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Fall Migration: Great Birding on the Alabama Coast

Program Number: 14106RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/29/2013 - 10/3/2013;
Duration: 4 nights
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Price starting at: $569.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding
Meals: 11; 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Alabama’s sun-drenched Gulf of Mexico coast is as attractive to feathered visitors as it is to human ones, never more so than in autumn, when it is a critical stopover point on the migration route from cold northern climes to balmy Central and South America. Spectacular sightings abound on this learning adventure for beginning and intermediate birders, enlivened by the expert leadership of seasoned leaders.




Highlights

• Search for spectacular birdlife on Alabama’s coast: Great Blue Herons, pelicans nose-diving into the Gulf for a meal and many more.
• Take a field trip to the renowned Dauphin Island, one of the best locations anywhere for viewing neotropical migrations.
• On an evening boat excursion into the wetlands of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta, look for kingfishers and Ospreys, plus maybe an alligator or two.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day. No birding experience required.



So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1.




Date Specific Information

9-29-2013

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by University of South Alabama.




Mobile

Mobile, home of the nation’s oldest Mardi Gras celebration, was founded in 1702 as the original capital of the Louisiana territory. Its rich heritage is evident in the city’s elegant, historic homes. The bay area is renowned for its lush beauty, bountiful azaleas (in season) and fabulous seafood.



Accommodations
Comfortable hotel with outdoor pool.
Meals and Lodgings
   Admiral Semmes Hotel
  Mobile, AL 4 nights
 Admiral Semmes Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Admiral Semmes Hotel is has been one of the south's finest historic landmark hotels. Since it's opening in 1940, when it is was acclaimed Mobile's only luxury hotel. Some of the hotel's architectual features include expansive marble floors, stair cases, a unique oval balconied lobby, highlighted by a large central chandelier, and the original Art Deco elevator doors. An entire floor of conference space on the mezanine level is located on the second floor by some of the rooms.
  Contact info: 251 Government St
Mobile, AL 36602 USA
phone: 251-432-8000
web: www.admiralsemmeshotel.com
  Room amenities: All accommodations feature a comfortable lounge chair with ottoman, an elegant armoire with separate vanity, a mini-refridgerator, coffee pot, hair dryer, maid service, and room service until 10 pm.
  Facility amenities: Amenities include a mini-refridgerator, coffee pot, hair dryer, maid service, and room service until 10 pm. A spacious outdoor pool deck with hottub, and a covered parking garage adjacent to the hotel is avaiable to guests as well.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Ask for the Road Scholar rate Please make reservations in advance as the hotel may fill up before or after the program.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Ask for the Road Scholar rate Please make reservations in advance as the hotel may fill up before or after the program.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Registration begins at 4:00 PM You will be staying at Admiral Semmes Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends by 12:00 Noon You will be staying at Admiral Semmes Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Road Scholar Health Form is required for each participant.
  Parking availability:
Free parking available at the lodging facilities.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Mobile, AL
  Nearest city or town:  Mobile
  Nearest highway: Interstate 65
  Nearest airport:  Mobile Regional Airport (airport code MOB)
  From End of Program
  Location: Mobile, AL
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Mobile Regional Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Yellow Cab/Mobile Bay Transportation
phone: 251-476-7711
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$20 per person
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

7.5 miles

   

You must register at least 24 hours in advance. You must ask for Mobile Bay Transportation when you call to get the $20 price. You can register on line by e-mailing dispatch@mobilebaytransportation.com or you can call 251-476-7711. Confirm your reservation before your flight lands to ensure pick up. Prices subject to change.

