I’m home after spending 5 days in Florida. A very successful trip birding-wise although birding wasn’t the only focus. Just like I did for my last trip to Florida, I’ll be posting an individual entry for each day of the trip.
As I mentioned above, birding was not the only focus on this trip. It was our first family vacation in a while (treatment) and the family was eager to enjoy the beach, etc. I was hoping to balance this with birding and to try not to put too much on my plate. It ended up working out pretty well and I enjoyed every minute I was able to bird, be it on the hotel grounds or at STA-5.
My trip went like this:
Nov 24: Arrival in Longboat Key; hotel birding
Nov 25: Thanksgiving; hotel birding
Nov 26: Morning at Lido Beach; hotel birding
Nov 27: STA-5 in the Everglades Agricultural Area
Nov 28: Birding Locally on Longboat Key
Nov 29: Departure for NY
My family has been going to Longboat Key every year for 40+ years. Although I wasn’t there for the first visit, I’ve learned the area pretty well and am able to bird there effectively.
Most of my birding in Longboat Key involves hitting spots within the hotel property, be that the golf course, the beach or the marina. Then there’s the local spots in the Longboat Key and Sarasota area. Usually once every trip, I’ll venture out beyond this region as I did for my STA-5 excursion this time around.
Longboat Key is an island right off the coast of Sarasota with a bridge connecting it to the mainland, thus making spots off the Key accessible. Bridges also connect Longboat Key with other off-shore islands such as Anna Maria Island, Lido Key and Bird Key. Its central position make it a good base for hitting spots throughout the peninsula.
Except for a few thunderstorms at the end of the trip, the weather was fantastic and was consistently in the mid 70s-80s every day. Because of this, most of my birding was centered around the morning and the evening when it was a bit cooler.
By visiting this area annually my life bird count drops by the trip and thus, the number of “lifers” for this trip was relatively low, getting 4/5 of them at STA-5. Because of this, my trip list has been my focus, my past few trips to Florida and I broke my record by 3 birds, getting my first double-digit Florida trip list at 102 birds.
Overall, a great trip. Expect more in the coming days!