Friday, April 26, 2013

Dauphin Island and Fort Morgan, AL
April 19-21, 2013

Sixteen birders from the middle Tennessee area participated in the extended weekend field trip to Dauphin Island, Alabama that was held during the Alabama Ornithological Society (AOS) spring meeting weekend, April 19-21. Individual schedules varied with some of our NTOS group arriving as early as Thursday afternoon and some staying as late as Monday morning. An informal gathering was held Friday evening at the Dortchs' (former NTOS members) house on Omega Street next to the airport marsh. Many of the trip participants also attended the AOS dinner on Saturday evening and two of our group won door prizes! While numbers of some neotropical migrants were not as extensive as in some meeting springs, there was plenty of variety. One special place was a hedge of bottlebrush shrubs at a house next to Shell Mound Park where a feeding Cape May Warbler provided near continual entertainment all weekend. Other warblers also enjoying the same bottlebrush flowers included Northern Parula, Prothonotary, Tennessee, and Pine warblers plus several Orchard Orioles, whose chatter filled the air.  A Northern Waterthrush put in occasional appearances as well.

Other highlights on Dauphin Island included several Osprey at nesting platforms, a Gray Kingbird (a life bird for some in the group) at the golf course, and a perched Peregrine Falcon at Audubon Park. Splashes of color were also provided by a number of Scarlet and Summer Tanagers and a horde of Indigo Buntings. Members of our group assiduously searched on Dauphin Island and Fort Morgan, which is across Mobile Bay, for Painted Buntings and some were fortunate to see them. A wide variety of shorebirds was found highlighted by Whimbrel, all the expected plovers, and White-rumped, Baird's, and Stilt Sandpipers. In addition to shorebirds and chattering Marsh Wrens, the airport marsh produced several Sora and Clapper Rails, a dancing Reddish Egret, and a Nelson's Sparrow. Fort Morgan at one point had numerous Blackpoll warblers, plus a recurring Merlin, Great Horned Owl, and for a fortunate few, a Cave Swallow.  At least 2 foxes, a nutria, meadow voles, and dolphins were also seen. Comparing lists from several birders, more than 165 bird species were found on the trip, including about 20 species of warblers.

Canada Goose
Blue-winged Teal
N. Shoveler
N. Pintail
Mottled Duck
Red-breasted Merganser
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Reddish Egret
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Brown Pelican
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis
White-faced Ibis
Turkey Vulture
Black Vulture
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Cooper's Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestral
Peregrine Falcon
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Snowy Plover
Wilson's Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Piping Plover
Clapper Rail
American Oystercatcher
Black-necked Stilt
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Ruddy Turnstone
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Wilson's Snipe
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Least Tern
Gull-billed Tern
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern
Common Tern
Forster's Tern
Sandwich Tern
Black Skimmer
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Great Horned Owl
Common Nighthawk
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood Pewee
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Gray Kingbird
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Loggerhead Shrike
White-eyed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-wing Swallow
Bank Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Cave Swallow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Marsh Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Swainson's Thrush
Wood Thrush
Am. Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Cedar Waxwing
European Starling
Worm-eating Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Northern Waterthrush
Prothonotary Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Kentucky Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
American Redstart
Cape May Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Nelson's Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Painted Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Frank Fekel