Florida Atlantic Coast Wildlife and Birding

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CameraCarl Veteran Member • Posts: 7,853
Florida Atlantic Coast Wildlife and Birding

My wife and I were planning a beach vacation this December in the Tampa Bay area and I had planned to do a lot of bird photography along the Gulf Coast. I am concerned that the Red Tide will linger, so I have started looking toward the Atlantic Coast instead. I have done most of my Florida bird photography along the Gulf Coast, so I am not that familiar with the other coast. I've done a bit of looking on the internet and see that the Space Coast/Merritt Island area is one place to go. Can anyone suggest other places to photograph and, perhaps, a nice beachfront town to stay in that is not too touristy or hip?  Thanks!

Ontarian Senior Member • Posts: 1,964
Re: Florida Atlantic Coast Wildlife and Birding

CameraCarl wrote:

My wife and I were planning a beach vacation this December in the Tampa Bay area and I had planned to do a lot of bird photography along the Gulf Coast. I am concerned that the Red Tide will linger, so I have started looking toward the Atlantic Coast instead. I have done most of my Florida bird photography along the Gulf Coast, so I am not that familiar with the other coast. I've done a bit of looking on the internet and see that the Space Coast/Merritt Island area is one place to go. Can anyone suggest other places to photograph and, perhaps, a nice beachfront town to stay in that is not too touristy or hip? Thanks!

Here is one website I used when in Florida.

https://public.myfwc.com/maps/birdtrip/default.aspx

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Red Barchetta
Red Barchetta Senior Member • Posts: 4,437
Re: Florida Atlantic Coast Wildlife and Birding

Can't say for sure, I live near Tampa myself but I've heard that Vero beach is nice. Here's a link for some of the beast beaches on the east coast, I hope that helps.

https://floridatrippers.com/florida-east-coast-beaches/

Trip Advisor might be another good site. GL!

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ReedW Contributing Member • Posts: 805
Re: Florida Atlantic Coast Wildlife and Birding

A few wildlife/birding and other ideas...

There are frequent rocket launches at the Cape, visible in the Melbourne & Titusville area. If you are interested a web search will turn up tentative schedules. Cancellations and postponements may occur, so a little schedule flexibility would be beneficial.

Merritt Island NWR has a 7-mile unpaved drive where you can view wildlife, mostly birds and perhaps some alligators. We have driven it twice, in late February and late April and were underwhelmed by the sparse wildlife both times. I've heard December and January are better, so that may work out for you.

Depending on how far south you are willing to go, the Everglades is an obvious option and if you are down there perhaps mosey onward to the Keys. If you are down that way and the Coral Castle is open, it's a fascinating place to visit.

https://coralcastle.com/

The Alligator Farm in St. Augustine is an interesting place. Not sure how much is going on there in the winter. I believe the best time for birding is late April through May when thousands of birds are nesting there.

https://www.alligatorfarm.com/

There are a few other things of interest in the St. Augustine area, including the fort.

If you've never visited a Buc-ees gas station / convenience store they are a trip, unlike any I've ever seen. There are a couple on I-95, one around Daytona Beach and another near St. Augustine.

cjf2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,183
Re: Florida Atlantic Coast Wildlife and Birding

The Fatbirder section on Florida is a good central point for locations https://fatbirder.com/world-birding/north-america/united-states-of-america/state-of-florida/

BirdShooter7 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,041
Re: Florida Atlantic Coast Wildlife and Birding

I was just there a week ago and enjoyed Orlando Wetlands Park.  I’ve also had good luck at Green Cay Wetlands.

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Some of my bird photos can be viewed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gregsbirds/

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