Prothonotary warbler, Sharon Milligan

 

Prothonotary Warbler

Photo by Sharon Milligan

 

  Latest MS Coastal Bird Checklist  for your next outing (revised October 2015).


NEW FALL 2017, for serious Mississippi Coast Birders!  Ned Boyajian's Annotated Checklist for Birding Coastal Mississippi.

 

For more information about MCAS please

call (601) 909-5383 (this number forwards to MCAS)

 

 

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Mississippi Coast Audubon Society

Fall Saturday Field Trip Schedule 2017


All are welcome on our birding field trips!  Bring your own binoculars.  Some trips require preregistration – see details.  Others need no advance notice, but keep weather in mind.  Contact field trip leaders (addresses below) for more information if needed.

Need more information? Contact us at mscoastaudubon@gmail.com
or call (no text)
(601) 909-LETE, (601) 909-5383


AUGUST Saturdays:

8/26   Strictly for Beginners!  Birding Beaches and Parks, Harrison County

Leader: Millie Page millie.page@gmail.com, (228) 324-8317.

Want to know what all the fun is about?  Join Millie at the beach for a gentle introduction to the wonderful world of birding.  She’ll help you learn how to choose and use binoculars, when and where to find birds, using a field guide or birding without one, and why we think birding is great for the body, brain, and psyche.  Bring binoculars if you have them, water, and lots of questions. 

Place and time: Biloxi Lighthouse, 7:30am (MAP).

Conditions:  Easy walking.  After beach we may drive to a park.


SEPTEMBER Saturdays
:

9/2   Logtown and Possum Walk, Hancock County

Leader: June Ladner JuneLadner@ymail.com (601) 795-7853

A variety of habitats rich in fall migrants.  Logtown is on the Mississippi Coast Birding Trail:  more info at http://mscoastbirdingtrail.audubon.org/logtown.html.

Place and Time
: Meet at the Stennis Exit (I-10 Exit 2) Welcome Center in Bay St Louis between 7:15 and 7:30 AM (
MAP).

Conditions:
Easy walking trail, up to 3 miles.

9/9   Seaman Road Lagoons, Jackson County 

Leader: Sharon Milligan 2sharon123@gmail.com (228) 861-1622

One of our most popular field trip venues, not otherwise open to birders - always a great variety of birds, with good opportunities for photos. Bring your binoculars, scope, refreshments, etc.

Place and time: Meet at the park and ride at I-10 exit 50, Ocean Springs next to Denny's (MAP), between 7:15 and 7:30 AM. 

Conditions: Slow driving with stops. IMPORTANT: This is a working facility. You MUST stay with leaders while on site. Call Sharon (above) if you have questions about policy.

 

9/16   Diamondhead Hummingbird Festival, Hancock County

MCAS defers this weekend to this popular festival. Check out all the details at https://www.facebook.com/Diamondhead-Hummingbird-Festival-528927483917778/

 

9/23  Ansley Preserve, Hancock County

Leader: Ned Boyajian nedrbo@gmail.com (228) 332-1329.

Coastal chenier migrant trap. This site is part of the Mississippi Coastal Birding Trail: more information at http://mscoastbirdingtrail.audubon.org/ansley-preserve.html.

Place and time:  Meet at Ansley preserve parking lot (MAP), between 7:15 and 7:30am. (Driving directions: From Hwy 90 in Waveland, south on Lower Bay Road 71/2 miles to Heron Bay Road (34th St). Left onto Heron Bay Road ~ 2 1/2 miles to Preserve).

Conditions: Alternating short walks with short drives. Biting bugs may be present. Most walking areas should be dry.

 

9/30   Graveline Beach and Lake Mars Pier, Jackson County. 

Leaders: Janet Wright (jwright01@cableone.net), 228 238-4099, Charley Delmas, Tom Butera

Part of Mississippi's last remaining natural beachfront, Graveline Beach has a wide array of shore and marsh species. Lake Mars Pier is on the Mississippi Coastal Birding Trail: more info at http://mscoastbirdingtrail.audubon.org/lake-mars-pier.html

Place and time
: Meet at end of Beach Street in Ocean Springs (St Andrews area; GPS address is 4000 Beach Street, Ocean Springs,
MAP), 8:00am.

