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Pickwick Landing State Park

Birding Seasons:
Spring A
Summer B
Fall A
Winter A+

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Site Description and Habitats

Pickwick Landing State Park is located just south of Pickwick Dam. The park has several lake access points, including a boat ramp. Wide views of the river and dam are excellent for viewing birds on the water. The park contains 1,400 acres of forested hills and hollows. There is also a 2.8 mile hiking trail to explore. The park also has a conference center, ball fields, golf course, and other amenities.

While at the state park, be sure to visit the Pickwick Dam Landing, which is just north of the dam. On the north side of the dam there is an access road on the west side to a boat ramp, campground, and parking lot where you can view the downstream side of the dam.

Bird species of interest

Spring and Fall Migration: A wide variety of passage migrant warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and thrushes can occur. Waterfowl, loons, gulls and terns can be found.

Summer: Prothonotary Warbler, Purple Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawk.

Winter: Gulls and loons are the highlights of Pickwick Landing State Park. Small numbers of waterfowl can be found. Red-breasted Nuthatch occurs in most years. Golden Eagles have also been found. Look for Lesser Black-backed Gull, Bonaparte's, and Herring Gulls, among other rarer species that are possible.

Year-Round: Bald Eagle, American Coots, Brown-headed Nuthatch.

Rarities Seen at this Site: Thayer's, California, Glaucous, Laughing, and Sabine's Gulls. Tennessee's only Ivory Gull occurred here in 1996. During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, several extremely rare Tennessee birds were found including Black Skimmer, Sooty Tern, South Polar Skua, Band-rumped Storm Petrel, among others.

Species list via eBird Hotspot Explorer - State Park

Species list via eBird Hotspot Explorer - Pickwick Dam

Submit your data to eBird here

Detailed directions for birding Pickwick Landing State Park

From Savannah, TN, travel south on Hwy 128 to Pickwick Dam and the State Park.

From Memphis, TN and points west, follow Hwy 57 directly to the State Park.

Upon entering the park, travel to the lake shore, boat ramp or hiking trails. Obtain a map of the park and explore.

The lakeshore scanning is best with a scope. Look for Common Loons (and Pacific and Red-throated), grebes, gulls, terns, and waterfowl. Gulls roost on the pylons above the dam, but the distance is great. The woods around the park can be excellent for woodland birding. All three nuthatches can be found in winter when Red-breasted are around. Brown-headed Nuthatches have been found in the area for many years.

Also visit the dam landing on the north side of the dam. Scan here for gulls in winter, Long-tailed Duck, and a variety of waterbirds.

Lat-Long (GPS) coordinates:
Entrance to the State Park: 35.052132, -88.242534
Pickwick Landing State Park, lake and dam viewing: 35.058561, -88.236891
State Park Boat Ramp: 35.056805,-88.232492
Access road to the area below the dam: 35.074859, -88.254915

Fees and Hours No fees are required to access these areas. Park office is open 8am - 4:30pm Mon-Fri, but park is open 7 days a week. Check park web site for more information.

There are restroom facilities at the Conference Center, in addition to lodging and a restaurant. There are also restrooms at the parking lot below the dam.

Pickwick Landing State Park web site
116 State Park Lane
Counce, TN 38326

Info for other sites
Tennessee's Watchable Wildlife web site