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Great Florida Birding Trail Map - South Section

Great Florida Birding Trail Map - South Section

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Published by FloridaBirdingTrail

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Published by: FloridaBirdingTrail on Jul 06, 2010
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In partnership with:
U.S. Department of TransportationFederal Highway AdministrationWildlife Foundation of FloridaU.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceFlorida State ParksFlorida Department of Transportation
The Great Florida Birding Trailis a project of theFlorida Fish and WildlifeConservation Commission
Printed on recycled paper
The Great Florida Birding Trail
National Park Service3/07Audubon of Florida
Getting Started...
Loaner optics are available free of chargeat all Gateways, as well as at additionalsites as marked in the site descriptions!
Boca Raton LBonita Springs EBoynton Beach LCape Coral DCoral Gables NDelray Beach LEnglewood BEstero EEverglades City JFort Lauderdale MFort Myers EFort Myers Beach DHobe Sound HHollywood MHomestead OImmokalee E, FIndiantown GJupiter HKey Largo OKey West QMarathon PMiami NMoore Haven FNaples INorth Fort Myers DNorth Palm Beach HPort Charlotte BPort Mayaca GPunta Gorda CSanibel DSarasota AVenice B
City Locator
City Map City Map
How were these sites selected?
Each of the sites in this guide was chosen for its bird-watching characteristics, accessibility and ability towithstand birder use. This is not to say there aren’tother places to watch birds, from traditional sites thathave opened since this printing, to nontraditional sitessuch as landfills that did not meet the trail’s criteria.In other words, keep your eyes peeled! Some of thebest birding opportunities are fleeting and spontane-ous. You never know what you may find!
Gateway sites provide more extensive trail-relatedresources, have loaner optics available on-site, andact as hubs of regional birding information. TheSouth section has two gateways: Corkscrew SwampSanctuary (site #42) in Naples and LoxahatcheeNational Wildlife Refuge (site #81) near BoyntonBeach. The Panhandle section has two gateways:Big Lagoon State Park (Pensacola) and St. MarksNational Wildlife Refuge (near Tallahassee). The twogateways for the West Florida section are: PaynesPrairie Preserve State Park (Gainesville) and Ft.DeSoto County Park (St. Petersburg). Lastly, thereare three gateways for the East Florida section: Ft.Clinch State Park (Fernandina Beach), Merritt IslandNational Wildlife Refuge (Titusville) and TenorocFish Management Area (Lakeland). Each of thesesites has staff on hand to answer questions aboutthe trail, kiosks with information about the trail struc-ture and their visitor centers offer information aboutbirding classes and events occurring across thestate. Hop on the trail at a gateway and get off to aflying start!
 Trail Tips
When birding:
• Take sunscreen, water, hat and bug spray.• Make reservations in advance for "by-appointmentonly" sites.• Check seasonality of site; are you visiting at theright time of year?
Birder Vocabulary
Some words used in this guide are specific to bird-ers and birdwatching. Bone-up on the following lingoso you’ll blend in at your next birding dinner party!
forested wetland (swamp) usually domi-nated by evergreen trees and shrubs.
Birding by ear:
the ability to identify birds by their song or call
: the interface between two habitat types
the sudden appearance of large numbersof migratory birds, usually songbirds, as a result of astorm or cold front
to look for food
describes any bird that spends thewinter in Florida but breeds elsewhere
slang for any number of small shorebirdsthat forage in mixed flocks
scanning with a spotting scope
a location where birds rest and feedbefore continuing on their migration
the line of seaweed and flotsam at thehigh tide line on beaches
Quick Point Nature Preserve
