits, we will visit other sites within the national forest, featuring habitats that favor species such as Prairie warblers, Yellow-breasted Chats, and Northern Bobwhite.
The details: Meetup is at 7 a.m. at the Publix at Lee Branch near Greystone (410 Doug Baker Blvd). From here, we’ll caravan via US Hwy. 280 to Sylacauga, where we’ll reconvene at the McDonald’s in downtown Sylacauga (701 W. Fort Williams St.) at 8 a.m. Please note that if you wish to have breakfast first, please arrive at the Sylacauga McDonald’s in advance of the group’s arrival and allow yourself enough time to eat, as our stop here will be brief. GPS: 33.1988772 -86.069206
As always, you’ll also want to bring plenty of water and snacks, a full tank of gas, insect repellent, rain gear, sunblock, and seasonally appropriate attire. Bring your binoculars and spotting scopes.
Accessibility: Not wheelchair accessible; some uneven terrain. We will start our walk at 1400 feet elevation and ascend to 1800 feet in the span of about a half-mile. Those who wish, and who are in a vehicle with good clearance and capable of handling rutted roads, may park in a small gravel parking area located part way up the ascent.
The food: Please plan to bring your own lunch.
The birds: We can expect to see neotropical migrant vireos, warblers, and tanagers.
Trip leader: Greg Harber and Matt Hunter co-lead this trip. Greg’s cell is 205-807-8055, and Matt’s cell is 205-915-8186 (day of field trip only). If you have questions, email our Outreach & Communications Director.