Need help/advice with FLA trip...

Discussion in 'Birds' started by merlin50, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. merlin50


    Nov 5, 2005
    I'm headed to the West coast of Florida during the period of 2/9 - 2/15. My intent is to hit the Venice Rookery, Ding Darling and Anhinga as well as any others knowledgeable members may suggest that are within striking distance.

    I'd appreciate suggestions from anyone who has been to these areas as to how much time I should devote to each one (and any others which may be better) as well as suggestions on where I might secure a place to stay at/near each or within a reasonable distance. My needs in terms of lodging are quite simple. A clean bed and bath for probably no more than 8 hours a night/day.

    Thanks in advance for any help provided.

    Mods/Admins - if this is posted in the wrong area please feel free to redirect/move.

  2. We were there last June, based ourselves out of Naples. The one addition I would make is a trip out of Marcos Islands. We found a guide down there who, along with things such as the ever present Osprey's, found us Sea Turtles and Manatees as well. Drop me a line, I'd be happy to pass on his info for you.

    I also have some other info at home that some of the Florida folks passed on to me that we just did not have time to get to. I really enjoyed Ding Darling, and having been told we were there "at the wrong time" I can't belive what the "right time" must be like. One thing I would be sure to do is to get to the causeway across to Ding Darling and hope you can time it for when the Frigate Birds and Pelicans are just hanging in the wind above the road. We weren't prepared, and when we came back they were gone, but what a site that was.
  3. These are three of my favorite places for a South Florida trip. Which is best? I always ask folks when I get there. It varies from time to time as to which is best. The Venice Rookery is best at morning. Ding Darling is good early and late in the day. Be sure and check their hours and they are closed one day a week, forget which one. Low tide is a good thing. Check in the visitor center. The beaches in Ft. Myers and along the causeway to Sanibel offer some good photo ops as well. Anhinga Trail is a good distance away, but very worhwhile. Stop a the Big Cypress Visitor center along the way on Tamiami Trail and ask about the loop road nearby. You may also want to look into Corkscrew Swamp, which is about an hour or so from Ding Darling. You may want to do another post a week before you go in order to get the latest scoop from local photogs and recent visits by others. You are going at a good time. The winter is the dry season and birds congregate around water. This means fewer places for the birds to go. When it's wet they tend to scatter.
  4. Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  5. I will guarranty you will enjoy Venice Rookery. At the Rookery, you're shooting out across the water at a distance of about 100 - 200 feet. While I was there I was told by everyone to be sure and visit Ding Darling. Also, there is another place close by where you can shoot Eagles. Can't remember the name of that place. Have fun and you will.

  6. merlin50


    Nov 5, 2005
    Thank you very much Bill, Bob, Muril and Louie. I've been sick as a dog ever since I posted the above hence my lack of response.

    Bob - While the East coast get together sounds exceptional I have my heart set on the West coast for my first time in FL for photography purposes. I will guarantee though that if the East coast event is an anuual thing I will be there next year for sure!

    Perhaps I should have worded my questions a bit differently. Two things I have trouble deciding on for this trip are how many days to allot for each destination (as in which might have the most/most vaired opportunities) and if anyone has any recommendations on where to stay near any of the birding hot spots. Any locals know approximately how far it is from either Ding or Vebice to the Anhinga Trail?

    Thanks again!

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