Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fort Island Laughing Gulls

Fort Island Gulf Beach is located about 8 miles west of Crystal River.  As you drive Fort Island Trail the topography changes to a coastal marsh with hammocks of palms, pines and other trees.  I was disappointed that there weren't more wading birds but that's because the marsh grass is so thick that there just isn't much open water and most wading birds hunt along the fringes.  Fort Island Gulf Beach is man-made and only a couple of hundred yards long.  It's protected by small jetties at both ends, in fact it's so protected there wasn't a ripple to be seen.  It's not much of a beach by Florida standards and I personally don't care for beaches that are so protected by barrier islands that there isn't a good flow of clean salt water.  We saw a large pod of dolphins hunting and there was the usual collection of gulls, cormorants and smaller shorebirds.  I think it's a nice place to go for local residents but for the same drive I can be in New Smyrna Beach which is one of my favorite places to be.

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