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FERNANDINA BEACH, FLORIDA

Birding on Amelia and Cumberland Islands and in the Okefenokee Swamp

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FL

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Birding

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$700 - $1000

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Road Scholar
Program #14147RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Equipment Requirements
Binoculars

Itinerary for Apr 14 — Apr 19, 2013

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Type: Hotel

Description: Near Atlantic Ocean beach - three tenths of a mile - easy 5 minute walk Evening Reception Swimming Pool Pets Allowed-extra charge Kitchenette Interior Corridors Local restaurants within easy walking distance Barb que and/or picnic area

Contact info:
2301 Sadler Road
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 USA
phone: 904-277-2440
web: residenceinnameliaisland.com

Room amenities: Alarm Clock, Coffee maker/tea service, individual climate control, iron and board Luxury bedding-crisp linens, thicker mattresses, custom comforters, fluffier pillows Pillows: down/feather Pillows: foam Pull-out sofa bed Roll away bed

Facility amenities: Swimming Pool Non-smoking High-Speed Internet Pets Allowed Kitchenette Fitness Facility All-Suites Property Dry Cleaning/Laundry Meeting Rooms Interior Corridors

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call hotel for seasonal rates.
Participants are responsible for making additional nights reservations.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, April 14 - Registration/Orientation and Get Acquainted
Afternoon: Participants may pick up nametag and schedule for the week anytime between 4:00 - 5:00 PM followed by orientation and dinner in the hotel conference room. Guests hotel check-in is 4:00 pm in the main lobby.

Dinner: Catered meal at hotel.

Evening: Your Road Scholar coordinator will walk you through the weeks activities as you follow along on your schedule. Each person gives their name and where they're from. We don't play name games or get acquainted games. You'll have plenty of time to get to know one another during your weeks activities.

Lodging: Residence Inn by Marriott Amelia Island

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Near Atlantic Ocean beach - three tenths of a mile - easy 5 minute walk Evening Reception Swimming Pool Pets Allowed-extra charge Kitchenette Interior Corridors Local restaurants within easy walking distance Barb que and/or picnic area

Contact info:
2301 Sadler Road
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 USA
phone: 904-277-2440
web: residenceinnameliaisland.com

Room amenities: Alarm Clock, Coffee maker/tea service, individual climate control, iron and board Luxury bedding-crisp linens, thicker mattresses, custom comforters, fluffier pillows Pillows: down/feather Pillows: foam Pull-out sofa bed Roll away bed

Facility amenities: Swimming Pool Non-smoking High-Speed Internet Pets Allowed Kitchenette Fitness Facility All-Suites Property Dry Cleaning/Laundry Meeting Rooms Interior Corridors

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call hotel for seasonal rates.
Participants are responsible for making additional nights reservations.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, April 15 - Huguenot Park/Kingsley Plantation/Talbot Island S...
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: These are great birding areas for shorbirds, waders, and ducks. You will also explore Fort George Island and the grounds of Kingsley Plantation. Field trip to Big Talbot and Little Talbot Islands for more birding. Located on one of the sea islands unique to Northeast Florida, this is primarily a natural preserve and a premier location for nature study, bird watching, and photography. Little Talbot Island is one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier islands in NE Florida.

Lunch: Picnic lunch provided.

Afternoon: Field trip continues.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant in historic downtown Fernandina. Enjoy walking around the tiny village of Fernandina.

Lodging: Residence Inn by Marriott Amelia Island

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Near Atlantic Ocean beach - three tenths of a mile - easy 5 minute walk Evening Reception Swimming Pool Pets Allowed-extra charge Kitchenette Interior Corridors Local restaurants within easy walking distance Barb que and/or picnic area

Contact info:
2301 Sadler Road
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 USA
phone: 904-277-2440
web: residenceinnameliaisland.com

Room amenities: Alarm Clock, Coffee maker/tea service, individual climate control, iron and board Luxury bedding-crisp linens, thicker mattresses, custom comforters, fluffier pillows Pillows: down/feather Pillows: foam Pull-out sofa bed Roll away bed

Facility amenities: Swimming Pool Non-smoking High-Speed Internet Pets Allowed Kitchenette Fitness Facility All-Suites Property Dry Cleaning/Laundry Meeting Rooms Interior Corridors

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call hotel for seasonal rates.
Participants are responsible for making additional nights reservations.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, April 16 - Cumberland Island Birding
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Ferry to Cumberland Island for a day of birding on one of the most beautiful barrier islands off the coast of Georgia. There is a large population of wild turkeys and dove, and great horned owls ply the forest before dawn. During the day, pileated (crested) woodpeckers and redheaded woodpeckers are easy to spot as they swoop from tree to tree and hop along the tree trunks in search of insects. Warblers and other songbirds also enjoy Cumberland Island's protected forests. Peregrine and other falcons can be spotted migrating in late October and November. Other birds of prey that can be seen on Cumberland are the magnificent ospreys and an occasional bald eagle. Both species have nested on the Island. In the marshes and along the creeks, snowy egrets, great egrets, great blue and little blue herons and small (and not so common) green herons can be easily watched as they feed on aquatic life. The dramatic wood storks are also a joy to observe with a wingspan of approximately five and one-half feet. White pelicans can occasionally be seen on the spoil banks along the St. Mary's River coming to the Island. Formerly an endangered species, the brown pelicans along the Atlantic coast line have made a dramatic recovery. They can be seen primarily on the beach, although they also feed in the rivers on the western edge of the Island. White pelicans feed by scooping fish when swimming, while the brown pelicans make dramatic plunges from the air for meals. Out on the beach, the bird life is very lively. Year-round residents such as the oyster-catchers and ring-billed gulls share the surf with semi-palmated plovers, royal terns, laughing and blackbacked gulls—and lots of sandpipers. In winter, rare purple sandpipers can be seen singly or in pairs on rock habitats and around pilings. On calm, clear days, rafts of scoters, small, darkcolored diving ducks, can be observed floating contentedly on the water near the shore.

