Favorite Local Birding Venues

Bunche Beach Preserve

Red Knot
Web Sites

Lee County - Bunche Beach  Great Information on access, hours, amenities and history

Land Stewardship (Management) Plan  Great information on the ecology, development, future for the preserve

Driving Directions: From I-75: Take exit 131 (Daniels Road) west to Summerlin Road.  Turn left onto Summerlin Road and follow it to John Morris Road.  Turn left onto John Morris Road and the parking lot is near the roads end Google Map/Directions

Fiddler Crab

Reddish Egret
Bunche Beach Preserve is a premier local for for the enjoyment of shorebirds, terns, gulls and more. This is an important stop for shorebirds in migration to winter over or as a feeding stop on their way to locations as far away as the Arctic Ocean and South America. Species of concern that can been found at Bunche include Mangrove Cuckoo, Reddish Egret, Piping Plover, Snowy Plover, Red Knot, Least Tern, Black Skimmer, American Oystercatcher, Roseate Spoonbills, Wood Stork, Tricolored Heron. Other species include, Bottlenose Dolphins, an occasional Manatee or Loggerhead Turtle.

LIFE LIST – 129   Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (U), Brant (Rare visitor), Muscovy Duck (Res), Blue-winged Teal (S), Mottled Duck (Res), Redhead (S), Lesser Scaup (S), Surf Scoter (S), Black Scoter (S), Red-breasted Merganser (S), American Flamingo (Rare visitor), Pied-billed Grebe (Res), Horned Grebe (S),  Rock Pigeon (U), Eurasian Collared-Dove (U), Common Ground-Dove (Res), Mourning Dove (Res), Mangrove Cuckoo (Uncommon – may have nested here), Common Nighthawk (S), Chimney Swift (S), Black-necked Stilt (S), American Avocet (S), American Oystercatcher (Res), Black-bellied Plover (Non-Resident, some non-breeders stay for the summer), Snowy Plover (Res), Wilson's Plover (Res), Semipalmated Plover (Non-Resident, some non-breeders stay for the summer) , Piping Plover (S), Killdeer (Res), Whimbrel (M), Long-billed Curlew (Rare Visitor), Marbled Godwit (Non-Resident, some non-breeders stay for the summer),  Ruddy Turnstone (Res),  Red Knot (Non-Resident, some non-breeders stay for the summer),  Sanderling (non-Resident – some non-breeders will stay the summer), Dunlin (S), Least Sandpiper (S), White-rumped Sandpiper (M), Semipalmated Sandpiper (S), Western Sandpiper (S), Short-billed Dowitcher (S), Spotted Sandpiper (S), Greater Yellowlegs (S), Willet (Res),  Lesser Yellowlegs (S),  Bonaparte's Gull (U), Laughing Gull (Res), Ring-billed Gull (S), Herring Gull (S), Lesser Black-backed Gull (S), Least Tern (S), Gull-billed Tern (U),
 Caspian Tern (Res),  Black Tern (S), Common Tern (M), Forster's Tern (Res), Royal Tern (Res), Sandwich Tern (Res), Black Skimmer (Res), Common Loon (S), Wood Stork (Res), Magnificent Frigatebird (Res), Northern Gannet (S), Anhinga (Res), Double-crested Cormorant (Res), American White Pelican (S), Brown Pelican (Res), Great Blue Heron (Res),  Great Egret (Res),  Snowy Egret(Res),  Little Blue Heron (Res), Tricolored Heron(Res),  Reddish Egret (Res),  Cattle Egret (Res), Green Heron (Res), Black-crowned Night-Heron (Res), Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Res), White Ibis(Res),  Glossy Ibis(Res),  
Long-billed Curlew
 A rare visitor to Bunche Beach
Roseate Spoonbill (Res), Black Vulture (Res), Turkey Vulture (Res), Osprey (Res), Swallow-tailed Kite (S), Northern Harrier (S), Sharp-shinned Hawk (S),  Bald Eagle (Res), Red-shouldered Hawk (Res),  Belted Kingfisher (S), Red-bellied Woodpecker (Res), Downy Woodpecker (Res), Pileated Woodpecker (Res), Northern Flicker (Res),  American Kestrel (S), Merlin Peregrine (S), Falcon (S), Eastern Phoebe(S),  Great Crested Flycatcher (S), Loggerhead Shrike (Res), White-eyed Vireo (Res), Red-
Marbled Godwit
eyed Vireo (M), Blue Jay (Res), American Crow (Res), Fish Crow (Res), Northern Rough-winged Swallow(M),  Purple Martin (S), Tree Swallow (S), Bank Swallow(M),  Barn Swallow(S),  House Wren (S), Carolina Wren (Res),Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Res), American Robin (S), Gray Catbird (S), Northern Mockingbird (Res),  European Starling (Res),  Bobolink (M), Red-winged Blackbird (Res), Common Grackle (Res),  Boat-tailed Grackle (Res),  Orange-crowned Warbler (S), Common Yellowthroat (S), Northern Parula (Res), Yellow Warbler (S), Palm Warbler (S),  Yellow-rumped Warbler (S), Yellow-throated Warbler (S),  Prairie Warbler (Res), Northern Cardinal (Res),

