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Travel to the Galapagos Islands with Birmingham Audubon
May 30 - June 8, 2015

tortoiseBirmingham Audubon invites you to join their 10-day wildlife and educational expedition to the Galapagos Islands. Escorted by Birmingham Audubon member Greg Harber, the trip departs May 30, 2015. This expedition has been designed with the objective of seeing as many of the unique inhabitants of these enchanted islands as possible. Based on one of Ecoventura's 20-passenger motor-yachts, with excellent food, Galapagos park certified naturalists, and crew, we'll travel by night to maximize our enjoyment of these ruggedly beautiful booby

The projected costs of the trip are as follows: $5650 per person on the Dolphin Deck, $5250 per person on the Booby Deck and $4750 per person on the Iguana Deck. Cabins will be assigned on a first registered, first served basis. Prices subject to change.

Please call Dick Mills at World Discovery Safaris at 205-972-8733 or e-mail Dick with any questions and/or to receive a detailed itinerary and registration form.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:04 )
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Summer Field Trips ~ Kites, Wood Storks and More!

Autaugaville and Prattville                
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 7 a.m.

Lakeland Farms and Greensboro area
Saturday, August 2, 2014, 7 a.m.

Swallow-tailed 12Once again Birmingham Audubon is offering two summer field trips in search of kites, storks and scissor-tailed flycatchers. All three species are regular late summer visitors to the Tombigbee and Alabama River systems in the upper coastal plain of Alabama. If you have never witnessed the spectacle of Mississippi and swallow-tailed kites feeding on the wing, then you are missing one of the most spectacular aerial shows on earth. 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 may be our destinations for lunch.

Hopefully, we will also see wood storks on these outings; their numbers fluctuate from year to year but hopefully we'll have at least some to view – particularly on the Lakeland Farms-Greensboro trip. Wood storks have to be one of the homeliest creatures the good Lord ever made, but in the air their striking black and white forms are beautiful sights indeed. You won't want to miss these field trips so mark your calendars now and be prepared to brave the summer heat! 

Saturday, August 2nd trip: The ever-popular Galleria McDonalds, located at 1731S Montgomery Highway (US 31) across from the Galleria, will serve as our departure point for this trip as well. Plan to leave at 7 a.m. again. We will caravan west on Interstate 59/20 to exit #97 and head south on Alabama Hwy 5 to Centerville/Brent where we'll make a rest stop before continuing to Lakeland Farms and the catfish ponds south of Greensboro. We will have lunch either at the Faunsdale Bar and Grill in Faunsdale or the Pie Lab in Greensboro depending on which arrangements can be made in advance for a group our size. A stop at Perry Lakes Park to watch herons and egrets returning to their roost at day's end is a likely bet too.

Remember, these trips will be daylong affairs so plan accordingly and bring plenty of drinks and snacks in addition to a full tank of gas, insect repellent, rain gear, and appropriate summer attire.

Trip Leader for both of these trips: Greg Harber, 251-2133 or Greg's email

Your fearless trip leader for these summer trips has been known to arrange additional trips on short notice, so please remember to monitor the Birmingham Audubon website, Facebook page, Twitter feed and the BASbirding Yahoo page for up-to-date summer trip plans! 

Last Updated ( Sunday, 27 July 2014 22:09 )
Read more: Upcoming Field Trips
Field Trip Reports 2014 PDF Print Email

Old Cahawba, March 1, 2014

Coleman Lake, February 1, 2014

Wheeler NWR, January 20, 2014

Guntersville Lake, January 18, 2014

(Index to all Field Trip Reports)

Old Cahawba 3-1-2014

Autaugaville and Prattville 7-26-14

Saturday, July 26th, Birmingham Audubon members and guests ventured south in search of Mississippi and swallow-tailed kites on both sides of the Alabama River west of Prattville. And we're happy to report that our quest was successful!

Our first sighting was a lone Mississippi kite circling above the US 82 bypass just south of the turn at AL Hwy 14 on the west side of town. This proved to be typical of the remainder of the morning - single birds flying just above treetop level in two other locations along Hwy 14 or the county roads that extend south from it to the river. We checked CR 29, 27, 50 and 41, and found species typical of that area and this time if year - in other words, hordes of Rough-winged Swallows, vultures and a smattering of egrets and herons flapping past. The rough-wings were especially noticeable along CR 21 in a field opposite the model airplane site. Hundreds were barely buzzing the ground as they fed.

The south end of CR 21, at the large expanse of pasture, yielded no kites of either species but we did observe an Osprey flying above the trees in the distance as it followed the course of the river heading upstream (west to east).

The home-style cooking at Chef Lee's in Autaugaville was on tap for lunch as our birding trip morphed into a rolling mini-economic development engine. When our group of 35+ people descended we pretty much filled the entire seating capacity. Those already seated there quickly finished and headed out the door. I'm pretty sure we depleted them of their fried catfish while topping off our internal tanks with refreshing sweet tea.

swallow-tailed kite GH 2014We departed from there to the south side of the river, to CR 40 (aka Jones Bluff Road) where we had such success finding kites last year. Here we hit pay dirt in the form of two tractors cutting hay in the field on the north side of the road, about 1 mile north of the railroad tracks. There were approximately 15 swallow-tailed and 30 Mississippi kites working the scene, snatching insects out of the air in advance of the tractors. The scene we witnessed here pretty much explained the dearth of birds on the north side of the river; they are found wherever the action is - find a farmer cutting his hay and you'll likely find kites feeding.

Following this we retraced our route east on CR 40 to the "ghost town" at Robinson's Switch - collection of old wooden buildings gathered on either side of the road, adjacent to the railroad tracks. It's a site that always begs for a photography stop and a quiet moment as one strolls beneath the drapery of Spanish moss. Virginia Creeper, coated in a fine layer of clay the color of the South, cloaks the wooden boards - giving silent testimony to the small community that once breathed here.

Cattle egretOur final birding destination was the gator farm near Grady, but not before our dinner at Red's Little Schoolhouse. Once again, Southern cooking ruled the place and was tasty as always. The hordes of egrets and herons returning to the rookery are a spectacular sight. Mostly they are Cattle Egrets, but we did observe Little Blue Herons, White Ibises and Great Egrets among the masses. As has happened in the past, a splashing in the water or thrashing on the ground below the nest trees signaled the demise of another wayward nestling that strayed too far and met its fate in the jaws of a gator - a National Geographic moment in the heart of Alabama.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 July 2014 20:37 )
Read more: Field Trip Reports 2014