Coden Belt Road is a hidden treasure on the coast. Just before the westward bend, scout the small backwater to the left for waders. A view of Mississippi Sound toward Dauphin Island is beyond. At the bend, Clark Road changes to Coden Belt Road. This is a mile-long road that returns to AL 188 at the bridge. Rolston Park will be on your right, with restrooms and picnic pavilions. Red-headed Woodpeckers have been observed here. Cruise slowly westward, checking the numerous pilings on your left. Each one will have its gull, tern, Brown Pelican or Double-crested Cormorant resting on top. Look carefully among the larger birds for Ruddy Turnstone.
On occasion, Spotted or Soliltary Sandpiper will coast along the shoreline. Some of the residences to the right have Purple Martin houses in the yard which are happily occupied in the springtime. There will be a few sandbars exposed at low tide, which may be good for shorebirds, gulls and terns. Occasionally a large flock of Black Skimmers can be viewed out over the water. Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot and Dunlin may be found in winter on the sandbars.
If it’s a cold winter there may be bay ducks out on the water. Continue around the next bend to a dirt pull-off just prior to the shipyard. Scan the waters close in for shorebirds and waders. Further out, you may see flocks of gulls floating in the water.
DIRECTIONS: If following directions provided in the Coastal Birding Trail booklet, From AL 188, turn left (south) at Clark Road.
GPS: N30.37155 W-88.22811