Coastal, Mobile-Tensaw River Delta Loop | Baldwin | Best Seasons: Fall | Spring | Summer
Located within the headwaters of the Perdido River watershed, Splinter Hill Bog is a biologically rich, Longleaf Pine ecosystem that is characterized by extensive pitcher plant bogs and openly-spaced pines over a gently rolling landscape. It supports a high diversity of plant and animal species that are eclusively dependent on this fire-adapted ecosystem. The Bog is represented by two sub-sites, each featuring a trail system that traverses through several of the bog’s characteristic habitats and offers an opportunity to view many of this ecosystem’s associated bird species year round. Among these are some of North America’s most sought after birds-Bachman’s, Henslow’s and LeConte’s Sparrows.
The two parcels are owned separately by The Nature Conservancy, Forever Wild Land Trust and ADCNR State Lands Division, but together are managed as a large nature preserve accounting for more than 2,200 acres in conservation stewardship.
The Nature Conservancy Property
Along the Splinter Hill Bog trail, look for resident species such as Eastern Wood-Pewee, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Bachman’s Sparrow, Blue Grosbeak and Indigo Bunting. American Kestrel is possible any time of year. The trail leads to a kiosk with additional interpretive signs, brochures and special postings.
DIRECTIONS: If following directions provided in the Coastal Birding Trail booklet, from the Upper Delta WMA, return to AL 59 and turn right (south) and proceed 3.4 miles to CR 96 and turn left (east). Continue on CR 96 and then turn left at CR 47 [8.5] and proceed 3.4 miles to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) parking lot on the right (south). The TNC parcel is approximately 924 acres and is open to the public from March 1 to October 15. From the parking lot follow an easy-to-walk trail with interpretive signs describing the natural features of the preserve
Splinter Hill Bog tract
c/o The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
GPS: N31.02534 W-87.68503
Forever Wild Tract, Splinter Hill Bog
From the parking lot follow a primitive trail north into the property. The trail passes through pine-dominated sandhills, blackwater streams, and several pitcher plant bogs. In the higher, sandy portions of the tract, look for similar species found in the The Nature Conservancy property.
Continuing into the pitcher plant bogs, look for Eastern Wood-Peewee, Loggerhead Shrike and Common Yellowthroat. During the winter months, these bogs are home to Sedge Wren and numerous sparrow species including the coveted Henslow’s and LeConte’s Sparrows. American Woodcock may also be found on the moist hillsides.
Because of the large size of the Splinter Hill Bog tract, be prepared to spend at least a half day and bring plenty of water, snacks and insect repellent.
GPS: N31.02310 W-87.67862
From the TNC parking lot, continue east on CR 47 for 0.4 miles to the Forever Wild Tract parking lot on the left (north). The state-managed parcels make up a combined 1,350 acres and are open year-round. During hunting season, be sure to check the sheltered billboard before entering the property.
5 Rivers Delta Resource Center
5 Rivers sits on the banks of one of the canals that traverse the Mobile-Tensaw delta. The decks of the Delta Hall and the perimeter trail around the facility provide excellent vantage points to observe birds of the surrounding marsh and waterways. I …
Boggy Point Boat Launch, an Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources facility, offers a small beach with an excellent view of Robinson Island, a roosting site for herons and egrets, to the east. Robinson Island offers important habita …
Bon Secour Bay
Bon Secour Bay is found on the eastern edge of Mobile Bay and provides a protected area for wintering waterfowl and seabirds. Scan the bay and the small canal for gulls and tern. Black-crowned Night-herons may be found roosting in the oaks scattered …
Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge – Jeff Friend Trail
The Jeff Friend Trail is a one-mile loop to Little Lagoon. Habitats include maritime forest, freshwater marsh and open water along the north shore of Little Lagoon. A variety of species are possible-waterbirds, raptors, songbirds and other passerines …
Bon Secour NWR – Mobile Street
Mobile Street is a paved road leading to the beach, with a parking area for the one-mile (each way) Gator Lake Trail, which connects Mobile Street with the Pine Beach Trail. This narrow trail can be good for winter birding where you may see Blue-gray …
Bon Secour NWR – Pine Beach Trail
At the Pine Beach trailhead stands an interpretive kiosk with trail maps and bird lists. This is a two-mile trail (each way) southeastward to the beach by way of Little Lagoon and Gator Lake. The hike is an enjoyable walk through a variety of habitat …