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CANCELED: Field Trip: Fort Toulouse–Fort Jackson, Wetumpka

March 28, 2020 , 7:00 am 5:00 pm

Prothonotary warbler by Charles Grisham

UPDATE: This event has been canceled in response to COVID-19 as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of this virus.

Fort Toulouse-Jackson National Historic Park is situated where the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers meet to form the headwaters of the Alabama River.  The park preserves relics of over 6,000 years of human history within its 165 acres of woodlands and fields bordering the two rivers. The rich riparian habitat makes this especially attractive to birds.

The park is also home to the Bartram Arboretum, named for the famed naturalist, William Bartram, whose travels led him through the area, discovering and cataloging the botanical life of the Southeast. An easy walk on improved paths and boardwalks meanders through the terraced arboretum.

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. From here, we’ll carpool and caravan to reconvene around 8:45 a.m. at the Wetumpka McDonald’s (5426 N. US Hwy 231, Wetumpka). Please note that park admission is $2.00 for adults and $1.00 for students.

As always, remember to bring plenty of water and snacks, a full tank of gas, insect repellent, rain gear, sunblock, and seasonally appropriate attire.

Accessibility: The park is wheelchair accessible except for some portions of the Bartram Trail, which we will visit. The paths are hard-packed earth, wooden boardwalks, and paved or dirt roads and are easy to walk but there may be some uneven terrain in places.

(Questions about accessibility? Email us for more information about how we can meet your needs.)

The birds: Late March in the coastal plain of Alabama is an ideal time to see early spring migrants such as blue-gray gnatcatchers, Northern parula, Louisiana waterthrush, prothonotary and yellow-throated warblers, and red-eyed and white-eyed vireos. Resident Pine warblers and lingering yellow-rumped warblers can be expected, too.  Given the abundance of riparian habitat, we may also see anhinga and Acadian flycatcher.

You can check out their site on the Alabama Birding Trail here and on eBird hereShare your eBird list with us (ALAudubon) and contribute to community science data!

The food: Please bring a picnic lunch with you, along with plenty of snacks and water.

Trip leader: Paul Franklin (205-542-7647) and Greg Harber (205-807-8055) lead this trip (day of field trip only, please). In the event of inclement weather, you may contact the trip leaders that morning. Feel free to email us with questions.