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Half-Day Field Trip: Cahaba River NWR & West Blocton Coke Ovens Park
May 14, 2016, 7:00 am–12:00 pm
Two sites on the West Alabama Bird Trail near West Blocton are sure bets to see and hear the many species that occur here as breeding birds; among them are Louisiana Waterthrush, Yellow-throated Warbler, Acadian Flycatcher and Swainson’s Warbler.
Cahaba River NWR, famous for its stands of Cahaba lilies, will be our first destination, as we will want to visit this site early in the morning to enjoy the peace and solitude of the river. In addition to the above-mentioned birds, we will surely hear and see Northern Parulas along the refuge road that flanks the river, and American redstarts are likely to be found there as well.
Once we have finished our birding and nature watching at the refuge, we will retrace our route back toward West Blocton, to visit the West Blocton Coke Ovens Park – a gem of riparian woodland habitat nestled along the banks of a small creek bordering the park. Here is where we will have our best chances at locating the Swainson’s warblers that breed in the dense thickets that flank the primary road in the road in the park. Additionally, the historic coke ovens for which the park is named will warrant a visit. You’ll want to bring your camera.
This will be a half-day trip, but you are welcome to bring a picnic lunch, as there are picnic tables and restrooms available at the West Blocton Coke Ovens Park. Drinks and snacks are advisable. Remember, weather this time of year can be warm and the insects plentiful, so dress appropriately. If you do not have binoculars, they may be borrowed from Birmingham Audubon for the trip.
Meeting Place and Travel Plans: Our meeting place is the parking lot at the McDonald’s at 1731 Montgomery Hwy, Hoover, AL 35244, across from the Galleria. We will depart from here at 7 a.m. and caravan, via I-459 and AL Hwy 5, to West Blocton, where we will turn left (east) on Bibb County Road. Both the national wildlife refuge and the park are located east of town on CR 24.
Trip Co-leaders: Susan Barrow, 205-942-8667 (H) or 205-253-8667 (C) and Matt Hunter, 205-915-8186.
Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge: GPS: 33.0931632 -87.0593142
West Blocton Coke Ovens Park: GPS: 33.115466 -87.107076