Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Mississippi Gulf Coast: Jones Park-Gulfport Marina

I wrapped up my trip to the Mississippi Gulf Coast with a visit to the impressionable Jones Park-Gulfport Marina.  Although Jones Park re-opened in May 2012, this was my first visit. This facility is located on 60 acres at the very south end of Highway 49, the center of the City of Gulfport adjacent to the Mississippi State Port. Not only is this park/harbor facility a signature facility for the City of Gulfport but it is the “Front Yard for the State of Mississippi”.  Amenities include a 319 slip harbor and promenade walk, splash pad/playground area, replica lighthouse, large pavilion, amphitheater stage, educational plaza, fuel dock and bait shop.

A Great Blue Heron stood attentively near a fisherman who was casting his line.  Was he waiting to receive a "treat", or was he planning to snatch and run?  I had never been so close to a heron, so I took advantage of it.  He tolerated my staring and shooting briefly then tried to get away from this crazy woman with a camera.  

But he would have to travel further to escape my obsession with him...
just a few close ups is all I wanted.

Moments later, he flew across the parking lot to the shore.  Yes, I stalked him.  I had to have a few shots of him with the beach background...

"Come on, lady...don't you have better things to do?  
I'm not the only bird around here!"

Okay, okay, I'll leave you alone.  Thank you for your time, and great photos ;) 

A while later, I captured a shot of this beautiful Great Blue Heron in a grassy area.

Other birds I observed at the marina-

Black-bellied Plover

Ruddy Turnstone

Ring-billed and Laughing Gulls

It was a great day and I was pooped by the time I returned home that evening.  I took over 500 photos- thank heaven for digital photography!  Otherwise, I couldn't afford to take so many!  And I wouldn't want to "waste" so many photos if they were developed on photo paper.  While going through those 500 photos, I deleted all but 132. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about my trip to the Mississippi Gulf Coast as much as I enjoyed writing about it.  Your thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated.  Have a wonderful week!  

Linked with our good host, Stewart at Wild Bird Wednesday


  1. Yep! I did enjoy reading about your trip and looking at all your great photographs. That first Heron was very patient with you!!

  2. Awesome shots of the heron! I love the other birds as well.

  3. You found some amazing birds. Looks like a great trek out! Congrats!

  4. Thank for sharing your trip! Awesome bird sightings!

  5. A truly lovely collection! I can understand being tired after all that stalking and shooting. :)

  6. Gulfport looks like a gorgeous marina and area in general. I've never been there. You got some fabulous photos. I do think the blue heron looks like he's annoyed with your stalking! :-) But the photos were all worth it!

  7. pretty photos Susan. the heron did look a little annoyed. I'm sure he got over it.

  8. Lovely set of images..loved those Great Heron ones. Have a great day!


  9. It was worth the stalking.
    Great in flight photos all round!

  10. my kinda' day, SOOOOOO FUN!!!!! and that heron, AWESOME!!! what beautiful captures!!!!

  11. Great shots - really like the heron. And the turnstone is a species we get here as well.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  12. Thank you for letting us go along on your tour! Terrific photos and it's great to see the beauty of Mississippi's Gulf Coast!