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Greetings, list members.

I thought I'd follow up on Laura's informative  post with some more
information about Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area, which is indeed a
spectacular birding area if you're willing to do a bit of walking.  I've
been doing bird censuses there weekly since January 2000, and have become
fairly familiar with the diverse avifauna there.

A map of the Conservation area is available at:

http://sjr.state.fl.us/technical/es/images/emeralda.gif

This map is fairly accurate, but does not show the Wood Duck Parking lot,
the entry point for Laura's trip.  It is located on Emeralda Island Road at
the south edge of the Lake Griffin Flow-Way Area 1.  As Laura pointed out,
a hike from this point north through the Flow-Way will take you through or
near a variety of upland habitats, including xeric, mesic and hydric
hammock as well as successional fields, and eventually lead to a diversity
of wetland habitats.  The road to the SN Knight Parking area (also called
the Airstrip Rd.) actually extends across the Flow-Way and intersects the
levee road that parallels the shore of Lake Griffin, but that road is
currently closed to the public due to construction of new levees and water
control structures.  When it eventually reopens to the public, that is
probably the most productive single site for the greatest abundance and
diversity of aquatic birds.  Good birding habitat can be found near any of
the parking areas along Emeralda Island Rd. or Rte. 452 to the east.

I have chronicled some of my observations from the first year of bird
censuses at Emeralda at

http://www.stetson.edu/~pmay/emeralda/emindex.htm

These pages contain a couple hundred photographs and associated text
depicting the habitat, avifauna and other miscellaneous wildlife sighted at
Emeralda.  They are written in a journal style rather than as a detailed
site guide - if anyone has specific questions about the birds likely to be
found there or where to look for them please e-mail me offlist and I'll do
my best to answer.

Respectfully submitted,

Peter May