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Birding Around the City of Dunedin, Florida
Birding Around Las Vegas, Favorite Places Far Away

Dunedin, Florida
Birding Around Las Vegas, Dunedin, Florida

Overview

Dunedin is a place Northerners go to escape the cold northern winter and many locals enjoy the year-round warm weather. Of course, I'm talking about the birds.

While birding around Dunedin does not seem as stunning as places farther south such as Ding Darling NWR and Everglades National Park, Dunedin is a great place to see birds, many of whom are habituated to humans and allow close approach. Dunedin has numerous free public beaches and parks, providing access to sandy beaches, mangroves, marinas, pine-oak-palmetto forests, freshwater ponds, and freshwater swamps, each with a particular mix of birds. It is hard to find a spot in Dunedin free from the cries of Osprey or the sight of Wood Storks.

Link to Area Map.

dunedin causeway
Dunedin Causeway

There are several great places to bird around the City of Dunedin. Caladesi Island State Park and Honeymoon Island State Park lie just offshore and provide piney woods, mangrove swamps, and sandy beaches. They also require entrance fees, discouraging some birders. Honeymoon Island State Park charges $8 per vehicle, and after entering the park, the ferry to Caladesi Island costs an additional $14 per adult.

Dunedin Causeway. Access to the causeway is free, and sandy beaches with low-tide mudflats draw in birds that often allow close approach. Five feet from a Ruddy Turnstone, Snowy Egret, or Great Blue Heron -- no big deal. Many species of shorebirds and seabirds congregate here, especially at the low and high tides. Keep an eye out for landbirds too. The Causeway is also a great place to relax and watch the sunset.

Dunedin, Florida
Dunedin Marina

Dunedin Marina. The Dunedin Marina is a typical small-town marina with slips for about 200 boats, a city park, and a couple of places to eat. Birders can walk up to the edge of the marina, but access to the docks is restricted. A short pier along the north edge of the marina provides access to open water. Benches at the end of the pier provide a nice place to sit, relax, watch the boats come and go, watch the birds, and perhaps see a manatee.

The Dunedin Marina is good for watching birds close up. Atlantic Brown Pelicans and Laughing Gulls are comfortable around humans, and Reddish Egrets, Snowy Egret, Green Heron, and Great Blue Heron don't stand too far off. The pier is a good place to see close-up Double-crested Cormorants in the water and Royal Terns and Forster's Terns in the air. Signs warn boaters, and birders, to watch for manatee.

Birding Around Las Vegas, Dunedin, Florida
Hammock Park freshwater wetlands

Hammock City Park. A few yards inland from the shore, Hammock City Park, 90-acre natural area with five miles of trails, supports a variety of lowland and upland habitats, including pine-oak woodlands, sandy pine woods, palmetto thickets, black mangrove swamps, brackish sloughs, and a freshwater pond and wetlands. Most of the birds here aren't as habituated to humans as those on the beach, but keep an eye out for songbirds in the trees, wadingbirds and waterbirds at the freshwater pond, and an assortment of interesting species along the brackish sloughs. Watch for feral parakeets (especially in the ball field north of the park), frogs and pond turtles in fresh water, and always keep an eye out for alligators.

Birding Around Las Vegas, Dunedin, Florida
Bottlenose Dolphin and Ring-billed Gull

Location

Honeymoon Island State Park (1 Causeway Boulevard, Dunedin, FL) and Caladesi Island State Park are located at the far west end of Curlew Road (Hwy 586).

Birding Around Las Vegas, Dunedin, Florida
Black Skimmers at Dunedin Causeway

Hours

The state parks are open 8 AM to sundown.

Fees

Parking at Hammock Park is free.

Dunedin
Sunset view from Dunedin Causeway

Specialties

During winter, these sites around Dunedin support a variety of waders such as Wood Stork, White Ibis, and the spectrum of southern herons and egrets. Black Skimmers, American Oystercatcher, and other shorebirds also are common. Upland species include the expected common birds (woodpeckers, warblers, Osprey) and some unexpected species (Barred Owl, gopher tortoise, and American alligators).

For More Information

Google the official websites for Honeymoon Island State Park and Caladesi Island State Park.

Happy birding! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 161017

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