Florida ~ Nov '18

Saturday 1 December 2018

A long awaited bird photography trip with Jono to Florida based at Fort Myers Beach.
Flew out on the 9th November with British Airways to Miami, picking up our hire car a Chevrolet Camero.
The idea was to drive the 2+hrs towards Fort Myers Beach stopping midway to grab some sleep not knowing that the seats don't recline in the Camero so after 5 minutes the sleep idea was a failure and the driving continued to the nearest Motel ..

The morning of the 10th was an early start for the drive to Ding Darling NR, arriving just as it was about to open.
Both of us were in T-shirt and shorts enjoying the temperature even this early in the day, the first stop, out we get and are instantly covered, every bit of bare skin literally getting bitten by 1000's of these near invisible little midges, called "No see em's" ... I kid you not, no sooner had I rubbed them off another million had taken there place biting like crazy, I put my Hoodie top on and zipped it up which helped but Jono was covered and the car had a billion on it .. So with no birds close in on the whole of the loop we were off to Lighthouse Point and then Bailey Tract on Sanibel Island both of these locations were much more productive for photography ..


The morning of the 11th started off from Wyndham Garden Hotel with a walk near the bridge at Big Carlos Pass to come back along the beach.

Breakfast at Denny's was well earned after that early session and nearly 4,000 calories later I was full to bursting, whilst eating I spotted a bird out the window which turned out to be a Yellow Throated Warbler ..

In the afternoon we went looking for Scrub Jay, Jono had success where as I got lost and walked for miles doing a massive circular route, sensing I was a long way from Jono I succumbed to turning on Data Roaming only to find out that although I had walked miles I wasn't that far from him ..

On the way back or could have been on the way there can't remember now we did a recce at Cape Coral for Borrowing Owl ..

The 12th,  first light and we are at Bunche Beach ..


After a great morning on the beach which always feels like its not long enough or you haven't managed to get the best out of it, the need for some breakfast at Denny's was becoming urgent so a change of clothes at the car and we were on our way ..

Breakfast took ages and we are now running late for our next location of Corkscrew Swamp ...  

Back at our Hotel whilst eating Alligator & Grouper and drinking beer we had a decision to make either go back to Bunche Beach or go back to Corkscrew Swamp we both decided on the swamp ..
The 13th our last day packed all our gear from the hotel and left early to get to Corkscrew Swamp to be the first ones in ..

On the way back to the airport we tried another site which involved a sand track which went on for miles and this very nearly became our 4th Country to get a vehicle stuck ..

Florida was fantastic and will most definitely get another go in 2019..