 
Driving Directions
  From Mobile Regional Airport to Admiral Semmes When leaving the airport, travel east on Airport Blvd for 10 miles. Airport Blvd will end at Old Government St where you will yield to the right onto Old Governement St. You will then turn left onto Government St still traveling east. Travel for 2.5 miles and the hotel will be on your right. To get to the parking garage, take a right on Joachim St. After one block, take a right on Church St (the back of the hotel) then the next right on S Jackson St, where the parking garage is on the west side of the hotel to your right.
  I-10 east to Admiral Semmes Traveling east on I-10 take exit 26B Water St. to your right toward downtown Mobile. Merge to the far left lane to turn left at the first light to Government St. The hotel will be on your left on the corner of Joachim and Government. To get to the parking garage, take a left on Joachim St. After one block, take a right on Church St (the back of the hotel) then the next right on S Jackson St, where the parking garage is on the west side of the hotel to your right.
  I-10 west to Admiral Semmes Hotel Traveling west on I-10, take exit 27 onto US-90/US-98 to merge onto Government Blvd. You will go through the Bankhead tunnel and the hotel will be on your left. To get to the parking garage, take a left on Joachim St. After one block, take a right on Church St (the back of the hotel) then the next right on S Jackson St, where the parking garage is on the west side of the hotel to your right.
  I-65 to Admiral Semmes Hotel Heading south on I-65, merge to the left toward Florida where I-65 forks to travel I-10 East. Travel for 6 miles on I-10 then take exit 26B Water St. to your right toward downtown Mobile. Merge to the far left lane to turn left at the first light to Government St. The hotel will be on your left on the corner of Joachim and Government. To get to the parking garage, take a left on Joachim St. After one block, take a right on Church St (the back of the hotel) then the next right on S Jackson St, where the parking garage is on the west side of the hotel to your right.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Introductions and Orientation/Dinner in the hotel dining room/Evening class on birding
(Sunday, September 29)
   
 Afternoon: Registration and check-in to lodging at the hotel from 4:00-5:30 PM. Road Scholar check-in will be in the hotel Conference Center. From 5:30-6:00 Orientation and introductions in the classroom. University history and all handout materials (schedule, bios, etc.) will be discussed. Any questions about the schedule or the program will be answered at this time. (Classes and class times are subject to change based on weather conditions and instructor availability.
 Dinner: Dinner in the Hotel.
 Evening: Birds of the Gulf Coast. This class includes slides, instruction and discussion about the variety of migrants on the Coast of Alabama. You will also get a look at where you will be birding the next few days. Bring your binoculars for a quick lesson on how to best use them for viewing birds.
   
Accommodations: Admiral Semmes Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Breakfast in the hotel/Field trip to Ft. Morgan/Picnic lunch/Field trip to Birding site/Dinner in the hotel/Evening class on Backyard birding.
(Monday, September 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Field trip to historic Ft. Morgan on Mobile Bay. Fort Morgan is an important stopover for fall neotropical migrants. We will also spend time looking at sea and shore birds in the area of the fort. On this visit you might see Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Palm Warbler, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Catbird, Indigo Bunting, Scarlet Tanager, Broad-winged Hawk, Merlin and American Kestrel. This trip has extensive walking in brush and sand. Wear closed-toe shoes and bring bug spray.
 Lunch: Box Lunch
 Afternoon: Field trip to Daphne Bayfront Park. Birds typically are hard to spot during the afternoon hours, but we will take a look at shore birds and wading birds which seem to be out all day long. You might see brown pelicans, Double-crested Cormorant, Black Skimmer, Laughing Gull, Sandwich Tern, Herring Gull, and Great Blue Heron.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel.
 Evening: Evening class on backyard habitat and attracting birds to your yard. Learn what to plant and what type bird houses will attract numerous species to your backyard setting. Also, discuss types of seed, and various ways to present the water element in your yard.
   
Accommodations: Admiral Semmes Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Breakfast in hotel/Field trip to Dauphin Island/Picnic Lunch/ Free Afternoon/Dinner in hotel/Evening class
(Tuesday, October 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Field trip to Dauphin Island. WildBird magazine calls Dauphin Island one of the "top four locations in North America for viewing neotropical migrations." We will visit the airport marsh, Shell Mound Park, and the rock jetties at Fort Gaines. We will search for Clapper Rail, Great Blue Heron, Red-eyed Vireo, Swainson's Thrush, Chestnut-sided Warbler, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Brown Pelican and Black Skimmer. Wear Closed-toe shoes and bring bug spray.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch at historic Cadillac Square on Dauphin Island.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore the area on your own. Enjoy a ride on the free trolley in downtown Mobile. Visit the Mardi Gras Museum, the City Museum, the Exploreum or Ft. Conde while you are downtown. There are several museum homes in downtown including an antebellum home. The Battleship USS Alabama is a 15 minute drive from the Admiral Semmes on the Mobile Bay Causeway. While you are on the causeway, you might want to check out one of our fine seafood restaurants that feature fresh gulf seafood.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel.
 Evening: Birds of Prey this evening. Tonight's speaker will bring birds for you to see up close and personal, and will also talk about several Birds of Prey. Instructor brings birds which are being rehabilitated. In recent years we have had a Red-Tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Barn Owl, Eastern Screech-Owl and Red-Shouldered Hawk.
   
