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Naples birding RFI

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Old Monday 12th December 2011, 20:02   #1
simmojunior
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Naples birding RFI

My non-birding family are considering booking a last minute holiday to Naples, Florida for next week (19th -26th December 2011).

Therefore, I was wondering what the birdwatching is like in the area, I have heard it is very good. I have never bird watched in North America so most species that I see will be new for me.

Does anyone have any information regarding good sites around the city? We are likely to be staying at La Playa resort so I would be looking for sites close to there (Ideally walking distance). Are there any sites accessible by public transport.

Alternatively, would anyone recommend a specific boat trip company or other excursion or guide that I should use? I am not really looking to pay the money to hire a private guide as this is likely to be too expensive.

I don't intend to birdwatch the whole time but may do a few trips.

Does anyone have any other information that may be helpful?

Thanks in advance,

Oliver
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Old Monday 12th December 2011, 23:27   #2
Andy Wraithmell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simmojunior View Post
My non-birding family are considering booking a last minute holiday to Naples, Florida for next week (19th -26th December 2011).

Therefore, I was wondering what the birdwatching is like in the area, I have heard it is very good. I have never bird watched in North America so most species that I see will be new for me.

Does anyone have any information regarding good sites around the city? We are likely to be staying at La Playa resort so I would be looking for sites close to there (Ideally walking distance). Are there any sites accessible by public transport.

Alternatively, would anyone recommend a specific boat trip company or other excursion or guide that I should use? I am not really looking to pay the money to hire a private guide as this is likely to be too expensive.

I don't intend to birdwatch the whole time but may do a few trips.

Does anyone have any other information that may be helpful?

Thanks in advance,

Oliver
Hey Oliver there are many great birding sites in the Naples area.

Here are a couple of links for you to check out.

http://fl.audubon.org/who_centers_Corkscrew.html

http://www.floridastateparks.org/collierseminole/

http://floridabirdingtrail.com/index...ve_State_Park/

http://floridabirdingtrail.com/index...gertail_Beach/

http://floridabirdingtrail.com/index...ey_State_Park/

try using this tool to search for birds you need

https://public.myfwc.com/maps/birdtrip/

Vincent Lucas is a local guide and I don't think he is that expensive try contacting him vplucasATcomcast.net (replace AT with the @ symbol)

There are excellent boat trips available http://evergladesnationalparkboattoursgulfcoast.com/

good luck!
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Old Tuesday 13th December 2011, 08:43   #3
simmojunior
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Originally Posted by Andy Wraithmell View Post
Hey Oliver there are many great birding sites in the Naples area.

Here are a couple of links for you to check out.

http://fl.audubon.org/who_centers_Corkscrew.html

http://www.floridastateparks.org/collierseminole/

http://floridabirdingtrail.com/index...ve_State_Park/

http://floridabirdingtrail.com/index...gertail_Beach/

http://floridabirdingtrail.com/index...ey_State_Park/

try using this tool to search for birds you need

https://public.myfwc.com/maps/birdtrip/

Vincent Lucas is a local guide and I don't think he is that expensive try contacting him vplucasATcomcast.net (replace AT with the @ symbol)

There are excellent boat trips available http://evergladesnationalparkboattoursgulfcoast.com/

good luck!
Thank you very much Andy! I am so excited now and really hope my parents decide to book it. I hope to be able to get to at least one of these sites. Does anyone have any information regarding sites walking distance or a short bus ride from the hotel.

I will send Vincent Lucas an e-mail

Many thanks,

Oliver
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Old Tuesday 13th December 2011, 13:00   #4
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Oliver -
My wife and I will be in the Naples area on the 25th and 26th. It should be possible to meet for a little birding. We will know all of the birds in southwest Florida if you feel you'd need someone with experience in Florida bird identification. We're leaving on the 19th, less than a week away; send me a PM for any other questions.
For the trip my wife and I are taking, I started a thread here:
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=218095

Steve
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Old Tuesday 13th December 2011, 19:59   #5
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Thanks for all the responses. Does anyone know Naples really well and know sites walking distance from the hotel.
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Old Tuesday 13th December 2011, 21:48   #6
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I stayed in Naples with my non-birding family in April. It is a lovely city and we thought it by far the best place we visited on the Gulf Coast. The beach is superb and the sunsets are not to be missed. There were plenty of birds too with Brown Pelicans, Magnificent Frigatebirds, Black Skimmers, Royal, Cabot’s and Caspian Terns, Laughing Gulls and Willets. Some great restaurants in town as well we particularly liked The Old Naples Pub and Yabba Island Grill is great for children.

