The West End of Dauphin Island is birding paradise. Recognized by the American Bird Consevancy as a Globally Important Bird Area in the Southeast Coastal Plain Bird Conservation Region, the West End is a primary staging area during migration and prime habitat for nesting Least Tern and Snowy and Wilson’s Plover. One of Hurricane Katrina’s impacts on the West End Dauphin Island was a mile long breach, cutting off a portion of the island. It is now inaccessible. The breach has been filled with large boulders and it is advised that no attempt be made to cross over.
From the parking and concession area to the beginning of the “Cut” is now an extensive sand flat, flooded at low tide. Least Terns and the plovers nest on the small dunes next to the parking area. Tidal pools host large numbers of shorebirds year round. Reddish Egret and Great Blue Herons feed in amongst the sandpipers. Gulls, terns and Brown Pelicans loaf along the boulders at the edge of the cut. Watch for seabirds and waterfowl offshore and raptors overhead.
DIRECTIONS: If following directions provided in the Coastal Birding Trail booklet, from the parking lot, turn right (south) onto Omega Street and proceed to Bienville Boulevard. Turn right (west) on Bienville and continue westward after the boulevard turns to two lanes, and proceed to the parking lot at the end of the road just beyond the turnaround. Parking is not allowed at the turnaround just before the parking lot. Admission is charged at the parking lot when the beach concessions are open. Picnic tables and public restrooms are available here. A spotting scope is recommended to take full advantage of the birding at this locale.
Upon completing your birding, return to the water tower.
GPS: N30.24877 W-88.19136