The Blakely Island Mud Lakes are a complex of disposal ponds that host a wide array of shorebirds and waterfowl. After parking , walk the dirt road up the dike. Continue east on the dike road, remembering not to leave the dike for any reason. Depending on water levels and time of year, the first pond on the right (south) often offers the best conditions for viewing waterfowl like Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Mottled Duck, and Northern Shoveler, and various shorebirds, gulls and terns. This is also one of the best places to find White-rumped and Baird’s Sandpipers in late spring.
GPS: N30.72378 W-88.03659
NOTE: This notice only applies to the Blakeley Island Mud Lakes Disposal Areas. The Mud Lakes are former industrial waste treatment sites and the waters in these dredge material management ponds can be extremely caustic. The ponds are currently used for the disposal of dredge materials by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Alabama State Port Authority. Do not leave the road or the tops of the dikes for any reason! Entry to the upper ponds is by permit only and requires the annual submission of a liability waiver form to the Alabama State Port Authority and notification of a visit beforehand. Weekdays call 251-441-7085, and on weekends call 251-441-7777 to notify the Port Authority of your intention to visit.
You may download the required forms from the Alabama Ornithological Society (AOS) web site at www.aosbirds.org/blakeley.php. The forms may be mailed to the Alabama State Port Authority (the address is on the forms) or faxed to: 251-441-9395. The AOS web page also has a map indicating which ponds are currently open to visitors. Insect repellent is in order. Be advised: any of the following trips are potentially long, hard, hot walks, so prepare accordingly.
DIRECTIONS: If following directions provided in the Coastal Birding Trail booklet, continue north from the traffic light to the locked gate [0.8], access Mud Lakes, park well out of the way, and walk the dirt road up the dike. Continue east on the dike road, remembering not to leave the dike for any reason.