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…not birding

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Off the Porch with Judy and Don Self There are some days when you get up and just aren’t in the mood for birding. But then, while the tea is brewing, you take a quick peek out the kitchen window to see who might be hanging around your feeders. After al …

…once a year.

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Off The Porch with Judy and Don Self Once a year, observers all over North America set aside a morning during the height of nesting season to travel their assigned routes identifying and counting all of the breeding birds that they encounter as part of …

Autumn Birding in the Black Belt

Located in County | What you’ll find: Birding | Outdoor Recreation

These two Corps of Engineers parks offer opportunities to bird in a variety of habitats including upland mixed pine hardwood forest, cypress sloughs, lake and shoreline. And while spring and summer will produce the largest variety of species, our most recent visit on the afternoon of November 10 allowed us to enjoy twenty-six of the species that spend the winter with us.

Birding at Claiborne Dam Site East Park, Monroe County, AL

Located in County | What you’ll find: Birding | Outdoor Recreation

This US Corps of Engineers facility is one of the few places on the Piney Woods Birding Trail that has it all. In addition to its variety of habitats, it is the take-out for paddles from the Corps of Engineers Parks located upriver (PWBT stops 8, 11 and 13). The Alabama River Canoe Trail portage extends through the Dam Site East Park from the upper boat ramp to the lower boat ramp. Isaac Creek Campground provides 60 campsites, all with water and electrical hookups, in a hardwood grove between Claiborne Lake and Isaac Creek. And the Alabama River Museum offers exhibits and hands-on displays for young and old alike.

Birding Backbone Creek

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The many blocks of the David K. Nelson Wildlife Management Area offer some exceptional birding opportunities. One of our favorites is Backbone Creek in southernmost Greene County. It’s located just a few miles northeast of Demopolis and provides easy access to the backwaters of the Black Warrior River and Lake Demopolis.

Birding Chickasaw State Park

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Off the Porch with Judy and Don Self The 12th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count, our 4-day mid-winter avian scavenger hunt was great fun. At last count, our species total was 70 for Gallion. The weather was great as usual and the birds were for the most …

Birding Haines Island Park, Monroe County

Located in County | What you’ll find: Archeological | Architectural | Arts & Culture | Birding | Camping | Dining | Historical | Museum | Outdoor Recreation | Shopping | To Delete | Trips

For a variety of habitats in a compact area, it’s hard to beat the US Corps of Engineers Haines Island Park. Whether you’re inclined to drive, hike, canoe or kayak, Haines Island offers a fantastic opportunity to observe nature in a unique setting. Birding can be spectacular in April and May as Neotropical migrants pause to refuel in the luxuriant hardwoods of the park. The summer months offer over 100 species of breeding birds. Fall again funnels large numbers of migrants through the park. And the thick undergrowth along the lake margins shelter large flocks of finches and sparrows in winter.

Birding Old Lock 1 Park & Bashi Creek

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With spring migration winding down and the breeding season in full swing, May is a great time to bird southwest Alabama’s floodplain forests. Two of our favorites are Old Lock 1 Park and Bashi Creek Public Use Area. Both are maintained by the US Corps of Engineers. Management Rd, Demopolis, AL 36732; phone: 334-289-3540 and both provide excellent access to the backwaters of the Tombigbee River.

Birding the Bells Landing Park and Tallatchee Creek

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Off The Porch with Judy and Don Self Bells Landing Park is another of our favorite places to bird and critter watch. This is another site along the Alabama River that offers a variety of habitats in a compact area. It is easily birded on foot, but putt …

Changing Seasons in Southwest Alabama

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A glance at the calendar, our backyard bird feeders and the forest tells us that we still have a few weeks to go before the end of winter. Although we’ve had red and dark green of Teaberries to brighten the forest floor and occasional bursts of colorful fungi after a frontal passage, winter in Alabama’s hardwood forests is still largely a study in browns and grays.

Great Backyard Bird Count

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OFF THE PORCH with Judy and Don Self Click for larger image As we write, the 115th Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is about to get under way. Between the 14th of December and 5th of January, tens of thousands of volunteers will take to the field to …

The Annual Hummer Invasion

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Off the Porch with Judy and Don Self No, not the 4-wheeled kind, the winged, 1/10th ounce, southbound kind. Fall migration of the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds is in full swing. It began back in late July, but peaks here at Almosta Farm in mid-September. …

Winter Birding at Monroe County Lake

Located in County | What you’ll find: Birding | Outdoor Recreation

Off The Porch with Judy and Don Self Beatrice, Monroe County, Alabama (Site 14 on the Piney Woods Birding Trail) Birding Monroe County Lake in the winter when there is less human activity around the lake is guaranteed to produce some interesting birds. …

Winter in Alabama’s Black Belt

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OFF THE PORCH with Judy and Don Self Winter kinda sneaks-up on you in west central Alabama. Sometime in the last couple of weeks the riot of colors that was fall has been replaced with the subtler browns and grays of winter. Even the green of the pines …

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