Nov
13
7:15 AM07:15

JONES HAMMOCK & PLATT'S CREEK PRESERVES, FORT PIERCE

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Meet at:  Jones Hammock Preserve Entrance at 7:15 am to be ready to start the hike at 7:30 am.

Event Time:  7:30 am – approximately 10:30 am

Guide: Eva Ries, Naturalist, St. Lucie County Environmental Resources Department. Eva is an Advanced Florida Master Naturalist and Director of Avian Research for One More Generation.  

Description:  We will explore two adjacent St. Lucie County Preserves.  The theme for our hike is Fall Migration in St. Lucie County.  Eva will highlight which of the birds we observe are year-round residents, which have recently returned to Florida for the season, and any that are passing through on the way to Central and South America.

Directions: Parking is at the entrance to Jones Hammock Preserve in Fort Pierce. The location of Jones Hammock Preserve is on Bell Avenue between Promenade Way and Wilderness Drive; it's the section of Bell Avenue between Sunrise Boulevard and South 25th Street. Park vehicles on the grass by the wooden, brown signage. Please plan to carpool wherever possible and park vehicles "head in" only as efficiently as possible, as space is limited.

General Preparation Information: Each participant must carry sufficient drinking water, per county program policies.  Packing snacks which can be consumed while standing/walking is recommended.  Close-toed, durable footwear, preferably waterproof, is mandatory for participation in all hikes unless otherwise specified.  There is no toilet facility - please plan accordingly.  There are no trash containers, so plan to pack in/pack out any refuse from food/beverages.  Hats, sunglasses, SPF lotion/clothing, and insect repellent are recommended • Dress for seasonal temperatures, including light rain showers.  Small children and pets to remain at home, this activity is designed for adults (ages 12+).  Bring your binoculars, scopes and cameras to enjoy the birds.

Site Information: The terrain in these two preserves is uneven, and mostly earthen paths, including stepping on and across concrete weirs. Our route is around 3 miles and includes the pond area above the wetland. Please be advised that trails may have high vegetation in some areas.

For questions please contact Doris Brookens at cell: 717-576-7876 email: dorisbrookens@gmail.com

There is a 2-step registration process.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

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Jan
25
6:15 AM06:15

MERRITT ISLAND NATIONAL WILDLIFE RESERVE

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Location: Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, FL 32796. GPS Coordinates:  N 28.65740, W 80.75439

Leaders: Avid birders Doris and Steve Brookens 

Meet at:  Home Depot Parking Lot, 5880 Okeechobee Rd, Fort Pierce by 6:15 am to arrange carpooling. We plan to leave promptly at 6:30 am.  We will then continue to the Publix at St. Johns Plaza, 3275 Garden St. Titusville (Rt 406) for anyone who prefers to meet there at 8 am.  When registering, please indicate at which location you will meet the group.  The fewer cars we take on the wildlife drive, the easier it is to keep the group together and not block traffic.

Directions:  I-95 N to exit 220 (Rt. 406) Publix is ¼ mile on right. Merritt Island NWR is 92 miles from the Fort Pierce Home Depot.

Details: After meeting at Publix, we will proceed to Black Point Wildlife Drive. There is a $10 fee per vehicle to enter Black Point Drive. (Federal Duck Stamps are also valid for admission.)

The wildlife found in the area is phenomenal. The coastal location, tropic-like climate, and wide variety of habitat types contribute to the refuge's diverse bird population. Usually herons and waterfowl are abundant in January.

This is an all-day event.  After driving through Black Point, we will stop at the Visitor’s Center where we can eat lunch at the picnic tables.  Please bring a packed lunch.

On the way home, we plan to stop at Viera Wetlands, aka Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands, for more phenomenal birding.  Directions: From Merritt Island NWR I-95 S approx. 50 miles, exit 191 - proceed west, straight around a traffic circle until you come to the end of the road.

Bring your snacks, lunch, water, bins, scopes and cameras for a fun day. Toilet facilities are available at Publix, the mid-point of the Wildlife Drive, Merritt Island Visitor’s Center and Viera Wetlands parking lot.

For questions please contact Doris Brookens at cell: 717-576-7876 email: dorisbrookens@gmail.com

There is a 2-step registration process.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

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Feb
22
8:00 AM08:00

PEACEFUL WATERS SANCTUARY & OKEEHEELEE NATURE CENTER

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Location:  Peaceful Waters Sanctuary, 11676 Pierson Rd, Wellington, FL 33414. Peaceful Waters is located within Village Park Athletic Complex.

GPS Coordinates:  26.631355, -80.230555

Directions:  FL Turnpike to exit 93 FL-802 W which becomes Lake Worth Road.  Turn right onto 120th Ave S. Turn into Village Park Athletic Complex at the entrance prior to the intersection with Pierson Rd. Continue to the first parking lot on the right near the restrooms/sport concession stand.

Meeting Place:  Meet in the parking lot closest the Sanctuary at 8:00 am, at the end by the restrooms.  

Time: 8 am to approximately 1 pm

Leaders: Avid birders Doris and Steve Brookens 

Details: The city of Wellington created Peaceful Waters Sanctuary as a 30 acre wetlands park with 1,500 feet of elevated nature boardwalks and one mile of walking trails, providing the opportunity for close-up viewing and photography of an amazing variety of birds.  Herons, ducks, shorebirds and winter warblers are expected.  After we thoroughly explore the property, we will head to Okeeheelee Nature Center, 7715 Forest Hill Blvd, West Palm Beach where we will check the feeders for Painted Bunting, explore parking lot edges and perhaps walk one of the trails if time allows.  Bring your binoculars, camera, water and snacks.

