Thursday, April 19, 2012

04/19/2012 - Dauphin Island

Dauphin Island is a rewarding place to paddle if you like to see a wide variety of birds and marine life. This was an enjoyable 5 hour paddle along Sand Island, over to Fort Morgan, and back to Dauphin Island. I need to get away from Mobile more often.

Header image is a photo of dolphins at play. They are great fun to watch and there were plenty of them around today.

Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) puts on summer programs for kids of all ages. These kids were on the Research Vessel Alabama Discovery with several educators. Note the dolphin near the boat.

I wonder if any of them got the photo of two dolphins almost hitting my kayak. Speaking of DISL, there is a big party being thrown at Tacky Jacks for support of DISL coming up on May 3rd. DISL has a lot of impact with school kids and is a good program to support.

A Ruddy Turnstone bird on an old stump.

These were some sandpiper type birds which I am not any good at identifying because they all look the same to me.

A Great Blue Heron.

The Red-Breasted Merganser is one of the fastest flying ducks there are. This one has a neat-o punked out hair-do.

Great Blue Herons walk around the beach like they own it.

Awkward! This Great Blue Heron kept trying to eat the bait fish locked in a plastic bag which it probably stole from someone's unattended fishing site. It kept trying to swallow the fish but the plastic was getting in the way. I intervened - chased off the heron, got the bag, opened it up, and threw the bait fish to the heron which eagerly gulped them down.

I believe this was a contract boat that transports workers that remove tar balls from the beaches. Nice job eh?

These is but one tar ball removal crew on Sand Island. Nice job eh?

I put a penny that I found next to some tar balls for size perspective. Tar balls of this size were all over the Fort Morgan beach. You're going to be paying people to clean these beaches for decades by way of higher gas prices. You don't actually think the oil cartel is going to use their profits to clean up the oil spill mess do you? One tar ball has a smiley face on it.

A lizard paid no attention to the tar balls.

One of the reasons I love to kayak around Dauphin Island and Sand Island is because of all the things you can see in the clear water.

Along side one of the Ship Channel markers was what appeared to be about a 2-foot long shark.

These pelicans were across from the Ferry ramp.

An Oyster Catcher.

Everyone is so nice at Dauphin Island - even the birds. Here is a seagull giving another seagull a back rub.

The black skimmer was saying, "I want a back rub too!" Based on the bulge in this one's abdomen, it may have had a back rub already.

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