Florida Trip, 2013


Florida Trip 2013

Online Resources:

(Sites and links to sites are at the end of the report)

A caution from 2011 report: do NOT trust the Tropical Audubon site directions for location opening hours without checking them first - I found them to be inaccurate.


This was a short, mid-week, explicitly targeted trip for Mangrove Cuckoo. Ultimately I was successful with it although it has taken about 20 hours in viable habitat between the 2012 and 2013 trips before I came up with one (actually two). I was reasonably lucky with the Thick-billed Vireo and decided to "harvest" two introduced exotic sightings for the life list - although finding exotics is always a lot less exciting than finding actual wild birds. Nevertheless because of this the trip was a valuable short trip and propelled me from 681 to 685 USA.

Travel Details

I flew United from EWR to and from MIA. They were OK outbound but delayed my inbound flight by 2 hours resulting in a 3am arrival time. United continue to disappoint post-merger, wrecking a good airline (Continental) in the process. Best avoid United until/if they get their act together. They did not inform me of the delayed flight until check-in, when I had returned my rental car and had no other options than to wait 3 hours before boarding.

I rented a car from Dollar, who were short of cars at 10pm on Monday evening and gave me a free upgrade to a small SUV. That car worked out OK, but it's worth bearing in mind that car shortages are an issue. The line at Dollar moved slowly, but perhaps this is part of a ploy to attenuate running out of cars. When I returned the car at 7:45pm the rental car lines at all the agencies in MIA were long. Worth bearing in mind if you make an evening arrival.

I stayed in two motels: the Motel 6 at Cutler Ridge where the check-in staff were especially helpful and the room was entirely fine. I've stayed there before - it's an ex Best Western (or similar) and even has a water feature. The rest of the time I spent at Travelodge in Florida City, just south of the Everglades turn-off, which while more expensive comes highly recommended and I would stay there again. Probably the best of the cheaper local chains and in excellent position for the Everglades and the Upper Keys.

Trip Report

Sunrise 7am, sunset 7:45pm.