Flock to Destin for Fall Birdwatching and More
Temperatures are in the 80s and the sun is shining along Florida’s Emerald Coast. Now is the perfect time for you to schedule a trip and enjoy birdwatching and exploring nature in the great Florida outdoors. The area around Destin is home to several parks and nature preserves where you can observe native and migratory species in their natural habitats. Even butterflies travel the Emerald Coast during this time of year.
Destin sees over 225 days of sunshine every year and no snow. If you’re looking for a quick fall getaway or a place to spend the winter in comfort, Destin should definitely be on your list.
Here’s a look at some of the best ways to enjoy the temperate weather and sunny days here in Destin.
Watch Colorful Travelers Pass by on the Way to Mexico
Every year, Monarch butterflies from the Northern United States and Canada make their way south. Some will stay in Florida for the winter, while others will travel on across the Gulf of Mexico after a pit stop along Florida’s gulf coast. From August through November, you can expect to see a steady trickle of bright orange butterflies passing through Destin and other towns along the Emerald Coast. You may also see other butterfly species, such as the Gulf Fritillary. Programs such as Monarch Watch and e-butterfly.org help to track the paths these intrepid fliers take.
Follow a Trail to Florida’s Native Birds and Migrating Species
Florida’s beautiful weather has made it a popular destination for eco-travelers and lovers of the great outdoors for many years. As a result, many of the best sites for viewing wildlife and birds have been memorialized in trail guides. Among these guides is the Great Florida Birding Trail. Sponsored by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, you can use this trail guide to help you find native and migratory species.
Henderson Beach State Park in Destin is just one of the wonderful parks and preserves featured in the Great Florida Birding Trail. This coastal park on the Emerald Coast Parkway is home to many species of beach-nesting birds. So watch your step!
Visitors to Henderson Beach State Park have reported seeing loons, pelicans, and bald eagles. Other birds you may see at the park include plovers, sandpipers, swifts, herons, hawks, and kingfishers. Diving ducks such as the red-breasted merganser also make their home there as well.
Have Big Fun Seeing Flora and Fauna on the Bayou
Just north of Destin, the Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park offers many species a safe haven among the old-growth pine trees. Some of the trees in the park are over 300 years old. An offshoot of the Choctawatchee Bay, Rocky Bayou is home to many species of freshwater fish, reptiles, amphibians, and waterfowl. The water of the bayou is actually a blend of fresh and brackish water, making it home to some species that are found only in such habitats. Plant life in the park includes red pitcher plants, scrub holly, deer moss, and beautiful wildflowers.
Be sure to take your camera and an extra battery pack along with you for this trip. Visitors to the park have shared images of delicate luna moths, majestic ospreys, bright water lilies, and the stately gopher tortoise. Once you’ve discovered the beauty of this bayou, you’ll want to add your own finds to the collection.
The Perfect Weather for Everyone
Of course, the weather here in Destin is also great for other outdoor activities such as boating, biking, and golfing. Several area businesses offer rentals for whatever equipment you need. You can enjoy an existing hobby, or explore a new one all under our beautiful sunny skies. Whether your idea of outdoor fun is hitting the greens, hiking the trails, or sailing the seas—you’ll find everything you need here in Destin.
So, bring your camera, binoculars, or golf clubs, and prepare for a wonderful time. While you’re here, you can also take advantage of the live music, fine dining, and great shopping here in Destin and Ft. Walton Beach. No matter what the season, Destin is always a great vacation destination.