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Half-day Field Trip: East Lake Park and Roebuck Springs

January 2, 2016, 7:00 am12:00 pm

Mallards by Jim Flynn.
Mallards by Jim Flynn.
Yellow-crowned night heron by Greg Harber.

East Lake Park is one Birmingham’s prime birding sites, with a variety of habitats that attract many species. The 45-acre lake is fed by Roebuck Springs and Village Creek. Mature hardwoods in the surrounding 100-acre park are home to resident songbirds, wintering yellow-rumped warblers, Ruby-crowned kinglets, and yellow-bellied sapsuckers, finches and sparrows.

The lake is a reliable year-round spot for waterfowl. An island provides a small rookery of herons, including great blue herons and yellow-crowned and black-crowned night-herons. The island can be viewed from the shore or a pavilion reached by a short boardwalk from the south side of the lake. We will look for ring-necked ducks, canvasbacks, ruddy ducks and irregular visitors. Wood ducks nest here, as well as American coots and pied-billed grebes. Rarities seen here include common loon, red-breasted merganser, Tundra swan, and Ross’ goose. We will also look for birds of prey, including American kestrels, Peregrine falcons, osprey and Sharp-shinned hawks. The most common raptors are Cooper’s and red-tailed hawks. The trees around and the lake host Eastern phoebes, red-headed woodpeckers and Eastern bluebirds all year.

Meet at 7:00 a.m. in the parking lot on the northeast side of the lake along 84th Street North.

Directions: From I-59 in Birmingham, take Exit 132/First Avenue North northeast to 84th Street. Turn left (north) on 84th Street to reach the park.
GPS:  33.57149 -86.72582
Street Address: 2400 1st Ave North, Birmingham, AL 35206

Yellow-rumped warbler by Greg Harber.
Yellow-rumped warbler by Greg Harber.

Following our morning walk around East Lake Park and a snack break, we will head 2 miles northeast to Roebuck Springs, on the northeast side of Don A. Hawkins/Roebuck Municipal Golf Course. The site served Jefferson County pioneer George Roebuck (1778-1851) with water and land for his plantation. The pond and stream are one of four known habitats of the endangered Watercress darter and a jewel of a hot spot for birds. We will look for waterfowl, including mergansers, on the lake and songbirds along the stream and in the nearby woodlots. Herons, woodpeckers and phoebes are common residents. Wilson’s warblers have been spotted here in late winter.

Directions: From East Lake Park, go north on First Avenue North to Roebuck Blvd, turning left onto Roebuck Blvd when you see the golf course on your left. Turn left into the large parking lot and park near the brick building or tennis courts.
Street Address: 8920 Roebuck Blvd, Birmingham, 35206

Leaders: Matt Hunter (205) 915-8186 and Ty Keith (205) 602-8037


January 2, 2016
7:00 am–12:00 pm



East Lake Park
83rd Alley N
Birmingham, AL 35206 United States
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