Wild Turkey Strand is a 3100 acre preserve that meanders from State Route 82 South to Alico Road in Lee County. This preserve is important as an aquifer recharge area for our local water supply needs and as wildlife corridor.
|Signage at Gunnery Trail|
This preserve sets on what once the World War 2 era, Buckingham Army Air Traing Base. Here, thousands of airmen attended the Gunnery School in preparation for their assignments as gunners in American bombers.
Now this bit of property has reverted back to a more natural Florida.. Some remnants from the Buckingham Army Base can still be seen and the County has developed the Gunnery Trail to provide access to these sites as well as for hikers and birders to enjoy the property.
The Gunnery trail is 1.8 miles long with 1.1 miles are developed and the remainder would be called primitive and can be quite wet as it is a seasonal wetland.
Access to the Gunnery Trail leads away from the parking area located at Rod & Gun Road near to State Route 82 South of Lehigh Acres.
|House Wrens are common winter visitors|
|Red shouldered Hawks are common here|
Currently the wetlands and ponds here are drying down. But for now, wading birds and waterfowl are commonly seen. As are Purple Gallinules and Snail Kites have nested here. Currently observations of Mottled, Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Gadwall, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks and other waterfowl have been seen. However when the wetlands have dried up these birds will have left the area.
We know that endangered Florida Panthers are present at times in this preserve. I know of observations in the Gunnery Trail area and I have personnel observations from a sight near to the airport. Coyotes, bobcats, white-tailed deer and wild hogs can be found
|Yellow rumped Warblers are also a common winter visitor|