Conditions
: Walking on somewhat overgrown beach (flipflops not recommended). No bathroom facility.

 

OCTOBER Saturdays except where noted:

10/7   Pascagoula Medley, Jackson County

Leaders:  Brian Johnston, johnston127235@bellsouth.net, (228) 806-1712; Lucy Jacobson
The Pascagoula area has some hidden gems for birding. We’ll start at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center (PRAC) with forest and marsh habitats, then visit 2-3 other spots according to what’s good.

Place and time : Meet at Pascagoula River Audubon Center parking lot in Moss Point (5107 Arthur St, MAP), 8:00am.

Conditions: Alternating short walks with short drives.  NOTICE: Please bring a $5 cash donation for the PRAC portion unless you are a PRAC member – or join PRAC before coming!

10/10 (Tuesday)  Dauphin Island, Mobile County, Alabama

NOTICE:  THIS IS A TUESDAY TRIP, NOT SATURDAY!

Leader: Don McKee dmckee001@gmail.com (228) 238-2473.

The coast’s premier migrant trap, always a hotspot in fall. Brush up on your “confusing fall warblers” and take advantage of expert help.

Place and time:  Meet at Cadillac Square, 661 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL (MAP), 7:30-8:00am.

Conditions: Some walking, lots of observing from fixed points.

 

10/14  Ship Island, Harrison County

Leader: Dave Reed vickianddave1@gmail.com (985) 788-0536.

Join Ship Island Excursions for a trip to the barrier islands! Several species of Plovers good possibilities; Red Knot and/or one of the rarer gulls not unreasonable. Depending on weather could be a variety of migrants, and always a chance of a rare surprise. 

Place and time: Meet at Gulfport Harbor around 8:30am Ship Island Excursions dock (MAP) to board the boat which departs at 9am.  Ship Island Excursions, Gulfport, MS. Ticket prices:  Adult $29, Senior $27. http://www.msshipisland.com for more information.

Conditions: Birding near fort and beach, then walking up to  ~5 miles on beach, but participants can opt out or shortcut at any point. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen. There are restrooms on the ferry.  On the island, there are restrooms at the Fort on the north side of the island and snack bar on the south side of the island.  If there is a threat of bad weather, you can call Ship Island Excursions at 228-864-1014 for the status of the trip that day.

NOTE: Alternate day Sunday, Oct 15, 2017 if cancelled due to weather.


10/21   MISSISSIPPI COASTAL CLEANUP, at a site near you! No field trip, but take this opportunity to help clean up our coastal habitats for birds and people.  Volunteers participate 8-11:00am.  See details and updates at https://www.facebook.com/mscoastalcleanup.

 

10/28    Hancock County Beaches, Hancock County

Leader: Barbara Bowen bbwilletslp@yahoo.com (602) 319-0538. Shorebirds and more!  Including but not limited to Washington St. Pier, the new Marina, the Yacht Club and/or beaches west of Washington St. Pier – possibly forested areas north of the Yacht Club if conditions are right.

Place and time: Meet at Washington St. Pier in Bay St Louis (MAP), 7:30 AM.

Conditions:
  Short beach walks with driving from site to site.

 

NOVEMBER Saturdays except where noted:

11/3 (Friday) and 11/4 (Saturday)  Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge, Jackson County

Leader: MSCNWR Staff.  Pre-register: Janet Wright mscoastaudubon@gmail.com, (228) 238-4099.

Bird safari-style with the Crane Refuge’s own guides!   In addition to Mississippi Sandhill Cranes, we will be looking for grassland and other birds of the wet pine savanna, on Refuge lands not usually accessible to the public.  MCAS has TWO reserved time slots, Friday and Saturday morning.  Please choose Friday if you can, to leave the Saturday slot for worker bees.  ONLY 8 BIRDERS EACH DAY, so you must SIGN UP AHEAD – call or email Janet Wright (mscoastaudubon@gmail.com, 228 238-4099).

Place and time:  Meet at the Crane Refuge Visitor Center at 7200 Crane Lane, Gautier, MS (MAP) at 8:00am the morning of the tour (Friday Nov 3 or Sat Nov 4); come a few minutes early to use the restroom facilities, as the tour is 2 hours. Bring binoculars and field guides; there is room for one or two scopes.

