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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk
Thread started 12 May 2017 (Friday) 06:20
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Bird photography in south Florida?

 
birder_herper
Senior Member
687 posts
Joined Feb 2009
Cleveland, Ohio
May 12, 2017 06:20 |  #1

Hello all,

I will be taking a trip to southern Florida for about five days for Memorial Day weekend. I know at this time of year the light will probably be harsh, but as it will be my first real vacation in almost ten years I cannot complain!

I am looking to photograph all sorts of birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, etc with an emphasis on the birds. I have done some research but one big question mark for me is coastal locations. It seems that many of the great spots will also be open to beach-goers (swimmers, sunbathers, etc). On a (relatively, for Florida) cold winter day the beaches might be rather empty people-wise, but what about during the heat of Memorial Day? Are there any good spots for the likes of terns, spoonbills, shorebirds, reddish egrets, etc that won't be overrun with human activity? Is Ding Darling my best bet?

I plan on flying in to Miami on Thursday, May 25 and returning home Tuesday, May 30.

Thanks!




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saea501
... spilled over a little on the panties
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Joined Jan 2010
Florida
May 12, 2017 07:07 |  #2

I've found that the best birding spots are not along the beaches. Most of the ones that I go to are inland, near lakes, streams and swamps.

I'm in west central Florida so I can't tell you where to go near Miami. But if you PM 'edmidlifecrisis' I'm sure he can give you some great places to go as I think he lives north of Miami.


Remember what the DorMouse said.....feed your head.
Bob

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birder_herper
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
687 posts
Joined Feb 2009
Cleveland, Ohio
May 12, 2017 09:15 |  #3

Thanks for the reply.

I do plan on going to many inland locations, as well, but for certain species I think a trip to the coast is a must (brown pelican, frigatebird, wilson's and snowy plovers, oystercatcher, reddish egret, etc). I really plan on hitting Wakodahatchee and Green Cay Wetlands, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, the Anhinga Trail and other locales in the Everglades, etc. As far as coastal birding goes, the southwest corner of the state looks appealing (Tigertail Beach, Sanibel's Ding Darling NWR, etc).




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Archibald
You must be quackers!
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Joined May 2008
Calgary
May 12, 2017 10:22 |  #4

Four days in S Florida isn't very long. I don't live in FL and have never been there in May, but here are some locations besides the ones already mentioned that I have visited in the winter months.

Peaceful Waters is in Wellington and is good for Sandhill Cranes, lizards and many wading birds.

Loxahatchee is a bit further south (just W of Wak and Green Cay). It is a for-pay location, and requires lots of walking and time for possibly low return.

Brian Piccolo Park just north of Miami is good for burrowing owls.

Anhinga Trail, in the Everglades SW of Homestead used to be one of the best places in the state, but in the last few years there have been few birds there. Beware, the vultures there will damage your car's rubber.

It is a drive to Flamingo, but it is great for American Crocodile, Osprey and other birds.

The Wild Bird Center in Tavernier on Key Largo is on the water and attracts pelicans and sometimes the white variant of the Great Blue Heron.

Shark Valley on US 41 is great for Everglades birds. There are other interesting spots too along 41.

Little Estero near Ft Myers is good for many shore birds like Oyster Catchers. Traffic to get there can be very slow.

Ding Darling and especially Corkscrew have been a bit overpromoted for birds IMO, but can be interesting.

Cape Coral just N of Ft Myers has burrowing owls in vacant lots. Look for the stakes that mark the burrows.

The Venice Rookery on Annex Rd is famous but it might be late in the season there for nesting birds.

Celery Fields near Sarasota can be good.

Felts Audubon by Bradenton has a blind where you can observe Indigo Bunting and other passerines.

Across the water is Fort de Soto Park. I have not been there recently. Reports are that it is disappointing now.

Circle B Bar Reserve is by Lakeland and is famous for birds and its giant alligator (which few actually ever see).

There are lots more places around Orlando and Titusville, but are probably out of range for your trip.

Have fun!


Hasselblad 500 C/M with 80mm/2.8 Zeiss Planar (trying to sell it); Pentax Spotmatic F with 28/3.5, 50/1.4, 50/1.8, 135/3.5; Canon digital gear
C&C always welcome.
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saea501
... spilled over a little on the panties
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Joined Jan 2010
Florida
Post has been edited 4 months ago by saea501.
May 12, 2017 15:08 |  #5

Archibald wrote in post #18352823 (external link)
Four days in S Florida isn't very long. I don't live in FL and have never been there in May, but here are some locations besides the ones already mentioned that I have visited in the winter months.

Felts Audubon by Bradenton has a blind where you can observe Indigo Bunting and other passerines.

Across the water is Fort de Soto Park. I have not been there recently. Reports are that it is disappointing now.

Circle B Bar Reserve is by Lakeland and is famous for birds and its giant alligator (which few actually ever see).

There are lots more places around Orlando and Titusville, but are probably out of range for your trip.

Have fun!

Circle B is a fabulous place, I go there very often........but its about 4 hours drive from Miami. So is Bradenton and Ft DeSoto. With such a limited time here I doubt very much if this person is going to want to spend that much windscreen time.

By the way....I've seen the giant gator. He ain't all that. Although I wouldn't want to mix it up with him......:rolleyes:


Remember what the DorMouse said.....feed your head.
Bob

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Bird photography in south Florida?
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