Florida Bird Trip
April 29- May 5
This is a three option trip. You can attend one, two or three of the locations. The first event is a trip to the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida for two days of photography, followed by two days at the Circle B Bar Reserve with one day at the Sweetwater Wetlands Park.
Please read all the details.
April 29 Travel to St. Augustine
April 30 & May 1 Option #1 Photography at the Alligator Farm.
Late afternoon May 1 travel to Circle B Bar Reserve
May 2 & May3 Option #2 Photography at Circle B Bar Reserve
May 4th Option #3 Photography at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
May 5th travel back home
You do not have to attend events at both of these locations, but I will need to know that for planning purposes as to the trips you are interested in attending.
The Alligator Farm requires a 2 day photography pass or an annual photography pass. These dates were recommended by the Alligator Farm as there will still be a lot of activity with the birds during this time. Those that have attended in the past recommended the annual pass. Purchasing of the pass should only be done a few days before the event.
A photography pass is required for everyone that enters the Alligator Farm early for photography and stays late for photography. For more information about the Alligator Farm check out the following links.
Photo Passes can be purchased online (http://www.alligatorfarm.com/zoo-membership/) in advance or on the date of arrival. One pass covers one individual.
Typical rookery schedule with spoonbill information can be found at: https://www.alligatorfarm.com/rookery/?p=1345
Following are the benefits for 2022 Photo Pass members:
- Year-round entry into the park
- February 26th - June 26th daily benefits
- Early entry at 8am, one hour prior to general zoo guests. Stay until sunset (weather dependent)!
- Photographers only deck on east side of swamp.
- 5 submissions into our annual photo contest
- 10% discount at the gift shop and Toucantina snack bar
- Quarterly newsletter
$84.95= 2-day photo pass, allows early and late entry into the park plus can enter 3 submissions into the contest $129.95= Annual photo pass membership
Don't forget to check out the status of the rookery through the following options:
Hotels that are a 20-30 minute drive from the Farm are $150-240 plus tax per night. Hotels that are near the farm are $275 plus tax per night. Once we have determined who is interested and in attending, I will provide a list of hotels for everyone.
Circle B Bar Reserve is a two-hour drive from the Alligator Farm to Lakeland, Florida. For information about Circle B Bar Reserve check out this link. https://polknature.com/explore/circle-b-bar-reserve Please look at the details on their website. This event will require walking the various trails. It will be up to you as which trails you prefer. Hotels in this area will be from $95 to $150. Current plans will be to spend two days photographing in this area. This location will offer a lot of options for photography that will be in the natural habitat of the birds and wildlife.
Sweetwater Wetlands Park is a short drive from Circle B Bar Reserve on the way back north. It will allow us to see some birds at this location that are not available at the other two locations. There is a small entrance fee per car. https://www.sweetwaterwetlands.org/activities. We will spend one day in this area.
No drones are allowed on this trip at either location.
If you are interested in sharing a room with someone or sharing a ride with someone email me. I will make sure everyone is made aware of that interest or you can contact anyone signed up for this event. This event is limited to members. If you know nonmembers that are interested, have them join.
If you have questions about this event, email me, but check out the websites first as you may find your answers there.
The 29th would be a travel day to St. Augustine. You can leave when you choose for St. Augustine or if you want to go as a group, let me know.
The 5th would be the travel day back to Knoxville. If you wish to travel as a group, let me know.
If you are only interested in attending one, or two of these locations, let me know.
Please register if you are interested in attending before March 25. Once I know who all is interested I will send out a list of hotels and other information. Please only register if you are seriously interested in attending.