August 11th, 2016
A few friends and I paddled around theFox Creek on Lake Wedoweebirding site on August 11th. We put in (of course) at the boat ramp and paddled the shoreline. We followed the old road bed and headed, again along the shoreline, toward the island. As the Project Manager for the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail, the paddle was to see if a birding event was possible ‘by water’. So we just paddled and watched and listened. We rested and ate munchies at the island. One of us had binoculars and saw the Great Blue Heron. We also heard Carolina Wrens on the island. We saw very agitated Belted Kingfishers….first up on the power lines when we first paddled toward the island, then in trees, letting us know they didn’t appreciate being ‘watched’! We also saw an Osprey and Red-tailed Hawk flying overhead. We thought the Osprey might have been learning, as it didn’t seem to ‘glide’ or ‘soar’…it was paddling almost as hard as we were!!! Well, we didn’t paddle all that hard, but it is static water and wind in your face makes it a little more challenging!!
We began the event at about 9:30/9:45. Our float took about 90 minutes. If we add (as you see in the map) the distance going AROUND the island, it might add 10 or 15 minutes. It might be possible to walk around the island, if the water drops any during the fall. That would be fun! After loading up the kayaks & canoe, we walked the old roadbed to where it comes out at the WIDE water spot, not the first, small area. We were on the water kind of late in the morning, so maybe if we began a little earlier, we might see/hear a few more birds. More experienced birder-paddlers might recommend paddling into the river channel for even more opportunities. We’ll see!
If any members would like to join us next time, please let me know! We can do a float any time…well, if the weather and the water are still warm. I suspect conditions would be acceptable thru September, perhaps. I can be reached by telephone, 256-786-0541, or by email, email@example.com.
AERIAL PHOTO OF FOX CREEK BIRDING TRAIL
BALD EAGLE WITH FISH (PHOTO BY KAT BROWN)
OSPREY (PHOTO BY KAT BROWN)
Additional plans call for development of an Arboretum featuring local species of trees and native plants. The Arboretum will be adjacent to the parking lot. Members are urged to contribute plantings of native flowering shrubs and fruit bearing plants, which will complement the area, and provide food for the birds that frequent the site. Contact Bill Boozer, Committee Chairperson for additional details.
The Fox Creek Birding Trail Site is located adjacent to the Fox Creek Launch Ramp on County Road 863 off Highway 48 West. The Site incorporates a hiking trail comprising just over 3 miles that includes medium exercise and light exercise portions. Wooded areas, the lakeshore and lake vistas and upland pastures provide habitat for various species of birds.
On a given day, you may sight bald eagles, osprey, red tailed hawks, great blue and green herons, wood ducks, Canada geese, kingfishers, and woodpeckers and many other species. Take your camera along, get some great shots and send them along to LWPOA for inclusion on the Website.
Fox Creek is a unit of the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail, a project of Alabama Department of Tourism. The project was developed on Alabama Power Company property through the efforts of LWPOA volunteers and with contributions by Randolph County and local businesses toward the construction of the parking area and the information kiosk. APC provides maintenance of the trail and LWPOA volunteers install bird boxes and native plants and provide upkeep of the kiosk.
Visit the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail on Facebook or the Alabama Birding Trails Website to learn more.
The Fox Creek Birding and Hiking Trail is being updated, including new presentation materials at the Kiosk. The original materials had deteriorated through the effects of sunlight. New materials will include an aerial photo of the area an original painting depicting the site and marvelous photos of some of the spectacular varieties of birds that may be viewed at the site. The painting was executed by local artist Carol Popham, and photos were contributed by Kathy Brown who is a property owner and regular visitor.
Directions: From Wedowee intersection at US 431 and A L48, go west on AL 48 for 9.5 miles. Turn left at boat ramp sign. From Lineville intersection at AL 9 and AL 48, travel east on AL 48 for 9.3 miles and turn right at boat ramp sign.
HAWK (PHOTO BY KAT BROWN)