FLORIDA – SARASOTA COUNTY – The Celery Fields
Photo Experience: In my two visits to this area over the span of five days, I was astounded at the number of bird species I saw. Different kinds of ibises, egrets, and herons were there in addition to roseate spoonbills, white pelicans, limpkins, purple gallinules, ospreys, bald eagles, and northern harriers. I also observed an American bittern. (I’ve seen no more than a half dozen of these secretive birds in the wild during my lifetime). Even though photo ops were significantly fewer than sightings, it is still a location that I would like to return to. A telephoto lens is a must here. I found the best opportunities along the two boardwalks. One is across Palmer Blvd. from the parking lot. The other boardwalk is a short distance east on Palmer and then right on Raymond Rd for less than a mile.
Other Info: The Celery Fields, administered by Sarasota Audubon folks, is located on Palmer Blvd, east of I-75 and south of Fruitville Rd (Exit 210). The people at the Audubon Nature Center (on the east side of the parking lot) are quite knowledgeable and helpful, as are the volunteer naturalists who staff the boardwalks many mornings. There are restrooms on the west side of the parking lot.