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photo copyright � 1987 by Elaine Radford, all rights reserved

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i hadn't laid eyes on a golden-winged warbler in years and at first i couldn't believe what i was seeing until someone else called it - 2016-11-14
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A bibliography of my published books and stories.

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snowy plover, back-flipping dolphin

2012-04-28 - 1:41 p.m.

brown pelican flying
© 2012 by elaine radford

On Wednesday night, we ate at the Gumbo Shack in downtown Fairhope, where I had a large bowl of Crabmeat Gumbo that was out of this world. I didn't even know that they knew how to make gumbo in Alabama but this bowl might be the best gumbo I ever ate in this lifetime.

On Thursday, we headed out for Dauphin Island. The weather conditions still weren't all that, but it wasn't going to change for the foreseeable, so we had to go ahead and try. Finally -- finally! -- we did pick up a few migrants, including any number of Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds, some male Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks, Blue Grosbeaks, Indigo Buntings, Gray Catbird, and several male Scarlet Tanagers. There was no real fall-out, just a few road-weary individuals making a quick stop on the shell mound. One of the male Scarlet Tanagers was almost close enough to touch.

It was getting too hot for birds in the afternoon, so we strolled Bellingrath Gardens. The flowers can run, but they can't hide...and maybe they don't run so good, either. Two herons made star turns at the gardens -- an allegedly singing Green Heron and a determinedly fishing Little Blue.

We could not resist a second visit to the Gumbo Shack, where I again feasted on the delicious crabmeat gumbo.

We returned to Dauphin Island on Friday morning, but most of the birds had departed, except for a few patchy young male Blue Grosbeaks. We checked various locations, with little to show for it. Finally, we had lunch at the Common Loon, where I had some mind-blowing fried oysters, as crisp and juicy as any I've ever had. We caught the ferry with two minutes to spare and voyaged across the water to Fort Morgan, which was an example of government low-bid defense contractors at their finest. Bad bricks. A roof that looked so persistently that the fort has developed stalagmites, as if it were a leaky limestone cave. Out-moded before it was even completed. All in all, a fine example of government waste at its finest.

From the beach, we spotted our life Snowy Plover, a single individual who approached us very close. A bit further out, we saw a large pod of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins playing in the ocean.

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