This site is an interesting mix of mangrove estuary, tidal swamps,and uplands, all being restored to natural function. Walking from theparking area at Overlook Park, you pass under a bridge and onto ashort trail system that leads along stretches of Sarasota Bay. Thisconjunction makes the site not only fruitful for waders such as her-ons and egrets, ibis and spoonbills, but also “flyovers” like ospreys,and gulls and terns from the beach side. Check the boardwalkoverlooks at low tide for shorebirds and peeps, and stop by duringspring migration season to look for warblers and flycatchers in thecanopy.
: From intersection of US 41 and SR 780 (FruitvilleRd.) in Sarasota, drive 0.2 mi. south on US 41, and turn right ontoSR 789/John Ringling Blvd. Continue west across causeway for 3.6 mi., turning right (N) to stay on SR 789 through Harding ("St.Armand's") Circle, to the preserve parking area at Overlook Park,the first left after crossing New Pass Bridge onto Longboat Key.Enter the walkway under bridge to access the preserve.Open all year, 5 AM to dusk. (941) 316-1988www.longboatkey.org/parks/quick_point.htm
Arlington Park
This small site is worth stopping by quickly to check a few specificareas. Offering patches of hardwood hammock, a 1.5-acre lake,and a small reclaimed swamp within one of the most denselydeveloped parts of the city, there is no telling what may stop in herebriefly or might even decide to nest. The 0.7-mile paved walkwaythrough this urban park provides a low-stress option to other morestrenuous sites. You will find common moorhens and occasionallya purple gallinule in the swamp, along with smaller waders such aslittle blue herons and snowy egrets. The hardwoods harbor warblersand vireos, and the occasional thrush will sing during the spring.Check the lake for wood ducks as well as other migratory species.
From intersection of US 41 and Bahia Vista St.in Sarasota, drive 0.9 mi. east on Bahia Vista, turn right (S) onTuttle Ave., continue 0.3 mi. and turn right (W) on Waldemere St.;entrance is 0.1 mi. on left.Open all year, dawn to dusk. (941) 861-5000 www.scgov.net
Pinecraft Park
This small 15-acre site contains a mesic hammock habitat locatedat the south end of the park that is unique in south Florida. Itscharacter feels much more northern with its high, dense canopy of elms, hickories, and oaks. Visit during early spring and look andlisten for thrushes, wrens, warblers, vireos, flycatchers—just aboutany small migratory species passing through will make a stopover in this oasis. Check the overlooks along the edges of PhillippiCreek, where resident species such as herons, moorhens, and ibisshare the water with waterthrushes and common yellowthroats.Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks will find the canopy appealing,both for resting and for hunting. Wood ducks are not uncommon inthis unusual mix of wood and water.
From intersection of US 41 and Bahia Vista St. inSarasota, drive 1.5 mi. east on Bahia Vista, turn right (S) on Carter Ave., continue 0.1 mi. and turn right on Gilbert Ave.; park is 0.1 mi.at end of road.Open all year, dawn to dusk. (941) 861-5000 www.scgov.net
Celery Fields
This county-owned flood mitigation area was built in the 1990s ona former agricultural site, and it has proven to be one of the pre-mier birding hotspots on the southwest coast with 195+ speciesseen. An open landscape offers long-range vistas of flooded fields,freshwater marsh, and open water. As a result, birders scopingfrom the gazebo or walking the berm trail system around the reten-tion ponds can spot waders such as herons and egrets, ducks andgrebes on the water, and everything from sparrows to harriers over the grassy fields. Some notable species include sandhill crane,limpkin, mottled duck, black-bellied whistling duck, bobolink, andbald eagle. This area will be undergoing great changes in comingyears, but don’t be discouraged by the development when youvisit. The birds have found this protected area and are thriving,with more species showing up as more of this habitat is restored tothe natural sawgrass wetland it was 100 years ago.
From I-75 exit 210 (SR 780, Fruitville Rd.), drive 0.5mi. east on SR 780, turn right (S) on Coburn Rd., continue 1.0 mi.to Palmer Blvd. and turn left (E); parking area is 0.5 mi. on left atgazebo.Open all year, dawn to dusk. (941) 861-5000 www.scgov.net
Myakka River Cluster Myakka River Cluster 

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