Accommodations: Admiral Semmes Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Breakfast in the hotel/Morning class on bird habitats and photographing birds/Lunch in hotel/Discover 5 Rivers/Dinner at a local seafood restaurant.
(Wednesday, October 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Class with the director of a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center on the gulf coast. She will be bringing birds that are currently in the center for rehabilitation. She will discuss the damage to the gulf coast from hurricanes and the effect they have on the wildlife habitat. Learn what is being done on the coast to restore a habitat that has been destroyed. Enjoy a class with an expert on photographing birds. The pictures show so much detail and the beauty of birds. Whether you plan to start photographing birds, or just enjoy looking at what he has shot, you will learn so much for this class.
 Lunch: Lunch served in the hotel.
 Afternoon: Field Trip to 5 Rivers Delta. We will see a movie on Birds, explore the museum, and be introduced to some of the animals in the museum. This changing exhibit has included an Opossum, Snakes, Eastern Screech Owl and more. Next, enjoy a pontoon boat ride into the Mobile-Tensaw Delta. Keep your eyes open for resident and migratory birds, Alabama Red-bellied Turtles, American Alligators and more. We will be searching for Virginal Rail, Greater Yellowlegs, American Coot, Brown Pelican, Laughing Gull, American White Pelicans, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Boat Tailed Grackle, White Ibis, Wilson's Snipe, Belted Kingfishers, Tricolored Heron and Osprey
 Dinner: Dinner at a local seafood restaurant. Try local favorites or more traditional seafood, it is all very tasty. Options available for those that do not like seafood.
 Evening: Return to hotel
   
Accommodations: Admiral Semmes Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Breakfast and Departure
(Thursday, October 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Check out of lodging rooms.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Mobile, AL 5 Rivers - Alabama's Delta Resource Center
Where the Mobile, Spanish, Tensaw, Apalachee and Blakeley rivers flow into Mobile Bay stands an incredible new facility for outdoor recreation, conservation and land stewardship in Alabama: 5 Rivers. It's the ultimate place to begin your adventure into over 250,000 acres of scenic waterways, woods and wetlands. Or, simply soak up the natural beauty and incredible history of the region with plenty to do and see at the facility itself For additional information, visit www.outdooralabama.com/outdoor-adventures/5rivers/
  Battleship USS Alabama Park
...from World War II to Iraqi Freedom, at one of America’s finest military parks. Here at Battleship Memorial Park you’ll walk the decks of a mighty battleship. Go below in a World War II submarine. View cockpits of combat aircraft. You’ll also see tanks, a Vietnam River Patrol Boat, and a plane like the one flown by the Tuskegee Airmen. It’s all here, all waiting to be discovered by you! For additional information, visit www.ussalabama.com/
  Bellingrath Gardens and Home
Readers of "Southern Living" recently chose Bellingrath Gardens as one of the top three gardens in its annual Readers Choice Survey. In bloom every day of the year, Bellingrath Gardens offers visitors 65 acres of landscaped beauty among towering live-oaks draped in Spanish moss. The Bellingrath Home has been chosen as the first in Alabama to appear on A&E's popular "America's Castles" series. Enjoy a relaxing sight-seeing cruise aboard the Southern Bell River Cruiser on the Fowl River. View surrounding estates and wildlife from climate controlled comfort. For additional information, visit www.bellingrath.org/gardens/
  Bragg-Mitchell Mansion
Canopied by century-old live oak trees, "The Bragg" is a grand antebellum mansion. This beautiful example of southern elegance is furnished with fine antiques and exquisite draperies. The circular staircase, double parlors and lavish rooms with crystal chandeliers remind one of a time when hospitality was a way of life. Free parking. For additional information, visit www.braggmitchellmansion.com
  Conde Charlotte Museum House
Mobile's first official jail, this circa 1822 Federal-style home has period rooms containing French, British, Spanish, Confederate, and American furnishings and decor.
  Ft. Conde Museum and Welcome Center
Costumed guides lead tours, fire muskets and cannons, and take you back to the early days of Mobile's beginnings. The Welcome Center has interactive displays, videos and friendly people to help you get the most enjoyment out of your visit. Free Parking.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Coasting: An Expanded Guide to the Northern Gulf Coast


Author: Jolane Edwards(Author), Carolyn Lee Goodloe (Author), Laurel Wilson (Author), Judy Barnes




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