Alabama Coasting 2019 - Page 16

While the whole island is essentially a bird sanctuary, there are seven specifically designated spots across the island SHELL MOUND PARK Located on the Island’s northern shore and maintained by the Ala- bama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Re- sources Division. This ll-acre site, densely populated with live oaks, represents a botanical wonder found on no other Gulf barrier island. Plant species here have been found as far inland as the Appalachian Moun- tains and as far south as the Yucatan. GOAT TREE RESERVE Above Left: Ash-throated Flycatcher. Above Right: Striking a pose, this snowy egret knows how to love the camera. Below: Bald Eagle. The “Goat Trees,” located near Shell Mound Park, are ancient oak trees with limbs reaching out as far as 50 feet from the trunk and almost parallel to the ground. Listed in the National Wetlands Inventory, these oaks host many of the warblers, vir- eos, and gnatcatchers that visit the island. SEA POINT SAWGRASS Just west of the Ferry Landing this vital habitat for rails and small wad- ers provides over 35 acres of mostly wetland covered with black needle rush and cordgrass. The town plans to preserve the wetlands and sensi- tively develop the dry areas. AUDUBON BIRD SANCTUARY This is the primary site of protect- ed maritime forest habitat on the Island and one of the first areas of migrant bird landfall. Owned and managed by the Dauphin Island Park and Beach Board, this 164-acre site is part of the Alabama Coastal Bird- ing Trail. DIBS works with the Park Board on appropriate management and growth of the sanctuary. 16 ALABAMA COASTING’S DAUPHIN ISLAND LIFE 2019