Gulf Beach and Celery Fields field trip participants would need to be able to walk up to three miles on uneven sand conditions, wet, dry or loose.
Early morning hot breakfast buffet available at 6:30am. Please be ready to depart for the field trip by 7:45am.
FIELD TRIP: Our first trip will be to Siesta Key Beach in search of shorebirds such as the Snowy Plovers, Willets, Red Knots, Black Skimmers, terns and gulls. Learn how groups are attempting to protect beach nesting birds from predators.
Picnic lunch at a park.
PRESENTATION: Visit the Nature Center at Celery Fields and view a presentation on "Birds of Sarasota." FIELD TRIP: We rise early and travel to the Celery Fields to observe waking birds, marsh birds, ducks, and raptors. In early 2001, Sarasota Audubon began conducting bird surveys at the Fields where, to date, 206 species have been recorded. Mainly consisting of open marshlands, deep ponds, shallow pools, and canals, the Celery Fields are edged by oaks, willows, and pines on the eastern and southern boundaries. Fall sometimes offers particularly good birding, hosting up to eight species of sparrows, Marsh and Sedge Wrens, and several species of rails, including Sora and Virginia. The Fields also host breeding birds, including Black-neck Stilts, King Rail, Least Bittern, Limpkin, Eastern Towhee, Barn Owl and Eastern Meadowlark. Least Terns breed on nearby buildings and use the ponds as a primary food course. Rarities can show up from time to time, including Upland and White-rumped Sandpipers, Short-eared Owl and Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow. A flock of wild Monk or Black Hooded Parakeets is always a possibility. At approximately 3:00pm bus heads back to the hotel.
Dinner this evening is on your own to explore your local cuisine preferences. A bus will take those who wish to go to a Lakewood Ranch area restaurant.
FREE EVENING: You'll have about three hours for dinner and exploring on your own, then the bus will return to the hotel. Get some rest before tomorrow's full day of activities!