Posted by: DarkEyedJunc0 | April 24, 2013

Gulf Coast ’13

3 States, 4 Days, 149 Species, 6 Lifers for LAM, 1 for RF.. and lots of surprises!

That is a pretty good summary of what Rob and I encountered in our long weekend in the Gulf Coast April 12-15. Our birding started from the second we stepped off the plane in Mississippi and ended as we stepped on the plane in Alabama!

Sunset on Dauphin Island, AL

Sunset on Dauphin Island, AL

A high-level overview of our itinerary  as follows:

  • Day 1 – Mississippi – the I-90 Corridor and into Alabama (birded the “welcome center” and made our way as sun was setting) to Dauphin Island.
  • Day 2 – Dauphin Island
  • Day 3 – AM Stormy weather – Heavy Rains (did some birding from the covered pier) /PM Birding  through the Delta (Bachman’s Sparrow was primary target)
  • Day 4 – Urban Birding in Louisiana (at Audubon Park in New Orleans.)

Our most coveted bird ( A lifer for both of us)

Bachman’s Sparrow sings its sweet song

My most wanted:


I have always wanted to see an Anhinga…. we headed to a known spot (Audubon Park, New Orleans, LA) and searched.. and searched.. and searched… Just as we gave up and were returning to our car, we spotted something soaring, until it descended and settled in the trees at the rookery!!!!!

Our biggest surprise:

Roseate Spoonbill on the side of the causeway in Mobile, AL

Our second biggest surprise?  Running into people we know from Cape May (who live in Georgia)

Best Shorebird:

Wilson’s Plover

Great to see:

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Brown-headed Nuthatch

A Black-bellied Whistling Duck poses in New Orleans

A Black-bellied Whistling Duck poses in New Orleans

Mottled Duck

Mottled Duck


Amazing Birds seen but not Photographed well (c’mon, you’ve all got these shots on your memory card!):

Magnificent Frigatebird follows a shrimp boat during a storm on Dauphin Island

Magnificent Frigatebird follows a shrimp boat during a storm on Dauphin Island


Swallow-tailed Kite (one of at least 2 seen) dives behind a tree

Complete list below:

Total # of Species: 149
Location(s):   Alabama; Audubon Park; Baldwin; Dauphin Island; Louisiana; Mississippi; Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR; MobileBlack-bellied Whistling-Duck
Canada Goose
Muscovy Duck (Domestic type)
Wood Duck
Mallard (Domestic type)
Mottled Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Red-breasted Merganser
Common Loon
Magnificent Frigatebird
Northern Gannet
Double-crested Cormorant
American White Pelican
Brown Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Reddish Egret
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
White Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Swallow-tailed Kite
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Bald Eagle
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Clapper Rail
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
American Golden-Plover
Wilson’s Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Piping Plover
American Oystercatcher
Black-necked Stilt
Solitary Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Ruddy Turnstone
Least Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Wilson’s Snipe
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Least Tern
Caspian Tern
Forster’s Tern
Royal Tern
Sandwich Tern
Black Skimmer
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Common Nighthawk
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Acadian Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Loggerhead Shrike
White-eyed Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
crow sp.
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
House Wren
Marsh Wren
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Black-and-white Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
American Redstart
Cerulean Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Bachman’s Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow
A heart-felt thank hyou to our hosts for the weekend, Joan and Tom. I am always grateful for your southern hospitality and wealth of knowledge! Looking forward to hosting you in NJ!

Proof that birding is many times more about the PEOPLE!     A heart-felt thank you to our hosts for the weekend, Joan and Tom. I am always grateful for your southern hospitality and wealth of knowledge! Looking forward to hosting you in NJ!






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