Standifer Gap Marsh
Site Directions: Standifer Gap Marsh is located on the northeast side of Chattanooga. From I-75, take Exit 5, Shallowford Road. Go west (to the left from I-75 North, to the right from I-75 South) on Shallowford Road 0.6 miles to the intersection with Hickory Valley Road. Turn right (north) and go 0.7 miles to the first stoplight. Turn left onto Standifer Gap Road. After 0.4 miles, turn right onto a paved entrance road to a new church campus. The marsh area is on your left.
Lat-Long: 35.06241, -85.16726
Hours: daylight hours
Seasonality: year round
Site Description: The site is a cattail marsh with some large pockets of open water, bordered by stands of wet grasses, sedges, and bulrushes. Margins also contain willows and other moisture loving hardwoods and shrubs. According to Pastor Lindon, the pastor to the previous owners of the church where the marsh is located, the marsh was in somewhat its present day condition until about 30 years ago when it dried up. It then was used as pasture land with mowed grass for a couple of decades. About 1990, it filled up again with water. It is primarily spring fed, with some additional drainage from surrounding land, including some coming from under the railroad tracks.
Wildlife to Watch: Virginia Rails have been found in all seasons, and, along with Least Bitterns, nest in the marsh. Other species present in the summer include Green Herons, Willow Flycatchers, Common Yellowthroats, Orchard Orioles, and abundant Red-winged Blackbirds. Small numbers of shorebirds such as yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpipers, and Solitary Sandpipers are present during the spring and early fall, and Wilson's Snipe are present during the winter. The marsh edge and nearby grasslands and shrubby areas provide habitat for various species of sparrows from fall through spring, Bobolinks in the spring, Northern Bobwhite, Blue Grosbeaks, Killdeer, and Eastern Meadowlarks.
For more information:
Tennessee Ornithological Society - Audubon Important Bird Area site description
Tennessee Ornithological Society - Site Details
Chattanooga Chapter of Tennessee Ornithological Society site description
Birds of Standifer Gap Marsh from eBird submissions
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