Sanibel Lighthouse

Some Useful Links

Lighthouse History
Article from 'Lighthouse Digest (July 2001)' By Jeremy D'Entremont

In 2019 many species did visit during the 
spring migration
 including this Cerulean Warbler
Sanibel Lighthouse Park, also called Ybel Point Park on e-Bird can be an outstanding hot spot during Spring Migration. On a very productive day in April, which is contingent on prevailing winds and cold fronts that will encourage the birds stop here,  a nice variety of migrating song birds can be seen. There is no guarantee of any kind of mass visitation, but there will usually be birds enough active to enjoy the day. As many as twenty - plus warbler species could seen . And we can add thrushes, vireos, cuckoos, hummingbirds, orioles, tanagers, falcons, raptors and swallows. 

Fall migration is not as productive, you'll want to visit Six-mile Cypress Slough Preserve instead, but there is an Annual Hawk Watch Day sponsored by the Audubon Society every October.

Resident species  include breeding Snowy Plovers

Sanibel Island is a popular barrier island on the Gulf Coast of Lee County. Access is available either by boat or by driving across the Causeway Bridges. The spoil islands making up the Causeway Park are popular spots for families to enjoy fishing, picnicking or just to spend a holiday on the beaches.   Look for birds here too. Common Loons, American White Pelicans and Horned Grebes can be observed in the winter season. Brown Pelicans, Ospreys, Magnificent Frigatebirds, various gulls and terns, other shorebirds and dolphins are commonly seen.

Visiting Sanibel can be a little pricy. There is a $6.00 toll at the Causeway and parking at Sanibel Island runs at $5.00 per hour at most public venues including the Lighthouse Park

Yellow warbler feasting on figs to reenergize for its continuing journey North

J N Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Web Sites

(low tides best for visiting the wildlife drive)

Little Estero Lagoon - Carlos Point

Six-Mile Cypress Slough Preserve 

Barred Owl
Local venue favored for seeing Spring and especially Fall Migration of Neotropical birds, including warblers, thrushes, vireos,  cuckoos, grosbeaks, tanagers and orioles. 

Other specialized Florida
species seen here may include Short-tailed Hawk, Swallow-tailed Kites, Rosette Spoonbills and Wood Storks.

Resident bird life included Tufted Titmice,  Carolina Wrens, Pileated Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Barred Owls, Red-shouldered Hawks, Anhingas, Pine Warblers, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, White Ibis, Great Egrets, Black-crowned Night-herons and Green Herons.

Yellow Rat Snake
Other wildlife include American Alligators, Water Moccasins, Banded Water Snakes, Yellow Rat Snakes, Florida Ribbon Snakes, Brown and Green Anoles, Soft-shelled Turtles. River Otters, Raccoons, Gray Squirrels, Armadillos, Bobcats,

Some Useful Websites

Harns Marsh Preserve - Lehigh Acres

Directions - From I-75, Exit 136, drive wast on Colonial/Lee Blvd (CR 884) to Lehigh Acres.
Turn left on Sunshine Blvd and drive north past Able Canal.
Just beyond the canal, the road curves and 31st St is on the left.
Turn left onto 31th St and make an immediate right onto Ruth St.
Drive north on Ruth St to 38th St
Turn left onto 38th and drive west to the dirt parking area at the end of the road.
There are no restrooms at the site

Web Sites

Lakes Park

Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area

Babcock - Webb is 102 square miles of Dry Prairie, Wet Prairie, Wetlands and the largest remaining acreage in southwest Florida of Florida Slash Pine habitat, managed by Florida Fish and Wildlife. The State manages the property to conserve the native habitats as well as providing hunting and fishing opportunities. Northern Bobwhites, White-tailed Deer and Wilson's Snipes are most frequently harvested species. Its advisable to avoid Birding and other non-hunting actives during the scheduled hunting seasons.

