This driving trip has been designed as part of our new “Road Trip America” series – where we independently drive to our destination, birding along the way. Usually leaving from Asheville, NC we will wend our way towards our destination hitting good local birding spots along the way. All participants will be given driving directions and a list of our potential stopping places, and aside from transportation, all accommodation, and food will be included in the trip price.
Central Florida is often overlooked due to the tropical attractions of South Florida, but a week along the “Nature Coast’ is a wonderful winter experience. Huge numbers of waterfowl winter along the Canaveral National Seashore and we will also drive the terrific Black Point Drive on Merritt Island. If shorebirds are your thing, there are always plenty to go through. Florida’s only endemic bird is the Florida Scrub-Jay and we hope to see that in the scrubby habitat it prefers. We will explore a couple of the man-made wetlands which now attract huge numbers of freshwater birds, where a majority of species seem to take no notice of us. Here taking photos is easy and enjoyable and even possible with some of the smaller cameras. A visit to some or Central Florida’s piney-woods should produce Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, as well as Brown-headed Nuthatches and if we’re lucky, Bachman’s Sparrow. We should see Snail Kites patrolling the wetlands looking for Apple Snails and flocks of Sandhill Cranes in the open pastures. As well as many of the regular birds there’s plenty of chances for rarities, and over the past few years we have seen Masked Duck, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Common Eider and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Join us for a few days exploring Florida off the beaten path.
Some of the Birds We Hope to See
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Whooping and Sandhill Cranes, Wood Stork, American Bittern, American White Pelican, Short-tailed Hawk, Snail Kite, Purple Gallinule, Gray-headed Swamphen, Sora, Limpkin, Crested Caracara, Merlin, Florida Scrub-Jay, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Ash-throated and Vermilion Flycatchers, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Bachman’s Sparrow, Painted Bunting, a great selection of wintering ducks, herons, shorebirds, and over-wintering warblers.