Birding at Fort DeSoto Park

There are many places here in Florida that I like to go to photograph birds and wildlife, but Ft. DeSoto Park is probably my favorite.   Ft. DeSoto Park is a Pinellas County park located on Mullet Key, just south of Tierra Verde, Florida. Ft DeSoto itself was built in 1898 during the Spanish American war, and its remains can still be found there today.   There are many things to do at Ft. DeSoto Park. Fishing, boating, swimming, camping are just a few of the things that this beautiful place provides.  I like to start my day out with by driving over to the eastern end of the island and photograph the rising sun as it comes up behind the Sunshine Skyway Bridge

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge from Fort DeSoto
Michael Skelton | Light And Matter The Sunshine Skyway Bridge from Fort DeSoto

Ft DeSoto Park is also the home to many different migratory and non migratory birds. After the sun comes up, I like to drive over to the north beach and go bird hunting. I usually park in front of the snack bar and walk out to the beach. In between the parking lot and the gulf, lies a little tidal pool called “the lagoon.”  I find many of my best shots here.  I often find the reddish egret here, white ones and red ones. Snowy egrets, tricolored herons and white ibis are also seen quite often.   Moving to the north on the beach I usually run into a couple of oyster catchers feeding in the shore.

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Mike Scott

Beautiful pictures, Michael! I can’t stop going back and looking at that bridge shot again and again…

Matthew Gore

Thanks for this update, Michael! Beautiful photos, as usual. I’ve still never made it up to Ft DeSoto myself; but we’ve had such a warm winter, maybe this is the time for it.

– Matthew