Lunch: Sack lunch provided. Take any extra snacks or bottled water with you. Your lunch includes one bottled water. There are no stores on Cumberland Island.

Afternoon: Field trip continues. We will depart Cumberland Island at 4:45 pm and arrive back at the hotel at 6 - 6:15 pm.

Dinner: Dinner at a popular island restaurant across the street from our hotel.

Evening: Free evening to persue your own personal interest. You are three tenths of a mile from the beach, about a five minute walk.

Lodging: Residence Inn by Marriott Amelia Island

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Near Atlantic Ocean beach - three tenths of a mile - easy 5 minute walk Evening Reception Swimming Pool Pets Allowed-extra charge Kitchenette Interior Corridors Local restaurants within easy walking distance Barb que and/or picnic area

Contact info:
2301 Sadler Road
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 USA
phone: 904-277-2440
web: residenceinnameliaisland.com

Room amenities: Alarm Clock, Coffee maker/tea service, individual climate control, iron and board Luxury bedding-crisp linens, thicker mattresses, custom comforters, fluffier pillows Pillows: down/feather Pillows: foam Pull-out sofa bed Roll away bed

Facility amenities: Swimming Pool Non-smoking High-Speed Internet Pets Allowed Kitchenette Fitness Facility All-Suites Property Dry Cleaning/Laundry Meeting Rooms Interior Corridors

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call hotel for seasonal rates.
Participants are responsible for making additional nights reservations.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, April 17 - Fort Clinch, Amelia River Cruise
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: At the northernmost point on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, separated from Georgia by the St. Marys River, lies Fort Clinch State Park, the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail’s northernmost gateway. This “must-see” park allows visitors to sample a wide spectrum of Florida’s bird species and habitats – from migratory songbirds in maritime forests, to salt marshes teeming with rails and wading birds, to beach and ocean replete with shorebirds and seabirds galore. Don’t miss the opportunity to bird from atop the fort’s brick walls for an elevated, panoramic view of Cumberland Sound. Other species of interest on the park’s checklist are Gull-billed Tern, Wood Stork, Roseate Spoonbill, Magnificent Frigatebird, Piping Plover, Salt Marsh Skipper and Juniper Hairstreak.

Lunch: Lunch at a popular downtown restaurant.

Afternoon: Amelia's rich and fish-filled waters create a veritable gold mine for birds. Habitats include open ocean, beach dunes, grasslands, maritime hammock, depression marsh, and estuarine tidal marsh. Enjoy a cruise on a covered pontoon boat with our participants as the only guest on-board.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel.

Evening: Presentation TBA.

Lodging: Residence Inn by Marriott Amelia Island

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Near Atlantic Ocean beach - three tenths of a mile - easy 5 minute walk Evening Reception Swimming Pool Pets Allowed-extra charge Kitchenette Interior Corridors Local restaurants within easy walking distance Barb que and/or picnic area

Contact info:
2301 Sadler Road
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 USA
phone: 904-277-2440
web: residenceinnameliaisland.com

Room amenities: Alarm Clock, Coffee maker/tea service, individual climate control, iron and board Luxury bedding-crisp linens, thicker mattresses, custom comforters, fluffier pillows Pillows: down/feather Pillows: foam Pull-out sofa bed Roll away bed

Facility amenities: Swimming Pool Non-smoking High-Speed Internet Pets Allowed Kitchenette Fitness Facility All-Suites Property Dry Cleaning/Laundry Meeting Rooms Interior Corridors

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call hotel for seasonal rates.
Participants are responsible for making additional nights reservations.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, April 18 - Okefenokee Swamp Birding/Social/Farewell
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: All day birding in the Okefenokee Swamp. Boat fleet consists of 24’ Carolina Skiffs with canopies overhead and includes a wheelchair-accessible boat. Watch birds through what is arguably the world's most famous birding window, trek into one of the most unusual and interesting places to see in the Okefenokee Swamp where hundreds of wading birds return to roost for the night. Search for warblers and thrushes and try to locate tiny songsters flitting in the tops of centuries-old cypress trees. Along the way you can see the rarest of the rare, the red-cockaded woodpecker; wild turkeys, wading birds such as wood storks, ring-necked ducks and other waterfowl, hear the Bob-white call of the northern bobwhite, see blue grosbeaks and indigo buntings looking much like brightly colored ornaments hung on shrubs growing in field borders, as well as Mississippi kites, ospreys and bald eagles exhibit their mastery of the air. All told, 263 species of birds have been identified at sites along the trail. We can't promise you'll see all of them but we do know they have been sited before and it may be your turn on this Road Scholar program.

Lunch: Hamburger cookout in the Okenenokee Swamp.

Afternoon: Continuation of birding in the Okefenokee Swamp.

Dinner: Dinner at a popular island restaurant. We will dine together and say our farewells and share stories about the weeks adventure.

Lodging: Residence Inn by Marriott Amelia Island

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, April 19 - Optional Greenway Hike
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Optional early morning walk on the Egan's Creek Greenway. Over 300 acres that run north to south along Egans Creek, the Greenway was opened for public use in the summer of 2000 as an undeveloped park for passive recreational use. Its grass-covered roads are suitable for walking and bicycling and its environment exhibits a variety of natural wildlife and vegetation. You may choose to take one more look out for birds on the Greenway, located directly behind your hotel.

Lunch: Program ends at your own discretion. No formal class. Hotel check-out is 11 am.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
6 Field trips

Ratings

3.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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