January 31, 2009

Site 6 - Wilson Dam Vistor Center

Site 6 is across Wilson Dam- on the Colbert County side of the Tennessee River. Site 6 lies just above Site 7.

As spectacular as a day Site 7 was- Site 6 was also a great place to be. I was able to get a photograph of the Golden-crowned Kinglet for the first time. I will definetely plan to revisit Sites 6 and 7 in the near future!

Site 7 - Wilson Dam Rock Pile

Wow! What a wonderful day of birding at Site 7! It was only in the 20's when I arrived around 9:00am to Site 7- but it was a gorgeous sunny day. Site 7 lies at the bottom of a bluff with a beautiful waterfall- only about 200 yards from Wilson Dam. The deep shade presented a problem for shooting low ISO photographs- it appears that the best time to photograph would be a little later in the morning- perhaps around 11:00am in the winter time.

This is a lovely site! The waterfall is beautiful. I was able to get a few good shots of Ring-Billed Gulls catching fish. There were also many Comorants and American White Pelicans.

I was also pleasantly surprised to get a photo of a Winter Wren- as well as have it added to my birding list. I had never seen one before.

Just as I was leaving to head toward Site 6 (which is located at the top of the bluff- but you have to drive to it from the bottom)- I noticed a male bald eagle attacking another male bald eagle. The sequence of shots are in this gallery!

March 27, 2008

National Geographic Traveller Article on Trail

The Tuesday, March 25th edition of the local paper here to Limestone County had an article regarding the North Alabama Birding Trail. Evidently the National Geographic Traveller magazine will be running an article on the North Alabama Birding Traill. Great! I will be on the lookout for that magazine!

March 26, 2008

Site 2 (March 26, 2008)

More Pelican goodness today at the site. Other birds included:

* American Coot
* Gulls and terns
* Comorants by the hundreds
* 2 Great Blue Herons
* 2 Canadian Geese

The last 5 photos are of the American White Pelican seeing a fish and slowing up to catch it before diving it for it. The last photo in the series shows the Pelican eating the fish.
Time- 12:45pm - 1:30pm

March 25, 2008

Site 2 (March 25, 2008)

On my lunch break today, I returned to Site 2, which is near Wheeler Dam. At around 12:30pm there were 7 American White Pelican- many more near the shore than my last visit to Site 2 a few days ago at the same time of day. I was also thrilled to see 2 Common Loon. I was only able to get near to one for a halfway decent photo, and that Loon, shown in the accompanying photo, was still in its plain winter dress.

I was especially pleased to get a photo of an American White Pelican catching and swallowing a fish. It appears that they use their upper bill to help hold the fish tight against their lower bill so that they can arrange the fish for swallowing. Very neat.

Another cool sighting was watching the American Coots take off. It looks like they literally run across the top of the water to build up enough speed to fly. Below is a photo demonstrating the run up to the take-off.

March 23, 2008

Site 21 (March 23, 2008)

As my family and I were returning from Decatur, AL today, we noticed a sign on Highway 31 N directing us to the Swan Creek birding site- Site 21. We had spare time, so I decided to check the Swan Creek site out. Unfortunately, someone must have torn down some of the signs directing us to Site 21. We saw the Swan Creek management area- but I'm not sure if it were the birding site setup by the North Alabama Birding Trail. It is annoying when people tear down expensive signs.

I will be making a return trip to the Swan Creek area- it was really pretty and looked like a perfect habitat for wetland birds.

March 20, 2008

Site 2 (March 20, 2008)

I visited Site 2 at 1:30pm (located next to Wheeler Dam near Elgin, AL) after visiting Site 4. They are probably only 4 or 5 miles apart. There were a lot of people fishing- so birds weren't near the shore. I had seen 3 While Pelicans as I was driving over the dam. There were also numerous gulls and Comorants.

The first photo below is of the power line tower lined with Comorants. The third photo is of a Skipjack Herring that a man caught as I was walking around looking at the scenary. He said that they were a "trash" fish- meaning not edible.

Near Site 4 (March 20, 2008)

The following birds were seen near Site 4 (near Doubletree Resort) between 11:00am and 1:00pm:

Northern Shoveler
Blue-winged Teal
American White Pelican
American Coot
Lesser Yellowlegs
Canada Goose
Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Eastern Bluebird
Northern Mockingbird
Red-winged Blackbird

and LOTS of seagulls that I am unable to identify