St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve: Deal Tract

Cape San Blas Rd. (CR 30-E), Port St. Joe, 32456
(850) 229-1787
sunrise to sunset

flats

Located on the bay side of St. Joseph Peninsula, this site offers a casual hike through sand pine scrub to a fork in the trail. To the right, follow the trail to a large tower and dock overlooking St. Joseph Bay, where you can scope for Buffleheads on the bay, and Clapper Rails along the edges of the marsh. When the tide is out shorebirds frequent the flats and channels; Black-bellied Plovers and Willets are common. In fall, look for migrating raptors such as Merlin and Cooper’s Hawks and in winter check open grassy areas for Savannah and Chipping Sparrows. To the left at the fork, the trail leads to a hardwood hammock which can be productive for spring and fall songbird migrants like Hooded Warbler and Summer Tanager. In winter, Gray Catbirds and Ruby-crowned Kinglets are common in the hammock. During the summer, biting insects can be fierce and the trails offer little shade: bring insect repellent and drinking water.

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