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Bob Pelkey | profile | all galleries >> The Great Florida Birding Trail >> The Great Florida Birding Trail: South Region >> Piping Plover Cluster >> San Carlos Bay: Bunche Beach Preserve tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

San Carlos Bay: Bunche Beach Preserve

San Carlos Bay: Bunche Beach Preserve is a stop on the Great Florida Birding Trail. I made my first visit to this beach November 3, 2008 and was extremely impressed with the bird activity in the late morning to early afternoon when the preserve is known to be at its best in the early morning and late afternoon as most species to be seen make their way to and from the salt flats further inland. A birder visiting the preserve should be aware that the beach is east/west which should be taken into consideration when planning your shots. I recommend low tide action for obvious reasons in addition to best access to more remote areas of the preserve (a good hike down the beach either direction). Plan on getting your feet wet, most comfortably in the summer months. The preserve is very accommodating to do this. If you choose to cross the channels at either end of the beach, be extremely careful not to get caught on the far side as the tide rises or you may put your equipment at risk, not to mention yourself. I was more than waist deep in water crossing the east channel during an unusually low tide late last year. On a visit in early July 2009, there was a 5.5 foot change in the tide level over an eight hour span. Extreme conditions that were especially evident at the west channel during my first experience crossing the waterway. This is a place I highly recommend visiting if you are in the area.

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