If you can persuade your folks I really would recommend a car for a day or two if you can as there are some very good places within an hours drive.

Birding places we visited were:-

Corkscrew Swamp. This is a must as there is plenty to see from the boardwalk, this was the only place we saw Yellow-crowned Night-heron and Roseate Spoonbill. Loads of Gators here.

The Everglades. We did the Shark Valley tram tour which was a bit disappointing (mainly due to a “guide” who did not seem to know his stuff but just kept talking about himself non-stop). We also did a private airboat tour just outside the National Park which was great fun for the children and we had beautiful Purple Gallinules alighting on the boat. We saw Snail Kite along the Tamiami Trail

Marco Island. Tigertail Beach was good for waders and by driving around the blocks close to the beach we eventually came across a Burrowing Owl sitting outside it’s burrow (Bill Pranty’s book Birding in Florida was a great help here).

Sanibel Island. We found this disappointing for birds but did see Manatee here.

One trip I would recommend if your family is interested in general wildlife is a boat trip with Dolphin Explorer from Marco Island. Great views of dolphins, ospreys, bald eagles and frigatebirds.

As it is your first trip to North America you won’t be short of new birds!

Cheers
Simon
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Old Thursday 15th December 2011, 15:20   #7
simmojunior
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Thanks Simon for all the advice. I probably can persuade my family to go on the dolphin trip. Do you have a link?

My dad is hiring a car for the whole trip so hopefully I can get to Corkscrew swamp or the everglades. I am more interested in the passerines as I have seen most the waterbirds you have listed and the Burrowing Owls in Costa Rica and Brazil. I will look up the Restaurants you recommended and the airboat trips though my family is not really concerned about places good for children as my sister is 16 and I am 19.

Does anyone have any other information? Also, as I will not get hold of my old Fieldguide to the Birds of North America until tomorrow, can someone tell me or give me a link to a site with a list of the most common florida birds so I can start doing some internet research. Usually, before I go away I spend quite a bit of time trying to learn the identities of the birds that I am likely to see but with the trip only booked on Tuesday and first thought of on Monday, I have had no time.
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Old Thursday 15th December 2011, 20:11   #8
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You might want to check out Eagle Lakes Community Park in Naples. I have never been there, but I hear it can be reasonably good bird diversity. Too bad you can't make it to the Miami area -- we get a lot more wintering warblers than the west coast.

Carlos
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Old Friday 16th December 2011, 08:26   #9
sbradfield
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Hi Oliver

Heres the link for Dolphin Explorers on Marco Island

http://www.dolphin-study.com/

Cheers
Simon
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Old Sunday 18th December 2011, 09:25   #10
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Thanks to everyone for the replies. I am leaving tomorrow and I am so exited. I will post how I get on when I get back. Anyone got any final information they want to share with me?
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Old Sunday 18th December 2011, 14:47   #11
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Just enjoy, by the way you will get bored with seeing Osprey's lol
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Old Monday 19th December 2011, 03:14   #12
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Just enjoy, by the way you will get bored with seeing Osprey's lol
Steve
Indeed! They are one of the most common raptors you'll see! Still can't get use to seeing so many though.
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Old Tuesday 27th December 2011, 16:08   #13
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I just got back this morning from an excellent trip. I saw a modest total of 91 species but there were some great birds with 42 lifers. Highlights included Bald Eagle, Roseate Spoonbill, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-shouldered Hawk and a variety of warblers. Ospreys were indeed abundant though songbirds were rather sparse except at Corkscrew. I will post photos, a brief report and a full species list on a separate thread in the next couple of days.

Thanks to everyone for their help.
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