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Field Trip: Paint Rock River, Larkin Fork & Jackson County, AL
June 18, 2016, 6:30 am–5:00 pm
Birmingham Audubon kicks off its summer field trips with a trip to scenic Jackson County in northeast Alabama, where we’ll spend the morning birding at a couple of sites along the Larkin Fork of the Paint Rock River. One of the target birds for the trip will be Cerulean Warblers, which breed in the area, along with the usual species common to forested, riparian zone habitat. American Redstarts and Worm-eating Warblers are a good possibility, too.
Following a picnic lunch in the field we’ll head east to the Skyline Wildlife Management Area, where we’ll continue searching for species typical of the habitat found there. Certainly Indigo Buntings will be plentiful. There are several other birding options in Jackson County we can explore as well, as time and weather permit. While we won’t have enough time to descend the trail all the way to the Walls of Jericho, if there is interest, we may have enough time to hike partway down the trail, which has been productive in the past.
Travel Plans: (Note the earlier than usual departure time) Depart at 6:30 a.m. from the Birmingham Botanical Gardens‘ parking lot. We’ll carpool and caravan north on AL Hwy 79 (Tallapoosa Street) through Guntersville to the town of Gurley, located on US Hwy 72 east of Huntsville. We’ll reconvene about 8:30 a.m. at the Hardee’s in Gurley, on the main highway. Those wishing to meet us directly at the Hardee’s are welcome to do so; an advance notice to the trip leader is appreciated. Once we’ve had a short rest break we’ll depart for our first birding stop located up CR 65 almost to the state line.
This trip is one of the more distant trips BAS takes so plan accordingly and bring plenty of drinks and snacks in addition to your picnic lunch, a full tank of gas, insect repellent, rain gear, and appropriate summer attire.
Trip Leader: Greg Harber, 205-251-2133 (H) or 205-807-8055 (C, day of field trip only).