AOS Spring Meeting Schedule and Registration

Unless otherwise noted, all activities begin or occur at the Shelby Center, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, 101 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island, AL 36528

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FRIDAY, April 19, 2019

6:30 a.m. Field Trip  (See below for a description of all field trips)

Meeting place: Green Park (next to Ship & Shore)

5:00 p.m. Registration, Social Hour

Where: Shelby Center

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.  Members Photography Slide Show

8:00 p.m.  Discussion of Weekend Field Trips

8:30 p.m. Adjourn

 

 SATURDAY, April 20, 2019

6:45 a.m.  Field Trips

Field Trip 1: Exploring Dauphin Island

Meeting place: Cadillac Square

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

Meeting place: Public Beach and Pier parking lot

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

3:00 p.m. Board Meeting

Where:  Shelby Center

5:15 p.m. Registration

Where: Shelby Center

5:30 p.m. Social Hour

6:30 p.m.  Banquet 

7:15 p.m. Announcements

7:30 p.m.  Keynote Speaker: Dorian Anderson

 “Biking for Birds: 365 days, 18,000 miles, 618 species, 1 amazing adventure”

9:00 p.m. Adjourn

 

SUNDAY, April 21, 2019

6:45 a.m. Field Trip

Meeting place: Green Park (next to Ship & Shore)

12:00 p.m. Compilation

(Includes all bird sightings in Mobile and Baldwin Counties from noon, Friday, April 19, 2019, to noon Sunday, April 21, 2019.)

At the Goat Trees.

1:00 p.m.  Adjourn

FIELD TRIPS

 Note:  All field trip participants must email Andrew Haffenden at andrew@natsp.com to advise of your participation.  Please include your cell phone number if you plan to attend any field trip, so we know how many to expect on each trip and so that any last minute changes can be sent to you. Due to the nature of some sites we may have to restrict the number of participants on a field trip.

Friday, April 19, 2019

 Baldwin County Birds and Blooms

Leader:  Andrew Haffenden

Meeting time:  6:30 a.m., depart 6:45 a.m. sharp.

Meeting place:  Green Park (next to Ship & Shore)

Andrew Haffenden will share his birding skills as we visit a number of sites in Baldwin County.  We’ll start at Splinter Hill Bog, among acres of blooming pitcher plants and many sundews. This bog is one of the largest White-topped Pitcher Plant bogs in America, with four other pitcher plant species also present as well as species of sundews. Our main birding goal, Bachman’s Sparrow, should be singing from exposed perches. Other birds include woodpeckers, Brown-headed Nuthatch, possibly Grasshopper Sparrow and others typical of Longleaf Pine habitat. Next, we return to the coast and Meaher State Park to observe birds from the boardwalk in the shallows of Mobile Bay. The park can hold a variety of birds including shorebirds, herons and egrets, gallinules, Boat-tailed Grackles, Gull-billed Terns and occasionally Anhingas and Roseate Spoonbills. Alligators are also regular here. Continuing along the Mobile Causeway, our next stop (around 11:30-11:45) is a seafood restaurant on the Causeway, where we have views overlooking Mobile Bay while eating some of the best seafood in Alabama. After lunch we return to Dauphin Island, arriving by 3 p.m. in time for the incoming migrants.

            Note: Those not staying on the island can meet us at the bog at 8:15 – 8:30 a.m. If you do arrive earlier than the main group please don’t walk the trail as you may disturb sparrows before the group has a chance to see them.

 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Field Trip #1:  Exploring Dauphin Island with Dorian Anderson

Trip Leader: TBA

Meeting time: 6:45 a.m.

Meeting place: Cadillac Square (the large picnic park on Bienville)

We’ll bird the varied habitats of Dauphin Island with our Keynote Speaker, Dorian Anderson, 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 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.

 

Note: It is important for all participants to meet at Cadillac Square, and not arrive at the airport independently. We need to carpool for this trip, and early airport arrivals can cause rails and sparrows to retreat into the marsh.

 

Field Trip #2:  Birds of Pelican Island

Trip Leader: Andrew Haffenden

Meeting time: 6:45 a.m.

Meeting place: Public Beach and Pier parking lot

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 2 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 be back in time for the potluck lunch.

 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Field Trip to Blakeley Island Mud Lakes

Trip Leader:  TBA

Meeting time: 6:45 a.m.

Meeting place: Green Park (next to Ship & Shore)

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 and along the dikes to view rows of ponds of varying depths. Expect to see American Avocets, Black-necked Stilts, Stilt Sandpipers, and a variety of other shorebirds, as well as Gull-billed Terns, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, and raptors including Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, Mississippi Kite and Northern Harrier. We’ll return to Dauphin Island in time for compilation at noon. Parking is limited at this site so car-pooling is advised.   

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

 Accommodations

Accommodations on the island are limited, so be sure to make reservations early for AOS Meetings on Dauphin Island.

 

Websites:

www.gulfinfo.com

www.dauphinisland.chamber.com

 

Motels:

Gulf Breeze Motel: 251-861-7344 or 1-800-286-0296

 

Bed and Breakfast:

Dauphin Island Harbor House: 251-861-2119

 

Rentals:

Boardwalk Realty, Inc.: 877-861-3992

Dauphin Island Real Estate: 888-707-6444

Tyson Real Estate: 800-865-8312

ACP Real Estate, Inc.: 866-861-3311

 

Camping:

Dauphin Island Park and Beach Board: 251-861-2742

(fully equipped for both camper and tent camping)

 

Air BnB has lots of rentals! www.airbnb.com