These Slash Pine forests host several species of interest including Bachman's Sparrows, Brown-headed Nuthatches and the endangered Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers, plus Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Towhees, Northern Bobwhites. Other species of interest here include Sandhill cranes, King Rails, Chuck-wills-widow, Pine Warblers, Purple Gallinules, Limpkins, and more.

Babcock - Webb also hosts the rare Florida Bonnet Bat endemic only in South Florida and a very non-descript but the extremely rare Beautiful Pawpaw plant. This plant is only known from Pine Island in lee County, southern Charlotte County and Orange County.

Some Useful Webb Sites

Peace River Audubon Society - 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission -

Birdwatching Magazine Website - 

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Bachman's Sparrow

My Life List for this venue - (122)

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Res), Blue-winged Teal (u), mottled Duck (Res), Green-winged Teal (U), Northern Bobwhite (S), Pied-billed Grebe (S), Rock Pigeon (U), Eurasian Collared-Dove (U), Common Ground-Dove (Res), White-winged Dove (U), Mourning Dove (Res), Yellow-billed Cuckoo (S), Common Nighthawk (S),   Chuck-will's-widow (S),           King Rail (Res),  Sora (S), Common Gallinule (U), American Coot (S),
Red-cockaded Woodpecker

 Purple Gallinule (U), Limpkin (Res), Sandhill Crane (Res), Black-necked Stilt (S), Killdeer (Res), Wilson's Snipe (S), Spotted Sandpiper (S), Solitary Sandpiper (S), Greater Yellowlegs (S), Lesser Yellowlegs (S), Ring-billed Gull (U), Least Tern (S - has nested here when Lake Webb water level is low), Wood Stork (Res), Anhinga (Res), Double-crested Cormorant (S), American White Pelican (S), American Bittern (S), Least Bittern (Res), Great Blue Heron (Res), Great Egret (Res), Snowy Egret (Res), Little Blue Heron (Res),  Tricolored Heron (Res), Cattle Egret (Res), Green Heron (Res), Black-crowned Night-Heron (Res), White Ibis (Res), Glossy Ibis (Res), Roseate Spoonbill (Res),  Black Vulture (Res), Turkey Vulture (Res), Osprey (Res), Swallow-tailed Kite (S), Snail Kite (Res), Northern Harrier (S), Sharp-shinned Hawk (S),  Cooper's Hawk (Res), Bald Eagle (Res), Red-shouldered Hawk (Res), Broad-winged Hawk (M),  Red-tailed Hawk (Res), Eastern Screech-Owl (U), Great Horned Owl (Res), Belted Kingfisher (S), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (S), Red-headed Woodpecker (U), Red-bellied Woodpecker (Res), Downy Woodpecker (Res), Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Res),  Hairy Woodpecker (Res), Pileated Woodpecker (Res), Northern Flicker (Res), American Kestrel (S) Peregrine Falcon (S), Eastern Wood-Pewee  (M), Eastern Phoebe (S), Great Crested Flycatcher (Res), Eastern Kingbird (S), Loggerhead Shrike (Res), White-eyed Vireo (Res),  Yellow-throated Vireo (S), Blue-headed Vireo (S), Red-eyed Vireo (S), Blue Jay Res), Fish Crow (Res),  Purple Martin (S), Tree Swallow (S) Barn Swallow (S), Brown-headed Nuthatch (Res), House Wren (S), Marsh Wren (S), Carolina Wren (Res), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Res), Eastern Bluebird (Res), American Robin (S), Gray Catbird (S), Brown Thrasher (Res), Northern Mockingbird (Res), European Starling (Res), American Goldfinch (S), Bachman's Sparrow(Res), Grasshopper Sparrow (S),  Savannah Sparrow (S), Swamp Sparrow (S), Eastern Towhee (Res), Eastern Meadowlark (Res), Red-winged Blackbird (Res), Brown-headed Cowbird (S), Common Grackle (Res), Boat-tailed Grackle (Res),  Black-and-white Warbler (S), Prothonotary Warbler (S),Common Yellowthroat (Res), American Redstart (S), Northern Parula (Res), Palm Warbler (S), Pine Warbler (Res), Yellow-rumped Warbler (S), Yellow-throated Warbler (S), Prairie Warbler (Res), Northern Cardinal (Res)

Spurred Butterfly-Pea

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