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Birding Southwest Florida, Sanibel and the Everglades

Program Number: 11908RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/9/2014 - 11/14/2014; 1/25/2015 - 1/30/2015; 2/1/2015 - 2/6/2015; 2/15/2015 - 2/20/2015; 3/8/2015 - 3/13/2015; 3/22/2015 - 3/27/2015; 4/12/2015 - 4/17/2015; 10/25/2015 - 10/30/2015; 11/8/2015 - 11/13/2015; 11/15/2015 - 11/20/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Naples, Florida
Price starting at: $1,329.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Discover diverse birding habitats in the Western Everglades and Caloosahatchee Watershed. Boardwalks, beach paths and hiking trails help us penetrate swamps, pines, oak hammocks and mangrove forests to see wintering birds and native breeders. Twenty species of wading birds call southwest Florida home, in addition to a variety of birds of prey, including Bald Eagles, Swallow-tailed Kites and the endangered Everglades Kite. Purple Gallinules and eastern Burrowing Owls are our rarer natives.




Highlights

• Walk the boardwalk at Fakahatchee State Preserve, looking for bald eagles, anhingas, ospreys and owls.
• Explore a wildlife refuge that is a habitat to more than 220 species — including the colorful Roseate Spoonbill.
• Experience Tigertail Beach’s exceptionally tame plovers.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to 2.6 miles one day; other walks 1-2 miles over varied terrain.



So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1.




Naples

Named for the Italian city and only two miles west of Picayune Strand State Forest, Naples is part of the Paradise Coast vacation area that includes Marco Island and the Everglades. The city is home to a thriving arts scene and nourished by its clean beaches and many championship golf courses.



Accommodations
Comfortable hotel with pool, fitness center.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Myers-Estero
  Naples/Estero /Ft. Myers 5 nights
 Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Myers-Estero
Type: Inn
  Description: This hotel has received the 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award. This honor is awarded to establishments that achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site. Our staff takes great pride in consistently offering an exceptional experience to our guests. Stroll the beaches or explore the nearby islands when you visit Fort Myers, offering family-friendly seaside fun, ecological explorations, and a thriving nightlife. The Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Myers-Estero/FGCU hotel, FL, located off I-75 at exit 123, is the closest hotel to Germain Arena. Only a few minutes’ drive from Southwest Florida International Airport, our hotel is less than one mile from Miromar Outlet Mall and within 5 miles of Florida Gulf Coast University. Enjoy a complimentary airport shuttle service between the hours of 7:00am to 10:00pm from our Estero hotel, nestled between Fort Myers and Naples. Minutes from this comfortable hotel, discover the Fort Myers area waterfront and beaches . Free internet access throughout the hotel and complimentary, 24-hour tea and coffee service in the lobby add to the enjoyment of staying at this Hampton Inn hotel in Estero.
  Contact info: 10611 Chevrolet Way
Estero, FL 33928 USA
phone: 239-947-5566
web: hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/hampton-inn-and-suites-fort-myers-estero-fgcu-FMYETHX/index.html
  Room amenities: Curved Shower Rod Duvet Covers Easy to Set Alarm Clock Radio Ergonomic Desk Chair In-Room Movie Channel Night Lights in Bathroom On-Demand Movies On-Demand Video Games TV - 25 Inch Waterpik® ShowerheadCoffee Maker Complimentary Hot Breakfast Hairdryer High Speed Internet-No Charge Iron Iron/Ironing Board Lap Desk Microwave Mini Refrigerator Newspaper M-F (USA Today) Purity BasicsTM Bath Amenities
  Facility amenities: Fitness Room Heated Pool Business Center Fax Photo Copying Service Printer Baggage Storage Beverage Area, Complimentary Coin Laundry ($2.00) Concierge Desk Elevators Laundry/Valet Service Luggage Hold Multi-Lingual Staff On-Site Convenience Store Safety Deposit Box
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $169 - 239 Please call the hotel for pricing.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $169 - 239 Please call the hotel for pricing.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
5:00 PM Orientation You will be staying at Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Myers-Estero that night.
  End of Program:
11:00 AM You will be staying at Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Myers-Estero the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Yes - program provider's waiver.
  Parking availability:
Free at hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Naples/Estero /Ft. Myers
  Nearest highway: I-75
  Nearest airport:  Naples or Ft Myers
  From End of Program
  Location: Naples/Estero /Ft. Myers
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Estero/Ft. Myers, Florida

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Hampton Inn
phone: 239-947-5566

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Hotel Complimentary Shuttle
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

