The Parklands

Top 5: Spots to Look for Migrant Birds

You can’t go anywhere in cyberspace these days without encountering a list of some type or another – so why should this space be any exception?

Here are Five Good Places to Look for Migrant Birds in The Parklands of Floyds Fork. They are by no means the only such spots (not enough history out at Broad Run yet to point to any one location), but they are all easy to get to and should yield a nice variety of birds over the next three or four weeks.

American Bittern, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology


  1. Beckley Creek ParkHumana Grand Allee wetlands and nearby. This spot offers a good diversity of habitats and attracts relative rarities such as Marsh Wren (mostly in the fall, though), Sora, and on one memorable late April day two years ago, a very elusive American Bittern. If the nearby fields have standing water, they often attract migrating shorebirds. Directions
  2. Beckley Creek ParkBlack Willow Trail west of the Sara and W.L. Lyons Brown Bridge. The bend in Floyds Fork at the south end of the Grand Alee seems to draw flocks of both resident and migrant warblers, mixed with other songbirds. Directions
  3. Turkey Run ParkSky Dome area. Another spot with good habitat diversity. Look for migrating sparrows, warblers and thrushes. Marsh Wrens (again, mostly in the fall) and Soras have been seen at Duck Pond in the Bullfrog Crossing area. The Sky Dome overlook is a great place from which to scan the skies for migrating hawks. Directions
  4. Pope Lick Park – the “old road” area. The abandoned stretch of road that runs parallel to Floyds Fork east of the soccer fields lies between big sycamores and other large trees in the riparian corridor and mixed shrubby woods and a few grassy areas. As with the other top spots, diverse habitat makes for diverse birds. Rarities found here have included Black-billed Cuckoo and Mourning Warbler. Directions to John Floyd Fields Mourning Warbler – The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  5. Beckley Creek ParkCoppiced Woods Trail above Floyds Fork. Walk a loop from the North Beckley Creek Paddling Access down the Louisville Loop to the intersection with the Coppiced Woods Trail. Hike up to the ridge overlooking the creek and follow the trail to where it crosses the Louisville Loop again. Then return to the starting point by walking the Louisville Loop along Floyds Fork. The ridgeline and creek corridor attract vireos, warblers, thrushes and flycatchers. Directions to North Beckley Paddling Access

In the next two months, there are several opportunities to join a bird walk in The Parklands of Floyds Fork, courtesy of Louisville’s Beckham Bird Club.

I will be leading five of them:

  • April 29, 2017 – Beckley Creek Park – Humana Grand Allee Section
  • April 30, 2017 – Turkey Run Park – Brown-Forman Silo Center to Sky Dome
  • May 6, 2017 – Beckley Creek Park – PNC Achievement Center area
  • May 7, 2017 – Pope Lick Park – John Floyd Fields area
  • May 20, 2017 – Broad Run Park – Cliffside Center area

On June 11, local birding legends Pat and Jane Bell will lead another trip to the Humana Grand Allee section of Beckley Creek Park.

The Beckham Bird Club welcomes guests. Its field trips are an opportunity to go out with knowledgeable leaders. The trips usually include a mix of experience and skill levels, including beginners.

For details on the trips, check out the BBC’s website:

Andrew Melnykovych began birding at age 10 and has birded seriously for about half the intervening 55 years. He is the field trip coordinator and vice president of the Beckham Bird Club.
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