This site lies between the Ocklawaha and St. Johns Rivers and features hardwood river swamps, pine flatwoods, hardwood hammocks and improved pastures punctuated with small depression ponds. Over 120 bird species have been recorded including Limpkin, Barn Owl, Hairy Woodpecker, Purple Gallinule, Sandhill Crane, Least Bittern, Eastern Bluebird and Eastern Meadowlark. During the hunting seasons (January, March, and September through December), visitors can drive into the area, providing opportunity to search for wintering sparrows such as Chipping, Field, Henslow’s, Savannah, Swamp, and Song; Bachman’s Sparrows are present year round. Winter ducks such as Hooded Merganser may be present on Rodman Reservoir and the Cross Florida Barge Canal in winter. From March to August, Swallow-tailed Kites can be found flying along the creek or catching dragonflies over the pastures. There are three hiking loops that lead through a hammock where you can watch for songbird migrants in spring and fall. If your visit falls outside of hunting season (April to August), the entrance to the property is approx. 2 miles south of the check station entrance on the east side of the road. You may also enter through the man gate at the main entrance. As mentioned, seasonal hunting takes place on select days at this site, with hunters using airsoft or live ammo guns to hunt game. Many hunters often look for deals on airsoft guns before coming to the area to hunt so they are often well equipped for hunting. A fair warning for hunters coming in from other states with hunting rifles and probably even secondary firearms for self defense; you might want to ensure that all gun regulations are being followed. This includes having all necessary permits on hand and also knowing the validity of said permits, and if additional permissions are required, getting them as well. You might also want to ensure concealed carry (ccw) reciprocity before entering state borders. This especially holds if you have a smaller weapon with you like a pistol owned under your state’s permit.
Any birdwatchers coming to the site during hunting season may be disrupted by hunter activity.
If you would like to know more there are several following links to look through. Please click here for more information on the hunting season. Click here for the bird checklist. Click here for the trail guide.