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Paint Rock-Larkin Fork, Walls of Jericho, Skyline WMA
June 20, 2015
Birmingham Audubon kicks off its summer field trips with the ever-popular 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 species common to forested, riparian zone habitat. American redstarts and worm-eating warblers are a good possibility, too, and there is always a chance that we may encounter the calling alder flycatcher that was present in 2014. Regular field trippers will recall the fantastic birding opportunities afforded to us during our visit to the Graham Farm and Nature Center, and we’ll attempt to make similar arrangements for a visit again this year as well.
Following a picnic lunch in the field, we’ll head slightly 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 that we can explore 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 part way 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 Alabama Highway 79 (Tallapoosa Street) through Guntersville to the town of Gurley, located on US Highway 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. If you plan on meeting in Gurley, please give an advance notice to the trip leader. Once we’ve had a short break, we’ll depart for our first birding stop located up County Road 65 almost to the state line.
This trip is one of the more distant trips Birmingham Audubon takes, so please 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, 251-2133 or firstname.lastname@example.org