Magnolia Springs Landfill is a county landfill and is open Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Proceed to the second gate and enter the landfill. Stop by the office to ask permission to access the birding sites. Bird checklists are available in the office. After checking in, drive straight ahead (east) and proceed up the hill. At the top, turn left (north) and park well off to the side of the road.
A path leads to a viewing platform offering birders a vantage point to thoroughly scan for wintering gulls and other birds. Ninety-nine percent of the gulls utilizing the landfill in winter are comprised of Laughing, Ring-billed, and Herring Gulls, but rarities like Franklin’s, Thayer’s, Iceland, Lesser Black-backed, and Glaucous Gulls are all additional possibilities. American Pipits (winter), Fish Crows and both vultures are also regular. In January 2009, a Snow Bunting was seen, accounting for the first state record. As you leave the landfill, be sure to check the small ponds on the west side of the entrance road for waterfowl and shorebirds during the winter months.
Note: While visiting the landfill, take care not to block or otherwise interfere with the heavy machinery. Do not enter the pit area for any reason. View birds from the roadside or designated sites only.
GPS: 30.44683 -87.77292
Magnolia Springs Landfill
15140 County Road 49
Summerdale, AL 36580
If following directions provided in the Coastal Birding Trail booklet, from Graham Creek Nature Preserve (ACBT 18), return west on CR 12 (passing through the Foley Beach Express) to AL 59 [3.0], turn right (north) and proceed to the AL 59/US 98 intersection [3.5]. Turn left (west) onto US 98 and continue to CR 49 in Magnolia Springs [5.0]. Turn right (north) on CR 49 and continue straight through the CR 24 intersection to a sharp curve westward [2.5], and continue another 0.4 miles to the entrance of the landfill on the right (north).