A diversity of sub-tropical habitats and proximity to the Caribbean, offering a vital first landfall to millions of spring migrant birds from Central and South America, make the ‘Sunshine State’ of Florida the fifth most species rich in the United States and the richest east of the Mississippi River, with a bird list of over 500 species, including restricted local specialities like Roseate Spoonbill, Swallow-tailed and Snail Kites, Short-tailed Hawk, Crested Caracara, White-crowned Pigeon, White-winged Dove, Mangrove Cuckoo, Grey Kingbird, Black-whiskered Vireo, Shiny Cowbird, the quirky Limpkin and Anhinga, the bizarre Black Skimmer and the endemic Florida Scrub Jay. Florida is also home to seven woodpeckers, including the rare Red-cockaded, eleven different herons and egrets, in a range of sizes from the tiny Least Bittern to the Great Blue Heron, a dazzling variety of colourful warblers and the highest concentration of iconic Bald Eagles in the lower 48 states, while the state bird is the Northern Mockingbird. Besides all these amazingly tame and approachable birds, offering unrivalled photo-opportunities, there is a wealth of other wildlife such as thousands of American Alligators and much rarer American Crocodiles, the secretive Florida Panther and the wonderful West Indian Manatee, which we can actually swim with on this trip! Imagine being face to face with a friendly gentle manatee!
Along this fantastic journey we shall enjoy spectacular wildlife sightings from the purpose built boardwalks and wildlife driveways at the top sites of the Great Florida Birding Trail like ‘Ding’ Darling and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuges, the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, the Big Cypress National Preserve, and of course, the world famous Everglades National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and wetland of international importance. So, pack your optics and let’s hit the trail!
Watch this space for further details, coming soon.