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Booker T. Washington State Park
Site Description and Habitats
The park lies on the west bank of the lake, river mile 473.5. This 353-acre park is named in honor of Booker Taliagerro Washington who was born into slavery at Hale's Ford, Virginia, but with great determination secured an education and became president of Tuskegee Institute, a black organization for higher education. The park contains large fragments of hardwood forest, some sizeable Virginia Pine stands, and riparian forest. Be sure to look for birds from the fishing pier and the boat ramp, which are the best areas for viewing the lake at the park.
The park is primarily birded in winter for gull, loons, grebe, and waterfowl, however the woodlands should be quite good in spring and fall. Please report your sightings to eBird!
Bird species of interest
Spring and Fall Migration: Blackpoll (spring only), Black-throated Green Warblers among others may be found. May and August are good times to scan the river for Caspian and Black Tern. Bank and Tree Swallow, Philadelphia Vireo, Swainson's Thrush, among other passerines can be found.Summer: Fish Crow, Eastern Kingbird, Pine Warbler (likely year round), Chimney Swift, Purple Martin, Barn Swallow, Chipping Sparrow, Orchard Oriole, and Indigo Bunting.
Winter: Waterfowl including Redhead, Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Greater and Lesser Scaup, Red-breasted Merganser, Bufflehead and Common Goldeneye, among others. Ring-billed, Herring, and Bonaparte's Gulls, Common Loon, Horned Grebe (sometimes flocks >100 birds on the river), Brown Creeper, Hermit Thrush, Purple Finch, and Dark-eyed Juncos.
Year-Round: Brown-headed Nuthatch, Canada Geese, Bald Eagle, Mallard, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Flicker, and Great Blue Heron.
Rarities Seen at this Site: Surf, Black, and White-winged Scoters, Little Gull, Eared Grebe, Western Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Red-throated and Pacific Loon,
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Detailed directions for birding Booker T. Washington State Park
Upon entering the park, follow the main road and signage to the boat ramp and the fishing pier. Scan the water for gulls, terns, loons, waterfowl, grebes, etc. It's a little tougher to bird late in the day on the river due to the sun setting across the river, but the views are great and you can see all the way to Chickamauga Dam from the boat ramp.
Be sure to check out any wooded areas during spring and fall!
Lat-Long (GPS) coordinates
Additional nearby birding location
Species list via eBird Hotspot Explorer for Vincent Rd Boat Ramp
Harrison Bay State Park is only a few minutes away.
Fees and Hours
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