Fort De Soto … Florida’s Migration Hotspot

This is the time of the year when I like to take a day or two off from work and do some serious birding. I took Monday off so I could have a nice three-day weekend and on Monday my good birding buddy Cheryl and I drove the four and a half hours up to Ft De Soto in search of some migrants and other birds not found in Palm Beach County.

Long-billed Curlew ... This bird has been seen off and on, more on, for 3-4 years.  What a cool, cool species!!

Long-billed Curlew … This bird has been seen off and on, more on, for 3-4 years. What a cool, cool species!!

Fort De Soto is a spit of land right at the end of Tampa Bay and when the winds are just right trans-gulf migrants will get blown in off the Gulf of Mexico and can make for some amazing birding.  Monday wasn’t one of those monumental days but we had a wonderful assortment of birds none the less and I was happy to see a few birds I probably wouldn’t have seen if we had stayed and birded locally.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak ... There was a number of species enjoying the Mullberries.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak … There was a number of species enjoying the mulberries.

One of the stand out features at Fort De Soto are a couple of Mulberry Bushes that are huge attractors of a multitude of species.  Grosbeaks, Catbirds, Waxwings and Orioles can all be found gorging themselves on the ripe fruit. It can become kind of humorous as their bills and facial feathers become stained in purple.

Orchard Orioles ... Fresh water is always a great place to sit and observe the different species.

Orchard Orioles … Fresh water is always a great place to sit and observe the different species.

The water fountain is also another great feature at the Park.  For a bird that has just flown all night long fresh water can be a life saver.  I’ve sat and watched the fountain here and in the Dry Tortugas and watched as the birds sit in nearby trees just waiting for their turn.  This fountain is large enough at the base that Ibis and others actually can bathe in it.

Hooded Warbler ... This female Hooded was very cooperative!

Hooded Warbler … This female Hooded was very cooperative!

Blue-winged Warbler ... This is one of the "better" Warblers and I was thrilled to see one and have him pose a little!

Blue-winged Warbler … This is one of the “better” Warblers and I was thrilled to see one and have him pose a little!

Warblers are probably the number one sought after birds when visiting Ft De Soto and we managed to see nine species including … Palm and Praire Warblers, Black-throated Green, Blackpoll, Blue-winged and Hooded Warblers, Black and White, Northern Parula and a Common Yellowthroated Warbler. There are days at the park when you can see 20 plus species of Warblers and I hope to get up there for a fallout like that.

Indigo Bunting ... Birds of color are also big at Ft De Soto.

Indigo Bunting … Birds of color are also big at Ft De Soto.

American Oystercatcher ... Always a nice bird to see, even when they are trying to hide from the camera!

American Oystercatcher … Always a nice bird to see, even when they are trying to hide from the camera!

Just a few more pictures to show the variety of birds you can see at Fort De Soto even on a “Normal” day!!

Marbled Godwit ... Another shorebird with and impressive bill!

Marbled Godwit … Another shorebird with and impressive bill!

Hardcore all day birding is not something you can do everyday.  Cheryl and I spent 10 hours or so birding and with the 9 hours of driving it made for a very long but very satisfying day and I look forward to more birding adventures.

Thank you so very much for visiting.  I had an exciting day yesterday picking up a couple of County Birds and I’ll share those soon!!! God Bless!

Advertisements

About sheriffsmith

I have worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office the last 13 years and spend most of my free time birdwatching / naturewatching and photographing the birds and nature that I encounter. I believe God has blessed us with a world that is so absolutely fascinating and wonderful and I'm doing my best to discover and show others all that he has provided us with in nature.
This entry was posted in Birds, Places and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fort De Soto … Florida’s Migration Hotspot

  1. I see the long-billed curlew grabbed a crab snack?
    Beautiful photos!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s