Local Chapters to Host Audubon Assembly Field Trips
On October 26-27, the 2012 Audubon Assembly will be held in Sarasota, FL. Sarasota, Venice Area and Manatee County Audubon Chapters have graciously offered to take visitor afield to some of their Special Places.
Field Trip Options and Times
For your daily dose of birds, Sarasota, Venice Area and Manatee County Audubon Chapters will host field trips both Friday and Saturday mornings to a variety of special places with numerous habitats.
Upon arrival at the Hyatt Regency, sign up for field trips at the Assembly registration desk; all groups meet at the main level hotel lobby 15 minutes prior to departure.
Myakka River State Park (Friday at 7:30)
Early arrivals can join a trip to Myakka River State Park, one of Florida’s oldest and largest parks. Containing over 75 square miles of wetland, prairie and woodland habitat, this spectacular park boasts a bird list of 200 species. View the magical “old Florida” landscapes from the many hiking trails and unique canopy walk. Visit a variety of habitats by foot and then enjoy a scenic drive back in time for lunch. Visit the State Park web site for a bird list: http://www.myakkariver.org/pdf/Birdlist_2010.pdf
The Celery Fields (Friday at 9:00 and Saturday at 7:00)
The location of the Celery Fields, the large diversity of birds (216 species recorded), and public ownership by Sarasota County make this an ideal birding location. The 300+ acre site is the County’s primary storm water collection zone, allowing it to serve a dual purpose of public safety and recreation. Sarasota Audubon worked with the county to restore over 80 acres to a traditional wetland for the benefit of birds. Sarasota Audubon is now running a capital campaign to build a nature center on the property to facilitate environmental education: http://www.sarasotaaudubon.org/capital-campaign/the-celery-fields/
South Lido Beach (Friday at 9:00 and Saturday at 7:00)
For those who hear the call of the beach, a walk on South Lido Beach might just be the answer (Sarasota is known for its gorgeous beaches after all)! The sandy Gulf shore will certainly turn up shorebirds and there might even be dolphins playing in the surf close by. Adjacent to the beach, Sarasota County has been replacing exotic plants with natives historic to the area in the 105-acre park. Tidal restoration efforts have also improved habitat, and besides shorelines along the Gulf of Mexico, Big Pass and Sarasota Bay, the park also boasts several interior lagoons. A boardwalk through the mangroves is a likely place to spot fall migrants.
For all field trips, please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring drinking water, sunscreen, bug spray and a jacket if conditions forecast rain.