A Weekend at Dauphin Island
While trekking through Alabama we made a little weekend stop off to Dauphin Island. They have a nice campground and we scored some tickets to their first SeaGrass Music Festival.
To get to Dauphin Island you cross over a 3 mile bridge just south of Mobile Bay. The island is only 1 ¾ miles wide and a stretch of white sand and blue water for 14 miles. It sounds terrible doesn’t it!
The entire island has been designated as a bird sanctuary and so naturally, we had to go bird watching. We’ve never really been bird watching, other than watching other people watching birds…does that count? So, we enlisted the help of Don a local birder to help us along for our first time. We didn’t really know what to expect. We figured it would go one of two ways. One would be that we would be part of some bird crazy cult by the time we were done and the second was that it would be kind of boring and we would walk away and that would be our last birding experience.
Good news, it was neither of our predictions. We met up at the Shell Mound (a birding hot spot) where Don leads groups often but, one of the first things he taught us was to get away from any crowds, “they scare away the birds”. He showed us neat bird watching apps that play the sounds and show pictures of the birds to make it easier to identify. He not only knew his birds, but his flowers and fauna too, so we got quite the education.
The bad news…birds move a lot! Jason couldn’t get a clear shot! I don’t think I have ever seen him so frustrated and cursing in such a serene place before. It was really funny, for me at least. He did manage to snap a few pics along the way. I am hoping that Don will comment below to remind me which birds they are because I can’t remember for the life of me! I suppose I am a poor student.
We also made a fun stop at the Sea Lab. They have a great collection of educational information and marine life from the area. I especially love the exhibits where you get to feed and touch!
The marine biologists have the cool job of diving down, grab samples and a few local critters and bring back them back to the lab for educational and research purposes. If you find yourself in the area, it’s a fun stop!
Disclaimer: A big thanks to Dauphin Island for hosting our visit. All of our experiences and opinions are NOT purchased and are our own.
Dauphin Island was one of the unexpected jewels of our trip around the Gulf a few years back after my wife, newborn son, dog, and I first started RVing, trying to stay on roads as close to the ocean as possible. It was far enough east to have nice beaches but just west of the developed coastline known as Florida. We took the trip in December and the weather was pleasant and hardly anyone was there. A few moments that stick in my head are: when passing through Bayou La Batre on 188, looking over when crossing the bridge and seeing all the shrimp boats lining the inlet; how at night you can see the lights from all the oil rigs from the beach; and the ferry ride that took us across the bay with our RV into Ft.Morgan when leaving. We are definitely planning to return soon. Thanks for doing what you do and being who you are. Y’all (as they say in Alabama) are a great inspiration!
Thanks Chris 🙂
If you enjoyed birdwatching on Dauphin Island, you should really check out alabamabirdingtrails.com/counties/mobile/ all the surrounding areas for watching birds as well. There are 50 sites located along Alabama’s Gulf Coast–and fall migration is just about to get started in earnest!
Thanks for sharing Joe!
You guys should come towards North Alabama. We have great places like the Space and Rocket Center, Guntersville Lake, Monte Sano, and other great places to see and do.
Is that a tiny gator? It looks a lot smaller than the one on the kayak trip!
Julia Bach Photography
That looks super fun! Dont touch the animals nikki!