AOS Fall Meeting Schedule and Registration

 To register online for the Fall Meeting, click here

For information about accommodations on or near Dauphin Island, click here

Unless otherwise noted, all activities begin or occur at:

The Shelby Center, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, 101 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island, AL 36528

FRIDAY, October 12, 2018

7:30 a.m.   Field Trip 

Historic Fort Morgan with Andrew Haffenden

See field trip descriptions below. Please email Andrew at andrew@natsp.com if you plan to attend the Friday field trip to Fort Morgan, so any last minute changes can be sent to you.

5:00 p.m.   Registration, Social Hour

6:00 p.m.   Potluck Supper

Please bring a dish to share! Bring your favorite appetizer for the social hour, a main course dish for supper,                                a dessert, or all of the above!

6:45 p.m.   Announcements

7:00 p.m.    Ken Wills on Exploring Wild Alabama

7:45 p.m.    Members Photography Slide Show

8:30 p.m.   Discussion of Weekend Field Trips

9:00 p.m.   Adjourn

SATURDAY, October 13, 2018

7:00 a.m.    Field Trips (See descriptions below)

Field Trip 1:   Exploring Dauphin Island with Dr. Jared Wolfe

Field Trip 2:   Birds of Pelican Bay Peninsula with Andrew Haffenden

11:30 a.m.   Potluck Lunch at the home of Jennie Stowers

3:00 p.m.    Board Meeting

5:00 p.m.    Registration

5:30 p.m.    Social Hour, Banquet and Keynote Speaker

5:30 p.m.    Social Hour

6:30 p.m.    Banquet

7:15 p.m.    Announcements

7:30 p.m.   Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Jared Wolfe, Research Ornithologist and Author

Equatorial Guinea: Exploration and Conservation in the Country Least Known to Science

9:00 p.m.  Adjourn

SUNDAY, October 14, 2018

7:00 a.m.   Field Trip to Blakeley Island Mud Lakes with Larry Gardella (See description below)

Meeting Place: Cadillac Square

 12:00 p.m.   Compilation

(Includes all bird sightings in Mobile and Baldwin Counties from noon, Friday, October 12, 2018, to noon Sunday, October 14, 2018.)

Meeting Place:  At the Goat Trees.

1:00 p.m.  Adjourn

Field Trips 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Historic Fort Morgan

Trip Leader: Andrew Haffenden

Departure Time: 7:30am

Meeting Place: Cadillac Square

We’ll take the 8am ferry across the mouth of Mobile Bay to historic Fort Morgan, a 30-minute trip. We use the ride as a mini-pelagic, as gannets and other seabirds can often be seen on the way across. Fort Morgan is the #1 rarity site in Alabama, and we’re hoping for something unusual to pop up. Even without that, the woodland birding is usually good in migration, and if there’s been rain the fields can attract a variety of grasspipers and other shorebirds. Peregrine Falcon, Merlin and Bald Eagle are usually seen here. We’ll check the lagoon on the gulf side of the fort for waders, ducks and bitterns and the low scrub for sparrows and other seed-eaters. There’ll also be time for looking at the famous “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead” fort. Lunch will be at Tacky Jack’s, a seafood restaurant overlooking Mobile Bay, the return to the island on the 2pm ferry, unless the birding is so good we stay longer in the fort precinct. For those who don’t want to have lunch, there is a 12.30 ferry back. Non-lunchers can also stay with the group; just getting some water or other drink is OK by the restaurant. Note there is a fee for the ferry crossing and entry to the fort.

 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Field Trip #1:  Exploring Dauphin Island with Dr Jared Wolf

Trip Leader: TBA

Departure Time: 7:00 a.m.

Meeting Place: Cadillac Square

We’ll bird the varied habitats of Dauphin Island with our Keynote Speaker Dr. Jared Wolf, starting at the airport for rails and sparrows, then to the Shell Mounds for warblers, vireos, tanagers and any other Neotropical migrants we can find. In addition to the Shell Mounds we’ll check out the Audubon Sanctuary and other island hotspots, aided by the cellphone network to be rapidly notified of sightings by other birders on the island. We’ll finish in time for the potluck lunch at Jennie Stowers’ house, overlooking Bayou Heron and Graveline Bay.

Field Trip #2:  Birds of Pelican Island

Trip Leader: Andrew Haffenden

Departure: 7:00 a.m.

Meeting Place: Cadillac Square

Join DI resident Andrew Haffenden to get to know the birds of Alabama’s richest beach habitat, Pelican Island (formerly an island, now a peninsula), near the eastern end of Dauphin Island. With an eBird count currently standing at 185 species, Pelican Island is exceptional for a strip of beach and dune 100-150 yards wide and just over 1.5 miles long. We’ll take the opportunity to turn the walk into an easy mini-workshop, quickly learning to separate the small plovers from the small sandpipers and from each other, separating often confusing species such as Caspian and Royal Tern, and learning many ID points rarely seen in the guide books. It’s an easy walk on flat sand, and our distance traveled depends on how close the birds are to the pier. Participants can return to their cars at any time. There’ll be several spotting scopes for general use, which can quickly ramp up your shorebird ID skills. As with the general Dauphin Island outing, we’ll back in time for the potluck lunch.

 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Field Trip to Blakeley Island Mud Lakes

Trip Leader:  Larry Gardella

Departure Time: 7:00 a.m.

Meeting Place: Cadillac Square

The Blakeley Island Mud Lakes are a complex of disposal ponds that attract large numbers of shorebirds and waterfowl. We’ll carpool to the site and walk the dirt road up the dike to view rows of ponds of varying depths.  Expect to see American Avocets, Black-necked Stilts, Mottled Ducks, a variety of sandpipers and a variety of other shorebirds, as well as Gull-billed Terns, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, and raptors such as Peregrine Falcons, Merlins and Northern Harrier. Mud Lakes has often turned up rarities, so the birding is always interesting. We’ll return to Dauphin Island in time for compilation at noon. 

Note: A permit form must be lodged with the State Docks Authority prior to your arrival. Click here:  http://www.aosbirds.org/alabama-birding/blakeley-island/to register in advance. Registration is valid for the rest of the current year.