7 miles

   

Complimentary airport shuttle service between the hours of 7:00am to 10:00pm

 

Estero/Ft. Myers, Florida

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Hampton Inn
phone: 239-947-5566

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Hotel Complimentary Shuttle
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

7 miles

   

Complimentary airport shuttle service between the hours of 7:00am to 10:00pm

 
Driving Directions
  FROM TAMPA TO HAMPTON ESTERO » Depart from Tampa International Airport, FL (0.2 mi.) » Keep straight onto George J Bean Pkwy (1.3 mi.) » Take ramp left for I-275 S toward St Petersburg (38.6 mi.) » Take ramp left for I-75 South toward Naples (105.8 mi.) » At exit 123, take ramp right for CR-850 toward Miromar Outlets Blvd / Estero (0.3 mi.) » Turn right onto Corkscrew Rd / CR-850 W (0.2 mi.) » Turn left onto Corkscrew Woodlands Blvd (0.1 mi.) » Turn left onto Chevrolet Way (0.0 mi.) » Arrive at Chevrolet Way on the right (0.0 mi.)
  RSW TO HAMPTON ESTERO » From Southwest Florida International Airport, FL (0.0 mi.) » Bear left onto Terminal Access Rd (0.4 mi.) » Bear left toward Terminal Access Rd (0.2 mi.) » Bear left onto Terminal Access Rd (0.2 mi.) » Keep right to stay on Terminal Access Rd / Terminal Exit (1.8 mi.) » Turn left onto Ben Hill Griffin Pkwy / CR-885 S (1.4 mi.) » Turn right onto Alico Rd / CR-840 W (0.3 mi.) » Take ramp right for I-75 South toward Naples (4.9 mi.) » At exit 123, take ramp right for CR-850 toward Miromar Outlets Blvd / Estero (0.3 mi.) » Turn right onto Corkscrew Rd / CR-850 W (0.2 mi.) » Turn left onto Corkscrew Woodlands Blvd (0.1 mi.) » Turn left onto Chevrolet Way (0.0 mi.) » Arrive at Chevrolet Way on the right (0.0 mi.)
Elevation Note: No elevation is above 100 ft

Equipment Requirements: Binoculars (Spotting Scope also recommended)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Orientation/Dinner/Movie
(Sunday, March 22)
   
 Arrive To: INDEPENDENT ARRIVALS: Complimentary Hotel shuttle from RSW Airport to Hotel
 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Hotel check-in will be available beginning at 4:00 PM.

PROGRAM REGISTRATION & ORIENTATION: We will gather at 5:00 pm at the hotel meeting room for introductions and an orientation to the program. We will provide an informative overview of the program including a review of the updated daily schedule, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to weather and other local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible.

 Dinner: Drive to a local restaurant after orientation to enjoy our first program dinner.
 Evening: Big Cypress Movie , a brilliant educational film about one of America’s national treasures – Big Cypress Swamp – The Western Everglades.’
   
Accommodations: Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Myers-Estero
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Visit to Eagle Lakes Community Park, Freedom Park & Naples Beaches
(Monday, March 23)

Note: As wildlife is unpredictable, changes in times and locations may occur, even at last minute. A final itinerary will be distributed at the last minute.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast at the hotel including options such as eggs, sliced bacon or sausages, sliced bread , toast or bagels with jam/jelly/butter, pancakes or waffles with syrup, cornflakes or other cereal, coffee/tea, and juice
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Early morning birding as a group around the restored Cypress Swamp in Eagle Lakes Community Park where a series of water management ponds host a variety of marsh birds including more Anhingas, Green Herons, Blue-winged Teal, a gorgeous drake Eurasian Wigeon and more.
 Lunch: Enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch including fresh salad and/or sandwiches at Eagle Lakes Park or other suitable location.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Depart for Freedom Park and Naples Beaches. This is the place right in the heart of Naples for the nature lovers! This park includes a 5-acre lake with approximately 3500 feet of boardwalk constructed throughout the park. Wetlands have been restored by the removal of exotic vegetation and planting of native species.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner at local restaurant and review of day's birding and prospects for the following day.
   
