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Trip report Southwest Florida


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My husband and I had fun as always but after 3 night away from home we came away without a single life bird. We didn't even manage a single Florida bird. This was mostly a driving day. Started our adventure in Lee County where we tried to find a Mangrove Cuckoo that has been being reported for some time now. And is still being reported. Poor timing and not enough patience I guess. Sadly, we didn't see anything we couldn't have found closer to home (this was the birding theme for the whole trip). We saw no snakes or lizards either which surprised me. Just getting there was over 6 hours and then back tracked to our hotel another 2 hours of driving.  A few photos below.






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Day two of our trip included Fort De Soto, Sawgrass and Boyd Hill in Pinellas County, FL. This was our first time here so much of our time was spent exploring the fort while birding...Did get what I believe is a lifer for my herps list but I haven't nailed down an id for it yet. I'm thinking it is in the Gecko family. There are several varieties of Geckos in Florida (most invasive). It is the first photo below. Our hope here didn't include any particular birds but we were hoping for migrating warblers and we found a few just none were lifers for us. Palm Warblers ruled the day but they can be found this time of year all over Florida. We had a very cooperative Loggerhead Shrike pose for photos and we saw many this day at this location. I can say this was the most I had ever seen in day. We saw lots of shorebirds but nothing we couldn't have found closer to home. Still we enjoyed exploring this location.








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Day two continued-after Fort De Soto we went to lunch and had a perfectly wonderful meal at Ted Peter's Smokehouse. We shared a Smoke Salmon dinner and their fish spread. Both were excellent and I would love to go back to this area just to eat here again. That GOOD! The other two places we explored Sawgrass and Boyd Hill were fun and birdie but still no life birds or even Florida birds. My husband and I really hit the ground running when we moved here and already have 327 Florida birds so I guess we have already reached a point where it just gets difficult from here. Pictured below are Broad-headed Skink juvenile, Baby Gator and a Green Heron concentrating hard on the water below looking for food. The Green Heron was right off a broad walk and stayed the whole time we were there which quite awhile as we got in conversation with another birder who was just getting into birding. He mentioned Circle B Bar Reserve in Polk County, FL which we have heard good things about from other people so we decided to make that a destination on our way home.




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