Conditions:  Driving in Refuge van, but there may be opportunities to get out, so wear comfortable shoes that can get a little wet or muddy; wear layers for variable weather.

 

11/11  McLeod State Park, Hancock County

         Leader: Joe Pettigrew petigru@aol.com (228) 493-8733.

Wooded trail through mixed hardwood forest and bayhead swamp, with views of the Jourdan River for water birds.  Varied habitat with such species as Blue-headed Vireo, Brown Creeper, Golden-Crowned Kinglet not easily seen elsewhere.  This site is on the Mississippi Coastal Birding Trail http://mscoastbirdingtrail.audubon.org/mcleod-state--park.html.

Place and time: Meet at the Hancock High School parking lot near the access road at 7:30am. (Take I-10 exit 13. Proceed north on MS 603/43 for 1.3 miles. Go left onto Stennis Airport Rd. Go 0.8 miles and High School will be on the right; MAP).

Conditions:  2.5 mile walking trail.

 

11/18   Seaman Road Lagoons, Jackson County

Leader: Sharon Milligan 2sharon123@gmail.com (228) 861-1622

A second chance at one of our most popular field trip venues, not otherwise open to birders - always a great variety of birds, with good opportunities for photos. Bring your binoculars, scope, refreshments, etc.

Place and time: Meet at the park and ride at I-10 exit 50, Ocean Springs next to Denny's (MAP), between 7:15 and 7:30 AM. 

Conditions: Slow driving with stops. IMPORTANT: This is a working facility. You MUST stay with leaders while on site. Call Sharon (above) if you have questions about policy.

 

11/25  Give Thanks for our Birds!  No MCAS trip this weekend, but take yourself and your holiday guests out on the Mississippi Coastal Birding Trail, or at least get outside.  It’s a beautiful time of year to be on the Mississippi Coast.  Some great family spots: Buccaneer State Park in Hancock County, Bethel Bike Trail in Harrison County, Gulf Islands National Seashore or Grand Bay NERR in Jackson County.  Explore the Coast, and take your binoculars!

 

DECEMBER Saturdays

 

12/2    Grand Bay NERR by boat, Jackson County

Leader: Mark Woodrey (Mark.Woodrey@msstate.edu)

(Limit 15 Participants) Our focus on this boat trip will be waterfowl, shore, wading and marsh birds.  This is a great time of year for birding in the Grand Bay NERR/NWR with a high species diversity guaranteed. Bring along some water/drinks and snacks appropriate for the field. Rubber knee boots or other footwear you can get wet and muddy are recommended.

Place and time:  8:30am till about noon. Meet at the Bayou Heron boat ramp at the south end of Bayou Heron Road (MAP - same road the Grand Bay NERR office is located on). The NERR/NWR office (6005 Bayou Heron Road, Moss Point, MS) will be open from 07:45-08:15 am so folks can use the restroom, fill-up water bottles, etc.

YOU MUST REGISTER FOR THIS TRIP and there is a fee of $30 per person.  To register, contact Dr. Mark Woodrey (Mark.Woodrey@msstate.edu). First come, first served – capped at 15 participants, so sign up early!


12/9  Biloxi Beaches, Harrison County

Leader: Holly Cox holly.biloxi@gmail.com, (228) 432-8828.

Catch all those overwintering shorebirds and enjoy the beach!  We’ll stop at several bird hangouts on Harrison County beaches.  These sites are part of the Mississippi Coastal Birding Trail.  More information at http://mscoastbirdingtrail.audubon.org/harrison-county.html.

Place and time: Meet at the Biloxi Beach Boulevard (Hwy 90) public parking lot south of Treasure Bay Casino at 7:30am

(MAP)

Conditions:  Easy beach walking with driving between sites.


 See you in the field!

 
MORE ABOUT Mississippi Coast Audubon Society:

We are a chapter of the National Audubon Society, with membership territory in the six coastal counties of Mississippi (Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, George, Stone, and Pearl River).  You can JOIN National Audubon with a $20 or greater donation, and become a member of MCAS for free (what a deal!) by clicking HERE (the membership form specifies chapter M53 - that's us).

  MCAS Constitution and Bylaws

 

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