After the tour, we plan to get lunch at Sweet Tomatoes Restaurant, 1900 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33409. Please join us!

For questions please contact Doris Brookens at cell: 717-576-7876 email: dorisbrookens@gmail.com

There is a 2-step registration process.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

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Mar
16
8:30 AM08:30

ORLANDO WETLANDS PARK & BLUE HERON WETLANDS

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Location: Orlando Wetlands Park – 25155 Wheeler Rd, Christmas, FL 32709

GPS Coordinates:  28.569379, -80.996641

Meeting Place:  We will meet at 8:30 am in the Orlando Wetlands parking lot.  Please arrive on time; we must be ready to board trams for our tour promptly at 9:00 am.  Restrooms are available near the parking lot.

Leader: Linda Sullivan - World traveler, avid birder & photographer

Details: This large wetland treatment facility uses aquatic plants to polish already treated wastewater before discharging it into the St. Johns River, providing a fertile habitat for all kinds of wildlife! We will look for Least and American Bittern, Purple Gallinule, Limpkin and Osprey. Black-bellied Whistling-Duck and other waterfowl, Crested Caracara and Snail Kite are possible. Linda has arranged for trams to transport us around the property from 9:00 am to approximately 11:30 am. The trams will make periodic stops to allow us to take photographs, set up scopes, etc.  After the tram tour, we will eat lunch together at a picnic area near the Education Center and Visitor Pavilion.  On the way home, we will stop at Blue Heron Water Reclamation Facility and Wetland Area where we will drive the dike roads around retention ponds to observe more birds and wildlife.  Blue Heron Wetlands is located at 4800 Deep Marsh Rd, Titusville and is only a short 15 minute drive from Orlando Wetlands.

What to bring:  Binoculars, scope, camera, water, snacks and a packed lunch.

For questions please contact Doris Brookens at cell: 717-576-7876 email: dorisbrookens@gmail.com

               

There is a 2-step registration process.

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Apr
9
8:30 AM08:30

CIRCLE B BAR RESERVE

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Location: Circle B Bar Reserve - 4399 Winter Lake Rd, Lakeland, FL 33803

GPS Coordinates:  27.9966229, -81.8652546

Meeting Place:  We will meet at 8:30 am in front of Polk’s Nature Discovery Center on the grounds of the Circle B Bar Reserve. After turning into the Reserve from Winter Lake Road, continue for .8 mile to the parking area by Polk’s Nature Discovery Center. Portable restrooms are available next to the parking area; indoor restrooms are available in the Discovery Center after it opens at 9:00 am.  Please arrive on time; we must be ready to board a tram for our tour promptly at 9:00 am. NOTE: About 3 hour driving time to reach reserve.

Leader: Linda Sullivan - World traveler, avid birder & photographer

Details: The Circle B Bar Reserve, on the northwest shore of Lake Hancock, is a former cattle ranch that today boasts a wide variety of plants, animals and birds.  We will see several distinct ecosystems in this reserve of over 1,200 acres.  We can expect to see a variety of ducks, herons, raptors and songbirds. Linda has reserved a tram for our group from 9:00 am to noon.  The tram will make periodic stops to allow us to take photographs, set up scopes, etc.  After the tram tour, we will eat lunch together at picnic tables near the Discovery Center.  Following lunch, Linda will lead a walking tour of the Reserve’s trails for anyone who is interested.  The Reserve is approximately a 2.5 hour trip from the St. Lucie area, but we believe you will find the full day of birding well worth the drive.

What to bring:  Binoculars, scope, camera, water, snacks and a packed lunch.

For questions please contact Doris Brookens at cell: 717-576-7876 email: orisbrookens@gmail.com               

There is a 2-step registration process.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

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Oct
5
7:45 AM07:45

PALEO HAMMOCK PRESERVE

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

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Location: Paleo Hammock Preserve, 8551 Carlton Road, Port St. Lucie, Florida 34987 - (Do not use for GPS). GPS Coordinates: 27.310203, -080.546328

Meet at: Paleo Hammock Parking Lot between 7:30 and 7:45 am.

Guide: Tim Towles, expert birder and wildlife biologist

Directions: I-95 Exit 126, CR 712 (W Midway Rd), Midway Rd to Okeechobee Rd FL 70 West, Turn left onto Carlton Rd - State Hwy 613, Paleo Hammock parking lot entrance on right (4.4 miles)

Details: Walking Tour: We will be walking trails, about 1.5 miles. Parts of the trail can be uneven and wet depending on the amount of recent rains.

Habitat: Wetlands, prairie hammock and unusual tropical trees. Bird species such as warblers, waterthrush, wrens, wading birds, waterfowl and possibly Snail Kites are seen there. There are many butterflies and native flowers found in the area.

Requirements: We recommend long pants, close-toed shoes, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and water. Bring your bins, cameras and enjoy. There are no toilet facilities.

For questions please contact Doris Brookens at cell: 717-576-7876 email: dorisbrookens@gmail.com

There is a 2-step registration process.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

ALSO CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE REQUIRED SLAS LIABILITY FORM

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