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April Field Trip: Bull’s Gap, Talladega National Forest
April 23, 2016, 7:00 am–5:00 pm
Scenic Bull’s Gap, located in the southern reaches of the Talladega National Forest east of Sylacauga, hosts many colorful neotropical songbirds. Among them are Summer and Scarlet Tanagers, Black-throated Green Warblers, Ovenbirds and Worm-eating Warblers. We may even find Blue-headed Vireos, which breed in the higher elevations.
We will also visit Red-cockaded Woodpecker colonies that are located west of Bull’s Gap, along AL Hwy 148. As time permits, we will also visit other sites within the national forest featuring habitats that favor species such as Prairie warblers, Yellow-breasted Chats and Northern Bobwhite.
Please note that the terrain can be uneven on the forest service road at Bull’s Gap (southern terminus of the Skyway Motorway), and we will start our walk at 1400 feet elevation and ascend to 1800 feet – in the span of about a half-mile. Those who wish, and who are in a vehicle with good clearance and capable of handling rutted roads, may park in a small gravel parking area located part way up the ascent.
Meeting Place and Travel Plans: Our meeting place is the parking lot at the Publix at Lee Branch near Greystone (410 Doug Baker Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35242-2682). We will depart from here at 7:00 a.m. and caravan, via US Hwy 280, to Sylacauga, where we’ll reconvene at the McDonald’s in downtown Sylacauga (701 W Fort Williams St, Sylacauga AL 35150-2441) at 8:00 a.m. Please note that if you wish to have breakfast first, please arrive at the Sylacauga McDonald’s in advance of the group’s arrival and allow yourself enough time to eat, as our stop here will be brief.
This will be an all-day trip, so bring a picnic lunch, drinks and snacks. Remember, weather this time of year can be changeable, so dress appropriately. Have a full tank of gas. Bring your binoculars and spotting scopes.
Trip leader: Greg Harber, 205-251-2133, home/evenings, or 205-807-8055, day of field trip only. GPS: 33.1988772 -86.069206