Jane and Jerry and I were not far apart this past weekend.  We went to Dauphin Island for the Alabama Ornithological Society fall meeting.  

En route through Mississippi, we stopped at Noxubee NWR especially for the Red-cockaded Woodpeckers and Brown-headed Nuthatches.

Birds on the island were scarce compared to most years (the weather had been too good).  A few lingering warblers were about, including a very cooperative Nashville that was a "best bird" for many.  Location, location!  We'd been seeing many Nashvilles in central and southern MO, as expected, but one on Dauphin Island in fall is unusual.

A weekend on Dauphin Island with AOS is a special time, something Missouri birders have enjoyed too infrequently.  For those of you who've been, here is a "walk down memory lane" and for those who haven't visited Dauphin Island, here is a hint of why you might think of planning a trip.

Pelican Island is now Pelican Peninsula, connected by sands from recent hurricane changes.  A walk on the beach provided views of 18 Red Knots, all three small plovers (no Wilson's), Black-bellied Plovers, Willets, Mottled Ducks, Dunlin, Royal, Caspian, Sandwich and Gull-billed Terns, a Lesser Black-backed Gull with the Laughing, Herring and Ring-billed, formations of Brown Pelicans, Reddish Egret, Sanderlings, Ruddy Turnstones, and an Oystercatcher.

The airport marsh held a few cooperative Clapper Rails, a confiding Nelson's Sparrow, and more difficult to see Le Conte's and Seaside Sparrows.

The Shell Mounds had more mosquitoes than birds, but we did see 7 or 8 species of warblers, a couple of vireos, and a Swainson's Thrush.

A Western Kingbird was on the same utility line at the FDA facility as the one we saw in 2003.

Brown-headed Nuthatch and Pine Warbler were in Gullfview Park at the mainland end of the causeway. 

At a freshwater pond near Grand Bay were Glossy Ibis, A W Pelicans, Wilson's Snipe, many Black-bellied Plovers, Little Blue Heron, Great Egret.

Bodacious birding, indeed!

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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On Oct 15, 2012, at 7:35 PM, Jane Frazier wrote:

On a visit this past weekend to the Mississippi Gulf Coast I was able to bird a short while the beach at Bay. St. Louis and the area. My results are "everyday" birds for folk down there but I was glad to start birding this environment. Seen: Laughing Gulls-over 1000, Brown Pelicans- 150, DC Cormorants-20, Osprey-1, Great Egret-1, Snowy Egret-1, Black Vultures-6, Summer Tanager-1. Saw a flock of small shorebirds flying, but no ID possible.
Binder Monday has a handful of dabbling ducks- Shoveler, Widgeon, Gadwall. Also 3 DC Cormorants were there. As Kathleen Anderson notes, the lone Pelican is still there and sitting on a post. Hope some cool weather will push more ducks down.
Jane Frazier
Jefferson City  

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