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Field Trip: Fosters-River Bend Turf Farm

March 7, 2020 , 7:00 am 1:00 pm

Wilson’s snipe by Liz Masoner.

The floodplain of the Black Warrior River west and south of Tuscaloosa hosts a wide variety of habitats, including mature swamp forests, open waters of ponds and oxbow lakes, grassy pastures and croplands, and freshwater marshes. 

The details: Meetup is at 7 a.m. at the McDonald’s on US 31 in Hoover, located at 1731 Montgomery Highway, just across from the Galleria. Next, we’ll carpool and caravan southwest, with a brief stop around 8:15 a.m. at the Fosters Chevron (13460 US 11, Fosters), just off exit #62 off I-20. From there, we’ll caravan to the River Bend Turf Farm.

As always, remember to bring plenty of water and snacks, a full tank of gas, insect repellent, rain gear, sunblock, and seasonally appropriate attire. In the event of inclement weather, you may contact the trip leader the morning of the event to see if it has been cancelled. 

Accessibility: Much birding will be done from the roadside with very little walking, so accessibility isn’t much of an issue for those who wish to stay in their cars.

The food: You may wish to bring snacks and/or a lunch.

The birds: We will be looking for waterbirds, as it will likely be too early for migrant songbirds. Special birds we hope to find in the marshy areas include American bittern, king rail, and sora. Open farm and pasture areas should have Eastern bluebird, Eastern meadowlark, and even loggerhead shrike. The open wet areas at River Bend Turf Farm often have waders like lesser yellowlegs, Wilson’s snipe, and more.

You can check out the latest eBird list for River Bend Turf Farm here. Share your eBird list with us (ALAudubon) and contribute to community science data!

Trip leaders: Alabama Audubon Development Director Chris Oberholster leads this trip along with Linda Neighbors; Chris’ cell is 205-966-1547, and Linda’s is 205-568-5554 (day of field trip only). For more information, please email us.