Fort Clinch State Park

2601 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach, 32034
(904) 277-7274
8am to sunset

Fort Clinch State Park

At the northernmost point on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, separated from Georgia by the St. Marys River, lies our northernmost gateway. Over 250 species have been recorded at this “must-see” park. As you follow the canopy road from the entrance, stop periodically and check the hammock and neighboring marsh for songbirds; 25+ species of wood-warbler have been recorded. Shaded bicycle and foot paths parallel both sides of the entrance road for several miles. Stop by the visitor center at the Civil War-era fort to borrow binoculars if needed, or visit the Birding and Wildlife Trail’s pavilion at the fishing pier/jetty parking lot to pick up information about the trail. The covered pavilion has several “bird windows” which permit close observation of Painted Buntings (breeding) and Common Ground-Doves at the feeders and bird bath in spring/summer and sparrows in winter. Be sure to walk the fishing pier alongside the rock jetty to see a plethora of coastal species. A few Purple Sandpipers usually spend the winter on the rocks. Scope the surf for wintering sea ducks and loons; all three scoters are recorded annually and Common Eider, Long-tailed Duck and Red-throated Loon are near annual. When the wind is blowing onshore pelagic seabirds are also possible; Northern Gannets are common in winter. There have been some spectacular winter rarities recorded from the jetty; a male Harlequin Duck was present in 2013/14, Florida’s 4th Thick-billed Murre was spotted in 2012, and several Razorbills in 2012/13.

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