K68. Port Orange Causeway Park
SiteID: E68 (new)
Nearest City: Port Orange
Phone Number: 386-506-5852
Website: K68. Port Orange Causeway Park
Features/Amenities: Restrooms, Good for beginners, Birding by boat, Birding by foot/hiking, Best time of day: All day, Recommended length of visit: a few hours br>
Habitats: Mangrove Swamp, River/Stream/Spring/Canal, Mudflats
Although this park under the Dunlawton Causeway is small, it provides a rewarding glimpse into the 1,000-acre Port Orange Wildlife Sanctuary, a 4-mile stretch of islands in the Halifax River/Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). The southern side of the park has fishing piers, boat launches and a manicured, grassy shoreline, all of which provide excellent vantage points for scoping Rookery Island (also known as ICW Island #3) and mudflats at low tide. As the name implies, the island is a nesting site for up to 400 pairs of Brown Pelicans, plus egrets, herons, Double-crested Cormorants, White Ibises and a few pairs of American Oystercatchers. Sunrise and sunset are excellent times to view hundreds of birds arriving or departing the island. Occasionally, Reddish Egrets, night-herons, Magnificent Frigatebirds and Roseate Spoonbills are reported. The northeast corner of the park offers views of mudflats and oyster bars on the west side of the ICW’s main channel. At low tide, shorebirds (including Piping Plovers and Ruddy Turnstones) may be found. Check the mangroves near the small dock on the northwest side for wading birds such as Tricolored Herons. A fishing/observation pier on the western side of the park is a good vantage point from which you might spot Caspian and Sandwich Terns year-round, and in winter, Peregrine Falcons, Great Black-backed Gulls and Common Loons. Horned Grebes and all three scoters are less reliable, but present, each winter. Five or six guided walks are led each year by Halifax River Audubon. Expect heavy boat and fishing activity on weekends and holidays. A spotting scope is especially useful here.
Directions: From I-95 south of Daytona Beach, take exit 256 for SR 421/Dunlawton Ave. Go east for 4.3 mi. Turn right (south) off SR 421/SR A1A/Dunlawton Ave. just before the bridge, and take an immediate left. The park entrance road parallels the bridge, and parking areas are underneath and north of the bridge. The park can also be accessed from westbound Dunlawton Ave.; turn right (north) just after crossing the bridge.
Open all year, 24 hours/day.
Location: 29.146044, -80.979523