I've received several requests for more specific directions to the Fort
DeSoto site from new visitors, so here goes:

Upon entering the park, you'll be heading south.  When you come to a T
intersection, you will see the large Administration Building in front of
you. You'll be turning right (west) to get to the Bananaquit, but I'd
suggest that if you plan to bird other places in the park you turn left
instead to tne Administration Building entrance road.  You can pick up a
free booklet there with the park bird list and a sketched map with bird
sites shown, compiled by Ron Smith. There is also a book for listing the
latest bird sightings.

Heading west from the T, the road will eventually curve 90 degrees to
the north,  As you go north, after passing a large open field area on
both sides of the road, you'll come to the beginning of a large paved
parking lot on the left.  Continue on north until you see on the right a
very short paved access strip which crosses over the bike path and leads
to two small posts with a chain across where a sand road begins. (You
have not yet quite reached the  Arrowhead picnic area entrance).  This
is the entrance to the tower area but cannot be entered by car, even if
the chain is down.  Park outside without blocking the chained road, as
park vehicles may be entering, or park in the large parking lot west of
the highway.

Walk the sand road until you see on the right a very large mass of the
small-leafed Balsam Apple vine cascading down to the ground.  This will
be where another road curves off to the right.  The Bananaquit may be
deep in the tangles high or low, so it may require some patience.  There
are other scattered smaller patches of Balsam Apple vine through this
general area and further along this small road if you choose to explore.
It parallels mangroves which can be very productive.

It would be helpful if sightings of this or other birds are entered into
the book at headquarters.  Thanks and good luck.

Margie Wilkinson
St. Petersburg, FL
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