Altamaha WMA--Champney Island

About this Location

Champney Island is a walk-in area of the Altamaha Wildlife Management Area located on the west side of US-17. The entrance is directly across US-17 from the River Park boat ramp which is on the east side of the highway.

About Altamaha Wildlife Management Area

See all hotspots at Altamaha Wildlife Management Area

The Altamaha Wildlife Management Area is composed of units on the east and west sides of US-17, south of Darien. The east side of the road has impoundments and towers to view marsh birds and ducks in the appropriate season.

The Altamaha Waterfowl Management Area consists of 3,154 acres of managed waterfowl impoundments and some 27,000 acres of bottomland hardwoods and cypress-tupelo swamps. Impoundments built as part of Ducks Unlimited's M.A.R.S.H. (Matching Aid to Restore States' Habitat) program provide an excellent wildlife viewing area with several towers. The impoundments are located on the remains of an old rice plantation. Many of the rice fields are managed to benefit waterfowl and other wildlife species.

Types of Birds: Birds of prey, shorebirds, songbirds, wading birds, waterfowl, raptors

Best Birding Seasons: Songbirds (all), shorebirds (all), wading birds (all), waterfowl (fall and winter), raptors (fall and winter)

Specialties: Wood stork, swallow-tailed kite, bald eagle, king rail, painted bunting, mottled duck, wood duck, white ibis, glossy ibis

Tips: Look for common snipe feeding in exposed muddy areas. In summer, look for wood ducks. In fall and winter, black ducks, pintails, green-winged teal, northern shovelers and other waterfowl can be seen in the impoundment. Look for rails darting through the vegetation in the impoundment. Bald eagles can be spotted in winter and spring.

Directions: Take Exit 49 on I-95 at the junction of I-95 and GA-251 (Briardam Road). Travel east on GA-251 to the junction of GA-251 and US-17. Turn right (south) on US -7 and continue through Darien. The entrance to the Ansley Hodges M.A.R.S.H. Project will be approximately 3.5 miles on the right.

Content from Steve Holzman and Georgia Colonial Coast Birding Trail (Altamaha WMA)