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Field Trip: James D. Martin Wildlife Park, Gadsden
November 2 , 7:00 am – 12:00 pm
The James D. Martin Wildlife Park offers great opportunities for birders to explore the backwater of the Coosa River near Gadsden. A network of boardwalks allows visitors to walk out over the 300-acre lake and visit a series of wooded islands situated along the mouth of Gadsden’s Black Creek, providing superb views of the birdlife of the lake’s well-wooded borders, extensive wetlands, and low-water mudflats. We’ll spend the morning birding along the boardwalks, as well as visiting the islands and the walking trail along the side of the lake, looking especially for waders such as Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons, as well as wintering ducks and perhaps a Bald Eagle.
The details: Meetup is at 7 a.m. at the Eastwood Chick-fil-A (1648 Montclair Road, Irondale), located just south of the Walmart and west of the Starbucks. From there, we’ll caravan and carpool east on I-59 and then on I-759. Exit left onto Black Creek Parkway, and then right on South 11th Street and continue a few blocks to the main entrance (GPS: 33.997351 -86.008322). Parking for James D. Martin Wildlife Park will be on your right. Those living closer to Gadsden may want to meet us at the park. The trip from Birmingham should take about an hour.
As always, you’ll also want to bring plenty of water and snacks, binoculars, a full tank of gas, insect repellent, rain gear, sunblock, and seasonally appropriate attire. Layers may be a good idea for staying warm or cool.
Accessibility: The extensive boardwalks on the lake are wheelchair accessible. There may also be a fair amount of walking on established paths with some uneven terrain.
(Questions about accessibility? Email us for more information about how we can meet your needs.)
The food: For those who wish to stay and eat lunch in Gadsden, we will plan to eat together nearby at a celebrated local favorite, Pruett’s Barbecue (1617 Rainbow Drive, Gadsden).
The birds: We can hope to see land birds such as Brown-headed Nuthatch, Hermit Thrush, and Ruby-crowned Kinglet, as well as waders, ducks, gallinules, coots, and other waterbirds. Share your eBird list with us (ALAudubon) and contribute to community science data!
Trip leaders: Greg Harber and Anne Miller will lead this trip (Greg: 205-807-8055; Anne: 205-902-1389; day of field trip only). Feel free to email us if you have questions.
In the case of inclement weather, the event may be cancelled. You may contact the trip leader the morning of the event if the weather is questionable.