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Kite Trip #1 Prattville, Autaugaville
July 25, 2015, 7:00 am–5:00 pm
Once again Birmingham Audubon is offering two summer field trips in search of kites, storks and scissor-tailed flycatchers. If you have never witnessed the spectacle of Mississippi or swallow-tailed kites feeding on the wing, you are missing one of the most spectacular aerial shows on earth. Kites are regular late summer visitors to the Tombigbee and Alabama River systems in Alabama’s upper coastal plain. Their acrobatic maneuvers while catching insects in flight is truly spectacular. And speaking of eating, another bonus on these outings is the food, Chef Lee’s in Autaugaville and the Pie Lab in Greensboro or perhaps the Faunsdale Bar and Grill in Faunsdale are among our options for lunch.
Hopefully, we will also see wood storks on these outings; their numbers fluctuate from year to year. Wood storks have to be one of the homeliest crea- tures the good Lord ever made, but in the air their striking black and white forms are indeed beautiful sights. You will not want to miss these field trips, so mark your calendars now and be ready to brave the summer heat!
We will head to the Prattville/Autaugaville area as we have in previous years, based our success in finding kites on previous trips. These are wide ranging species, but I feel confident we will observe them on our trip at some point. The areas east of Autaugaville have yielded sporadic sightings of painted buntings and lark sparrows in the past, so we will focus our birding efforts here in the morning.
OUR DEPARTURE POINT:
The McDonalds on US 31 in Hoover located at 1731 Montgomery Highway (US 31) across from the Galleria. Plan to depart at 7 a.m. and caravan to our destination. We will have lunch at Chef Lee’s in Autaugaville to take a break from the heat that we will likely experience.
After lunch for those who wish to continue their summer adventure, we’ll drive to the south side of the Alabama River where we will check a few sites where we’ve observed kites in the past. The picturesque “ghost town” at Robinson’s Switch Road will be worth a short visit as well, so bring your cameras.
We’ll visit an alligator farm/heron rookery in Pine Level, south of Montgomery off US 231, at the end of the day. We’ll have dinner at Red’s Little School House Restaurant in Grady at 5:30, and then depart for the rookery from there. If you participate in this optional side trip expect a very long day in the field as we will be at the rookery until sunset. The return trip to Birmingham is about a two-hour drive.