Birding Locations

Marl Bed Flats
Eastern Phoebe at Marl Bed Flats
Over the last three years or so of living in Florida, I've developed a list of favorite places that I like to go to at different times during the year. I spend most of my time in Seminole and Orange Counties, and I thought it would be good to compile a list of my favorite places here.  I have links here field reports for all these locations, and for some I've written guides so that others can benefit from these places as well. Most of these are in Seminole Co, but I plan on expanding into Orange Co. and other locations in Central Florida. I also wrote an post a couple years ago on the spirituality of space if you're interested.

Florida
Seminole County:
  • Overview of Seminole Co Photography Locations [Guide]
  • Lake Jesup Area
    • Lake Jesup Conservation Area [Guide]: This guide contains an overview of the three tracts of the Lake Jesup CA.
    • Lake Jesup CA--Marl Bed Flats (Oak Way) [Guide] [Field Reports]: This is the most popular birding location in the Lake Jesup CA, and it's where all the most interesting finds have been.
    • Lake Jesup CA--East Tract (Elm St) [Field Reports]: This has a nice trail taking you to Lake Jesup with an observation tower .
    • Lake Jesup CA--Nort Tract (Cameron Ave) [Field Reports]: This is a huge area but the Cameron Ave. entrance has a lot of potention, I believe, even though it's under-birded.
    • Lake Jesup Park (Sanford Ave) [Field Reports]: For many, this is just a boat ramp. But there are trails here that have a lot of promise.
    • Spring Hammock Preserve [Field Reports]: Osprey Trail takes you to the western shore of Lake Jesup, and there a boardwalk through a Cypress swamp that's really pretty. 
    • Central Winds Park [Field Reports]: The best place for migrants in Seminole Co, especially in the Fall.
    • Overlook Park [Field Reports]: This is a very small park, but it's a good place to get a good look at Lake Jesup--great for finding ducks, terns and gulls.
    • Canal St [Field Reports]: My favorite little sparrow spot.
  • Econ River Area
  • Wekiva River Area 
    • Lower Wekiva River Preserve [Guide] [Field Reports]: Best place I know of in Seminole County for Red-headed Woodpeckers and Bachman's Sparrows.
    • Wekiwa Springs State Park (Markham Woods Tract) [Field Reports]: A lovely area of Wekiwa Springs SP in Seminole Co that needs more attention.
  • Lake Parks
    • Lake Lotus Park [Field Reports]: A pretty little park in Altamonte that's a pretty great place for migrants.
    • Red Bug Lake Park [Field Reports]: Best reason to visit here is to see baby Sandhill Cranes in the Spring.
Orange County:
  • Orlando Wetlands Park [Field Reports]: A birder's paradise, especially for waders.
  • Mead Botanical Gardens [Field Reports]: One of the best places for migrants in Orange Co.
  • Wekiwa Spring State Park [Field Reports]: There are lots of recreational activities here, but I like the wildlife viewing opportunities here a lot.
  • Lake Apopka Loop Trail [Field Reports]: The Best Place I know to find vagrants in Orange Co.
  • Hal Scott Preserve [Field Reports]: Red-cockaded Woodpeckers are only one of the fun birds to find here.
Brevard/Volusia Counties:
  • Merritt Island NWR [Field Reports]: Probably the best overall birding location within an hour's drive of my house.
  • Viera Wetlands [Field Reports]: A wonderful place for wading birds, ducks and shorebirds, especially at the "click" ponds across the road.
  • Jetty Park [Field Reports]: Other than the cost to get in, this is a fabulous place for gulls and other sea birds.
  • Ponce Inlet [Field Reports]: A great place for gulls and sea birds.
Osceola/Polk Counties:
  • East Lake Tohopekaliga [Field Reports]: The closest place to my home that's reliable for Snail Kites.
  • Joe Overstreet Road and Landing [Field Reports]: While standing in one spot, I saw a Long-billed Curlew and a Crested Caracara.
  • Three Lakes WMA [Field Reports]: Best place I know for Red-cockaded Woodpeckers.
  • Circle B Bar Reserve [Field Reports]: A wonderful place to visit; my favorite in Polk Co.
Other Florida Counties:

Maryland & Virginia
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