Dauphin Island, Alabama 36528
See the blog post, Dauphin Island is for the Birds.
Dauphin Island has long been one of the legendary spring birding sites of the Gulf Coast. When the weather is right (usually after rain or a cold front), this barrier island can see what’s called a “fallout,” when birds that have crossed the Gulf of Mexico home in on the first wooded land they spot. A single tree may shelter a mix of a dozen vireos, thrushes, warblers, and other species.
There’s more to Dauphin Island than migrant songbirds, too. The area’s beaches are frequented by many shorebirds, and there’s a mix of seabirds to see in and above the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The bird list for the relatively small island stands at more than 320.
Some bird habitat has been lost to growing commercial development, but several significant wooded areas have been protected, including a 164-acre dedicated bird sanctuary and smaller areas such as Shell Mound Park and Cadillac Square. From mid-March through mid-May, these and other sites will be full of birders enjoying throngs of migrants and hoping for a rarity such as Ash-throated Flycatcher, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, or Painted Redstart. Gray Kingbird and Black-whiskered Vireo appear with some regularity.
Sites including Pelican Point and Bayfront Park are productive for wading birds, gulls, terns, and marsh birds in general.