Sunday, November 22, 2009

Buford Trout Hatchery - Birding Hot Spot

Location: Buford Trout Hatchery, Cumming, Forsyth County, Georgia, US
Direction: from Interstate 85/985: Travel west on GA Highway 20. After you cross the Chattahoochee River you will turn right onto River Club Dr. (you will be entering a subdivision called Chattahoochee River Club). Travel approximately 1/2 mile on River Club Dr., at 2nd stop sign, turn right onto Trout Place Road (at this stop, you will see a DNR hatchery sign to your right). The hatchery is through the gate at the end of the road.

Or from GA 400: Exit #14 Buford Dam/Lake Lanier. Travel east on GA Highway 20 for approximately 4 1/2 miles, turn left onto River Club Dr. (into the subdivision) and follow the directions above.

Hours: 7:30AM - 4:30PM daily and year round
Street address: 3204 Trout Place Rd., Cumming GA 30041
For information about this hatchery call 770-781-6888


Many people know Buford Trout Hatchery as Cumming Fish Hatchery, which is located in Forsyth County Georgia, on the bank of Chattahoochee Rive just downstream of Lake Lanier and Buford Dam. I first visited this place on a Sunday afternoon and just realized the operating hours was 7:30AM to 4:30PM daily.

Click the bottom corner to see photos in detail.

Later I ran into the onsite manager Patrick Markey. Pat was very passionated about what he is doing to watch this important 24-hour trout operation.We had a pleasant chat about the Hatchery. DNR offers an one hour tour on every Satruday at 1PM. When he found out I am a birder, he mentioned to me he was surprised that how little people know about there are over 140 species of birds observed in the vacinity of Hatchery.

Because of the variety of habitats on the hatchery and its proximity to Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River, inside hatchery the noted Lincoln's Sparrow Trail offers a great place to observe variety of birds.



Lincoln's Sparrow Trail  (photo above)opens to the public during the regular hatchery operating hours year round. Public needs to park their cars in front of building and walk around the office to the trail area. At the begining of this short trail, there is a bulletin board displays birds you might see along the trail. To the left of the bulletin board, there are copies of Buford Hatchery Bird Checklist and a sign-in sheet. According to Pat, one of the Bird Banders studied and banded birds here several years ago and collected the data and composed this valuable bird checklist. To the left of trail is an open field for trout hatchery, where Belted Kingfishers and Great Blue Herons love to stop by daily. Forest area has several nesting boxes for Wood Duck, Bat and Bluebird and it's a great place for song birds and woodpeckers. A large pond (see photo above) is a great place for viewing waterfowl like Hooded Merganser, Pied-billed Grebe and Double Crested Comorant. A wetland area at the end of trail with viewing blinds is a great place to see Mallard, Wood Duck and Canada Goose. You should report any unusual birds you have spotted during your walk on the sign-in sheet and of course, on eBird.

Please also check Arrival and Departure Dates of GA birds before you go there. Report all birds you have spotted on eBird.org and/or GABO-L site.

Birds you might see at this location in their alphabetical order are (you will be able to get a bird checklist at the begining of Lincoln's Sparrow Trail):
Acadian Flycatcher
Acadian Flycatcher
American Bittern
American Crow
American Goldfinch
American Kestrel
American Redstar
American Robin
American Woodcock
Anhiga
Bald Eagle
Barn Swallow
Barred Owl
Bay-breasted Wabler
Belted Kingfisher
Black Vulture
Black-and-white Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blue Grosbeak
Blue Jay
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-headed Vireo
Blue-winged Teal
Broad-winged Hawk
Brown Creeper
Brown Thrasher
Brown-headed Cowbird
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Bufflehead
Canada Goose
Canada Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Wren
Cattle Egret
Cedar Waxwing
Cerulean Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Chimney Swift
Chipping Sparrow
Chuck-will's widow
Cliff Swallow
Common Grackle
Common Loon
Common Nighthawl
Common Yellowthroat
Connecticut Warbler
Cooper's Hawk
Dark-eyed Junco
Double-crested Cormorant
Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Screech Owl
Eastern Towhee
Eastern Wood-Pewee
European Starling
Field Sparrow
Fish Crow
Fox Sparrow
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Gray Catbird
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Great Blue Heron
Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Egret
Great Horned Owl
Green Heron
Hairy Woodpecker
Hermit Thrush
Hooded Merganser
Hooded Warbler
House Finch
House Sparrow
House Wren
Indigo Bunting
Kentucky Warbler
Killdeer
Linclon's Sparrow
Little Blue Heron
Louisiana Waterthrush
Magnolia Warbler
Mallard
Marsh Wren
Mourning Dove
Nashville Warbler
Northern Bobwhite
Northern Cardinal
Northern Flicker
Northern Mockingbird
Northern Parula
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Nothern Harrier
Nothern Waterthrush
Orange-crowned Warbler
Orchard Oriole
Osprey
Ovenbird
Palm Warbler
Philadelphia Vireo
Pied-billed Grebe
Pileated Woodpecker
Pine Siskin
Pine Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Purple Finch
Purple Martin
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-eyed Vireo
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-winged Blackbird
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Sandhill Crane
Savannah Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Solitary Sandpiper
Song Sparrow
Sora
Spotted Sandpiper
Summer Tanager
Swainson's Thrush
Swainson's Warbler
Swamp Sparrow
Tennessee Warbler
Tree Swallow
Tufted Titmouse
Turkey Vulture
Veery
Warbling Vireo
Whip-poor-will
White-breasted Nuthatch
White-crowned Sparrow
White-eyed Vireo
White-throated Sparrow
Wilson's Warbler
Winter Wren
Wood Duck
Wood Thrush
Worm-eating Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-breasted Chat
Yellow-breasted Chat
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Vireo
Yellow-throated Warbler

Data here is obtained from eBIRD.org , GABO-L and my own field trip. I will update the list as I spot more birds.

Final Note: Buford Trout Hatchery Lincoln's Sparrow Trail was made possible by grant money awarded from Georgia's Non-Game license plate for your vehicle. Your support will add fund into this program.
----Linda

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