Accommodations: Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Myers-Estero
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Visit to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary with its impressive boardwalk trail.
(Tuesday, March 24)

Note: As wildlife is unpredictable, changes in times and locations may occur, even at last minute. A final itinerary will be distributed at the last minute.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast at the hotel including options such as eggs, sliced bacon or sausages, sliced bread , toast or bagels with jam/jelly/butter, pancakes or waffles with syrup, cornflakes or other cereal, coffee/tea, and juice
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Early morning birding at Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Passerines, herons and limpkins. Terrain includes old growth cypress swamp, freshwater marsh and pine flatwoods.
 Lunch: Enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch including fresh salad and/or sandwiches at Corkscrew or other suitable location.
 Afternoon: LECTURE: Wood Stork Habitat Restoration and other Wildlife Management Issues by Corkscrew Director Jason Lauritsen.

FIELD TRIP: After the lecture head to Ag area to look for Crested Caracara and Limpkins.

 Dinner: Enjoy dinner at local restaurant and review of day's birding and prospects for the following day.
   
Accommodations: Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Myers-Estero
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Birding at Tigertail Beach County Park on Marco Island / Boardwalk at Fakahatchee Preserve "the Amazon of North America.”
(Wednesday, March 25)

Note: As wildlife is unpredictable, changes in times and locations may occur, even at last minute. A final itinerary will be distributed at the last minute.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast at the hotel including options such as eggs, sliced bacon or sausages, sliced bread , toast or bagels with jam/jelly/butter, pancakes or waffles with syrup, cornflakes or other cereal, coffee/tea, and juice
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Birding Tigertail Beach at sunset. A large shallow lagoon there provides important wintering habitat for an array of shorebirds. Like much of the wildlife we will observe on the program, the birds here are exceptionally tame and include five species of plover. Tips on identifying those pesky LBJs and other shorebirds. Terrain sandy beach and coastal mangrove habitat.
 Lunch: Enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch including fresh salad and/or sandwiches.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Walk Fakahatchee State Preserve looking for bald eagles, anhingas, ospreys, owls and raptors.The Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park hosts a wide array of habitats and forest types from the wetter swamps and prairies to the drier islands of tropical hardwood hammocks and pine rock lands.
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant and review of birds seen and prospects for following day.
   
Accommodations: Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Myers-Estero
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Shore birding at Bunche Beach / Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
(Thursday, March 26)

Note: As wildlife is unpredictable, changes in times and locations may occur, even at last minute. A final itinerary will be distributed at the last minute.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast at the hotel including options such as eggs, sliced bacon or sausages, sliced bread , toast or bagels with jam/jelly/butter, pancakes or waffles with syrup, cornflakes or other cereal, coffee/tea, and juice
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Early morning birding at Bunche Beach, a wonderful place to see hundreds of waders and particularly shorebirds (mostly in winter). All five plovers can be seen here as well as Marbled Godwit, Whimbrel, Roseate Spoonbill, Black Skimmer, peeps, and if you're lucky, Long-billed Curlew, Common Loon (in winter) and American White Pelican. Reddish Egrets are common. Rarities have included Surf Scoter and Pomerine Jaegar.
 Lunch: Enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch including fresh salad and/or sandwiches at Bowman's Beach Park.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Birding at Ding Darling, one of the first national wildlife refuges established in the USA, located on Sanibel Island, offers the birder an easy opportunity to view pelicans, wading birds including Roseate Spoonbills and shorebirds. There are birding platforms and overlooks (Red Mangrove Overlook) as well, where one may get lucky and see Mangrove Cuckoo (late spring through mid-summer at the area near the Red Mangrove Overlook). It is also one of the best places to view American White Pelicans in winter.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at local restaurant and review of birds seen and prospects for following day. Also answers to Bird Quiz will be revealed.
   
Accommodations: Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Myers-Estero
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Six Mile Cypress boardwalk/Return shuttle to RSW Airport and back to the hotel
(Friday, March 27)

Note: As wildlife is unpredictable, changes in times and locations may occur, even at last minute. A final itinerary will be distributed at the last minute.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast at the hotel including options such as eggs, sliced bacon or sausages, sliced bread , toast or bagels with jam/jelly/butter, pancakes or waffles with syrup, cornflakes or other cereal, coffee/tea, and juice . Check Out after breakfast.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Birding along Six Mile Cypress boardwalk, home to a variety of warblers, woodpeckers, herons and possibly waterfowl. There is a mixed topography of open ponds and cypress swamp.
 Lunch: Return to Hotel.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Complete Birder


Author: Jack Coonor


Florida's Birds


Author: Kate/Maehr/Karalus


How Birds Migrate


Author: Paul Kerlinger


Peterson Field Guides


Author: Roger Tory


Sibleys Guide to Bird


Author: David Allen Sibley


The Life of Birds


Author: David Attenborough




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As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



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