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Field Trip: Tuscaloosa—Lake Lurleen and surrounding area

Hooded warbler

June 4, 2022 , 7:00 am 5:00 pm

UPDATE: Thanks to a member in Tuscaloosa, we have found out that an event will be happening at Lake Lurleen State Park on Saturday, June 4th, which will negatively impact our birding. We have decided to change locations for the morning. See details section below for the updated meeting location. Our morning will be spent birding around Black Warrior Road and the River Bend Turf Farm. We will still spend our afternoon at Holliman Gardens, north of Gordo, for lunchtime and afternoon birding.

Pre-registration is required by 12 p.m. CDT on Friday, June 3rd.

Registration is now closed. Check out our upcoming events here.

Participants must complete the mandatory online waiver. Please do not request registration for others when submitting your request.

See UPDATE above and in details section below. We will start the day off at Lake Lurleen State Park. Located twelve miles northwest of Tuscaloosa and Northport, this 1,625-acre park is a scenic retreat set on the banks of Lake Lurleen. There are scattered shade trees past the entrance gate where songbirds are often present. In spring, expect Eastern bluebirds, Eastern kingbirds, and abundant numbers of cliff swallows. There are a series of walking trails, some of which parallel the shoreline. Orchard orioles and red-headed woodpeckers may be observed in the pines. We should particularly be looking for spring migrants and breeding birds.

Our second stop will be at a nearby property of a friend of Alabama Audubon’s, Holliman Gardens (174 Co Rd 88, Gordo, AL 35466). We will be looking for similar birds. At the same time, we will have access to a day-lily nursery on the property with the possibility of purchasing fresh flowers. Visit their Facebook page here.

The details: For those in Birmingham, 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. UPDATE: We will still meet and depart from the Galleria McDonald’s on US Hwy 31 as planned (7 a.m.).  We will carpool/caravan from there (via I-459, I-20/59) and reconvene around 8:15 a.m. at the Chevron/Subway (13460 Hwy 11 South, Fosters, AL 35463) at the  Fosters, AL exit (#62) off I-20/59. Following a short break, we will then head north on US Hwy 11 (toward Tuscaloosa, crossing the Black Warrior River) and turn left onto Black Warrior Road where the River Bend Turf Farm is located.  We will bird along Black Warrior Road and Sanders Ferry Road, making stops at several key locations.  We will depart from this area by 11:30 a.m. to allow us enough time to reach Holliman Gardens where we will have our lunch and afternoon birding on their property. For those wanting to meet us in Tuscaloosa, we’ll meet around 8:30 a.m. at the parking lot just beyond the entrance gate at Lake Lurleen State Park (13226 Lake Lurleen Road, Coker), (GPS coordinates 33.2977, -87.6768). (Please note that Lake Lurleen State Park has a day-use fee of $4 for adults, $2 for seniors—62 and older.)

Be sure to bring the usual supplies: a full tank of gas, binoculars, water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellant, rain gear, comfortable shoes, and seasonally appropriate attire. 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.

Registration: To register, click on the button above. If you’re new to our online system and don’t yet have a username and password, simply click the “X” on the pop up and fill out the basic form. If you do have a login, please use it as this helps us tremendously on our end! You should receive an automated email upon registering.

Accessibility: Neither location will be wheelchair-friendly. The State Park’s trails are uneven surfaces with moderate inclines.

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

The food: Plan to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy at the lovely Holliman Gardens stop. We’ll plan to arrive there around noon so that we can view the lilies before they start to wilt and enjoy our lunch onsite.

The birds: We’ll be looking for spring migrants, including yellow-throated warblers, as well as Eastern bluebirds, Eastern kingbirds, and cliff swallows. The eBird list for River Bend Turf Farm can be found here, while the seasonal bar charts can be found here.

Trip leaders: Greg Harber (205-807-8055) and Matt Hunter (205-460-9546) will lead this trip. Please contact on the day of the field trip only.

Questions? Email the Programs Assistant.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Through more than seventy-five years of conservation work in one of our nation’s most ecologically rich states, Alabama Audubon has seen firsthand how diversity strengthens natural communities. We believe that the same principle applies to human communities, which is why our organization is committed to providing equitable opportunities for all Alabamians to learn about and enjoy wild birds, their habitats, and the natural world. One of the best ways to support that belief is by valuing and actively seeking to strengthen diversity among our staff, our board, and our membership. To that end, Alabama Audubon welcomes the whole of our community to our work, and strives to make our programs, classes, and events open and accessible to all.