Coastal, Dauphin Island - Bayou La Batre Loop | Mobile | Best Seasons: Fall | Spring | Winter
Dauphin Island Airport is set in a salt water marsh where Clapper Rail (common) and Virginia Rail and Sora (fairly common in fall and winter), though secretive can be found.
Other potential birds to be seen at the Dauphin Island Airport: Yellow Rail is very rare in winter as is Black Rail most of the year. Least Bittern is a breeding bird, but very secretive. Nelson’s and Sharp-tailed Sparrows may be seen in the marsh and grasses near the interpretative panel. Scan the grasses on either side of the runways for migrating Bobolink and other passerines.
At low tide, the ponds to the Sound side (north) are good for shorebirds and long-legged waders, particularly Snowy and Reddish Egret. Keep an eye out for Tri-colored Herons. Also in winter, scan the bay for waterfowl including Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Red-breasted Merganser, Horned and Eared Grebes. Barn, Northern Rough-winged and Cliff Swallows congregate on the power line during the breeding season, along with Red-winged Blackbirds and Northern Mockingbirds. There is an active Osprey nest in the south part of the marsh. If your visit is timed right, you may observe the parents feeding their hatchlings. During spring and fall migration check the brush and trees near Omega Street for passerines, particularly after a front with strong west winds. This is the time and place for possible vagrants.
The airport is a county-owned public-use facility in Mobile County, Alabama, just northwest of the central business district of Dauphin Island. Observe the no trespassing signs for the Dauphin Island airport proper. Though this is a small general aviation strip there is regular helicopter traffic out to the gas wells in the Gulf.
GPS: N30.25746 W-88.12391
The airport provides an excellent and up-close opportunity to watch the adjacent marsh from the parking lot or from your car. Tri-colored Heron, rails and many other wading birds can be seen from the paved parking area. An Osprey nest is visible as well.
If following directions provided in the Coastal Birding Trail booklet, return along Bienville Boulevard back to the water tower. Continue to the next intersection and turn right (north) on Lackland Street after passing the town hall on the left. Proceed on Lackland two blocks to Chaumont Avenue, turn left (west) and continue on Chaumont to Omega Street. Bear right toward the airport where there is salt marsh on both sides of the road. Continue to the end of the road and park.
Amenities Available: Wheelchair Accessible
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