9700 South SR A1A, Melbourne Beach, 32951
Park: Daily, 24 hours
Museum: Daily: 10:00am-4:00pm
Spanning both sides of the Sebastian Inlet and both sides of the barrier island on which it is located, this state park has beach and Indian River Lagoon frontage, plus coastal strand, maritime hammock and mangroves. Upon arrival, pick up a bird list and map at the entrance station on the northwest side of the inlet bridge. As you drive in, look for a small cove on the northwest side of the bridge, which can be good for Reddish Egret and Short-billed Dowitchers. The foot trails along the river on the north side of the inlet provide a good vantage to scope for Lesser Scaup and Common Loons during fall and winter. In 2010, a Harlequin Duck was present. Check the ocean side for Ruddy Turnstones and Semipalmated Plovers, as well as Black Skimmers, Sandwich Terns and Herring Gulls. On the southwest side of the bridge, the entrance to the Sebastian Fishing Museum takes you past a dock where Wood Storks congregate and on through the campground to a spit of land good for shorebirds. Another entrance, south of the museum, leads to a trail through diked mangrove impoundments, which can be good for songbird migrants in spring and fall. Sea Turtles nest on the beach; guided turtle walks are held in summer. Butterfly viewing at the park is great! Look for Julia Heliconian, Oak Hairstreak, Great Southern White and Mangrove Skipper.