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William B. Bankhead National Forest (NABT) – 7 May, 2017 (SUNDAY) 7:00 am
May 7, 2017 @ 7:00 am - 1:00 pm
Bankhead National Forest (BNF) in northwestern Alabama is 180,000 acres of mesic hardwood, mixed pine-hardwood, shortleaf pine, oak-hickory, hemlock-white pine and mountain longleaf pine forest, with many limestone bluffs, swift flowing streams and waterfalls; the 26,000-acre Sipsey Wilderness is also found here. Migration birding this time of year is usually quite productive in BNF and we’ve had some great trips there the past few years. We’ll meet at Site 14 of the North Alabama Birding Trail (Central Firetower). From Huntsville, take I-565/Hwy 20 to Decatur, then AL Hwy 24 west toward Moulton. From the intersection of Hwy 24 and AL Hwy 33 near Moulton, head south on Hwy 33 for 11.4 miles into BNF. The orientation kiosk is located near the firetower on the left side of the road. From there we will go south a short distance and spend most of our time birding along the northwest road, a beautiful setting with a wide range of forest habitat types varying in age, composition, and management (bordering the Sipsey Wilderness).
Other areas we may visit include Brushy Lake Recreational Area, Sipsey River Picnic grounds, Borden Creek trailhead and, possibly, Walston Ridge Road. You are encouraged to visit the BNF website for more information on birding opportunities there. From west Huntsville/Madison to the meeting place is about an hour-long drive, via Decatur (34.3452, -87.3393). – Ken Ward, Leader (256-837-5646; firstname.lastname@example.org)