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lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

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Monday, 31 May 2010 06:53

Florida 2010 – IX – Sebastian Inlet State Park

1D3_8212PSEverglades National Park in the South, the city of Fort Myers and its surroundings in the West and Merritt Island in the East of Florida ar by far the most famous areas for birding and bird photography in the sunny state. Besides these there are tens of other spots in Florida – usually smaller areas with less visitors but these are as well worth the visit! In fact there are so many places in Florida that one could spend several years there and would not get bored at all! – to explore all birding spots and habitats in different seasons would probably take one human life. One of the less known places I would like to present Sebastian Inlet State Park on the eastern coast of Florida.





Willet (Tringa semipalmata)



Royal Tern (Sterna maxima)


Sanderling (Calidris alba)


This small reserve is located south of the popular Merritt Island that holds the world-known space center of Cape Canaveral. It is by the way quite difficult to talk about reserve or park when you are European – to Americans these words mean something different from what you would expect in European sense. Sebastian Inlet State Park looks rather as a big parking place under the highway bridge with broad concrete pathways that will lead you to the sandy beaches washed by the raging waves in the winter. Shallow lagoon connected to a inlet on one side of the bridge and fishing pier on the other; the parking lots filled up by the big 4WD cars and tens of anglers on the shores and the pier. The abundance of fishes also attracts great numbers of birds and these birds are used to the presence of the people and are make no difference between the fishermen and photographer.


Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)


It is not very difficult to get closer to the birds in this park – the best example might be the Pelicans waiting close to the anglers or the cleaning tables where they can always steal some fish or at least the leftovers. When I was taking the detailed picture of the Pelican´s head I got so close that the lens was out of its focus range! You can as well spend some time on the fishing pier and take photographs of the birds in fligh – it is great place for watching the fishing Royal Tern (Sterna maxima), Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) and Osprey (Pandion haliaetus).


Royal Tern (Sterna maxima)


Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)


Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger)


The vast beaches around the park hold good flocks of Royal Tern (Sterna maxima), Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger) and Sanderlings (Calidris alba); rather solely you will see the foraging Ruddy Turnstones (Arenaria interpres), Willets (Tringa semipalmata), Plovers, Wood Storks (Mycteria americana), Egrets, Vultures and other more or less common species. Do not forget to search the sea horizon and watch the fishing Northern Gannets.


Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)


Sanderling (Calidris alba)


Willet (Tringa semipalmata)


If you visit Florida´s famous Merritt Island do not forget to make a stop in Sebastian Inlet State Park. It is by no doubts a great spot where to start birding in Florida and where to watch and easily photograph all the common species that you can see on many other places all around the coasts of the sunny state. If you have one or two days extra, always find your time to explore some of the less famous spots – besides the good feeling that you do not only visit the most crowded places you can also find some bird jewels on your wildlife journeys. A very good source of such minor spots is the birding guidebook by Brian Rapoza: Birding Florida - More than 200 prime birding sites ( btw I still have one unused book available for sale) ) or the great online guides Great Florida Birding Trail.

List of relevant articles about Florida

Florida 2010 – I – Anhinga, the snakebird

Florida 2010 – II – Pelican the bomber

Florida 2010 – III – Wakodahatchee, all in one

Florida 2010 – IV – Osprey, Florida`s fisher

Florida 2010 – V – Waders – not a simple task!

Florida 2010 – VI – Florida`s woodpeckers

Florida 2010 – VII – J.N.D. Darling and chilly tropics

Florida 2010 – VIII – Little Estero Lagoon

Vultures of southern USA

Human – a friend or enemy?

Florida X - Egrets and Herons

Florida XI – close-up

Florida XII – Fort Desoto

Florida XIII – some more birds

Birds of Florida - Portfolio (article)

Portfolio - birds of Florida (photos)



Last Updated on Thursday, 27 January 2011 09:25
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