Located on Lake Griffin, the Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area offers great birding and wildlife viewing; you can pick up a map of the property at any entrance kiosk. Start at the main entrance on Emeralda Island Rd. to begin birding the scenic, 4 mile Wildlife Drive. Car access is permitted Friday through Sunday from the 3rd week in February though the end of May. Otherwise, hike or bike along this self-guided, interpretive loop on the narrow levee road. Least Bitterns are common, and migratory ducks like the impoundments in the fall and winter. Mottled Ducks occur year-round; watch for shorebirds and alligators as well. Several additional entrances along Emeralda Island Rd. have good winter sparrow habitat; Le Conte’s and Lincoln’s Sparrow have been recorded. In April and May large flocks of Bobolinks are possible and in 2008 a Lazuli Bunting (rare) was recorded. Purple Gallinule, Limpkin, Sandhill Crane, Blue Grosbeak and Indigo Bunting are always a possibility. Seasonal waterfowl hunting takes place here; please click here for dates, regulations and more information. Portions of the area may be closed intermittently for habitat restoration.