Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Fort DeSoto County Park, Tierra Verde, FL

Fort DeSoto Park is in Tierra Verde, FL, but is very close to St. Petersburg.  While there I did a little bit of hiking and a good bit of biking.  I also went to the RV Super Show in Tampa.  My main reason for going there was to see the vendors, not of RVs, but RV supplies.  I didn’t get anything I had on my list!  The only RVs I looked at were several made by Nexxus RV.  I am not in the market for a new RV, just thinking ahead and wondering about these as they have been discussed a few times on the Lazy Daze yahoo group.   Of course, they didn’t have the plan that I really wanted to see.  I might stop at the Indiana plant on my way up to Michigan since I usually go that way anyway.   

I have been to this park before, but learned something this time.  I reserved one of the waterfront spots that is on the main water. (something Bayou). The other side of my loop is on water, but it is just a boat channel.  Well, 3 or 4 days while I was there it was extremely windy.  I noticed that the other side did not get near as much wind.  There was so much difference that if there was an empty spot on that side, I would walk over and sit at their picnic table.  Next time I will try for that side of the park. 

Like much of the country, Florida is having a much colder winter than normal.  I have had to use my heat several times up to this point.  I guess I can’t complain, my sister in Wisconsin has had several days where they did not get above 0 degrees!!!

One day, I went biking for a while and when getting back to the campground I noticed that on the non-windy side of the loop was an empty spot and lots of birds.  I stopped for 30 minutes or so and enjoyed watching the birds and kayakers.   The birds seem too tame as I was only 10 feet or so away from some of them, I am guessing that some campers feed them.

Below is the view from my campsite as a storm is blowing in.

I joined a Bird watching group, but unfortunately it was a bit windy and we didn’t see too many birds.  We did find the Roseate Spoonbill below(one of my favorites!), along with a Tri-colored Heron, Oyster Catchers, Willets …--

We also saw a nesting Great Horned Owl.  When I saw her on the tour, the light was not great, so I went back another day.  When I visited the second time, the sun was shining perfectly on the tree where the nest is and I was thinking what a great picture this will be.  This is what I found --

The owl was facing the opposite direction!  She did turn around and check me out a few times --

Below is a picture from the first day --

There are a few birds visiting the area that are not typically in Florida.  Above is a Western Tanager, that many birders were very excited to see. 

We had several great sunsets.  The one below was taken from my campsite on my first night at the park. 

From here, I head north to Hillsborough River State Park. 


  1. Fort DeSoto is a nice park, but too expensive for my wallet. And, Hillsborough River SP is much improved from when I attended college in Tampa. Enjoy!

  2. Hi Pam. Nice post; I really like your bird shots. I'm leading a group of bird photographers to Fort DeSoto next week. Was the owl at the picnic area near North Beach? That is where I saw nesting owls last year.

    1. Thanks, yes the birds were in the North Beach parking lot. I heard heard someone say they're in the same tree as the last several years. They are hard to miss because they put plastic orange construction fence up to keep people away.