D33. Bowditch Point Regional Park
Nearest City: Fort Myers Beach
Phone Number: 239-765-6794
Website: D33. Bowditch Point Regional Park
Amenities: Restrooms, Entrance fee required, Birding by boat, Birding by foot/hiking, Best time of day: Both morning and evening, Recommended length of visit: quick stop br>
Habitats: Mangrove Swamp, Marine/Bay, Salt Marsh, Beach/Dune, Mudflats
This preserve at the northwest tip of Estero Island may be small (only 18 acres), but its location and habitat diversity make it a must-see on any birding loop that includes the island. Trails along the Gulf beach yield views of Snowy, Piping and Wilson’s plovers, in addition to the myriad terns and gulls that cruise the beach. The bay shoreline is best for waders such as Reddish Egrets that poke the mudflats at low tide. Black Skimmers and Brown Pelicans ply the surf, and occasionally a Bald Eagle can be seen among the Ospreys overhead. Take care not to disturb loafing plovers in the dunes. Interior trails lead to a tidal creek, which is a magnet for migrating passerines – look in the sea grapes first thing in the morning for best results.
Directions: From intersection of SR 865/Estero Blvd. and San Carlos Blvd. in Fort Myers Beach, drive 0.9 mi. north on Estero Blvd. to the parking area at the end of the road.
Open all year, 7 a.m. to dusk.