The Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary consists of 164 acres of largely maritime pine forest with several miles of trails. It is one of the first areas of migrant bird landfall. Passerines prefer the oak grove of the old Banding Area to the extreme east end of the Campground Trail and the south boundary of the swamp along the Dune Edge Trail. Several of the trails lead to Gaillard Lake, in which may be seen a variety of turtles, occasionally an alligator and both passerine and wading species. Swainson’s Warbler is regularly found at the Banding Area and Black-whiskered Vireo may be found there occasionally. In addition, a Painted Redstart was seen here in spring 2011, which accounted for the second state record.
Bald Eagles can sometimes be seen overhead and Great Horned Owls nest within the sanctuary.
The Sanctuary is owned and managed by the Dauphin Island Park and Beach Board. Of the 445 species officially documented in Alabama presently, 420 (95%) have been observed on Dauphin Island.
You can download a map of the site by visiting this website: http://www.coastalbirding.org/audobon%20guide.htm
GPS: N30.25114 W-88.08761
c/o Dauphin Island Park and Recreation
109 Bienville Blvd. Dauphin Island, AL 36528
Phone: (251) 861-3607
Lake Loop Trail takes the visitor through the maritime forest, where the dominant plants are Loblolly and Slash Pines, Live Oak, Southern Magnolia and Tupelo Gum. It leads by slightly elevated boardwalk from the parking lot to Gaillard Lake, where turtles, an occasional alligator and wading birds can be seen. Those wanting to go further can cross the Dune Edge Trail at the southern western corner of the lake and cross a boardwalk to the beach.
If following directions provided in the Coastal Birding Trail booklet, continue eastward on Bienville Boulevard passing Audubon Street to the Dauphin Island Audubon Bird Sanctuary [0.9]. Turn right (south) onto a small gravel drive (look for the sign) and proceed to the parking area [100 yards]. During peak migration in mid-April, you may have to park in the median on Bienville Boulevard when the parking lot is full. Check the information box in the parking lot for brochures and study the map.
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