Dauphin Island 1

I spent Labor Day weekend in Dauphin Island, a barrier island located three miles south of the mouth of Mobile Bay in the Gulf of Mexico.

The island is also known as a top birding spot in the Southeast. It has some beautiful habitats scattered throughout: moss draped Live Oak groves, Tupelo Gum swamps, bottomland hardwood forests, beaches, marshes etc.

From dauphinisland.org:..it is the first landfall for neotropical migrant birds after their long flight across the Gulf from Central and South America each spring. Here these birds, often exhausted and weakened from severe weather during the long flight, find their first food and shelter. It is also their final feeding and resting place before their return flight each fall.

Below are a few pictures from the first day, mainly of the late afternoon into the evening on the beach accessed through the trails at the 164 acre Audubon Bird Sanctuary.

From dauphinisland.org: The dominant trees in the maritime forest are longleaf and slash pine, southern magnolia, live oak, and tupelo gum. A transition zone of white sand dunes separates the forest from the beach. Sea oats cover the dunes, giving way to a sparse covering of pines, scrubby oaks, seaside goldenrod, and lichens.

It is a peculiar thing to walk through a thick forest of pines etc. where you see squirrels, raccoons, forest birds, rabbits and the like then before you know it you start to hear the ocean waves crashing. The pine trees on the dunes/beach are strangely shaped-twisted and top heavy, not at all like the pines I am familiar with:

Then it was back to the motel for the night...


For the rest of the weekend we explored more of the island, went to look at boats and planes in Mobile, saw some fantastic gardens at Bellingrath, watched the birds in the evenings on the jetties/beach. Before we headed home today we visited the Sea Lab Estuarium. And (almost forgot) we saw a wild boar foraging in the grass on the side of the interstate in Mississippi.

I took 797 pictures total.
More to follow soon...


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