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Field Trip: Maplesville—Harrison Lake and Montevallo—University Lake


American coot by Joe Watts

January 21, 2023 , 8:00 am 2:00 pm

Pre-registration is required by 12 p.m. CST on Friday, January 20th.

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

This trip takes us to two lake sites—Harrison Lake in Maplesville and University Lake in Montevallo. The Maplesville site is a large pond near a river which attracts winter waterfowl and year-round species. The area around the pond offers an unobstructed panorama of the entire site and is an excellent spot for the target species. Expect to see several kinds of ducks, along with wading birds and wintering woodland birds in the nearby forest edges. The surrounding fields will also be surveyed for grassland birds such as sparrows. Carpooling is strongly recommended, as the parking is limited at the pond (see the details section below). We expect to stay here for up to ninety minutes.

The Montevallo Lake site is similar, but the larger lake is surrounded by woodland with limited open space. We will find the same birds as the Maplesville site, including herons, but with more wintering woodland birds such as kinglets, sapsuckers, and winter warblers. The trails around the lake will allow for a walk of up to two hours. 

The details: Meetup is right before 8 a.m. at the McDonald’s on US 31 in Hoover, located at 1731 Montgomery Highway across from the Galleria. We’ll plan to leave promptly at 8 a.m. From there, we’ll meet at 9 a.m. in Maplesville at the Senior Citizens’ Center (9499 Alabama Highway 22, Maplesville, 36750) on Hwy 22 at the railroad tracks. It’s the Old Southern Depot and has a sign in front. Plan to possibly carpool from this location as there is minimal parking at Harrison Lake.

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, the trip may be cancelled. You may contact the trip leaders the morning of the event.

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: This trip is not considered accessible at either location.

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

The food: Though only a half-day trip, you might like to pack a lunch or bring some snacks. We plan to finish up birding in the early afternoon. There are plenty of restaurant options in Montevallo near where we end our day.

The birds: All types of winter waterfowl are possible, as well as wintering woodland birds, such as kinglets, sparrows, and winter warblers.

Trip leaders: Marj Young (205-515-8394) and Matt Hunter (205-460-9546) will lead this trip. Please contact them on the day of the field trip only.

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.