Avian enthusiasts eager to observe migratory birds passing through Central Florida en route to Arctic nesting grounds can catch a ride with the Marine Discovery Center to an active spoil island, starting on January 14.
MDC’s Winter Birding Tours give guests opportunities to learn more about these species from naturalists and local Audubon chapter members. The tours also offer avid birders transportation to Disappearing Island onboard MDC’s Discovery boat.
The Discovery boat will leave from the North Causeway dock in New Smyrna Beach to Disappearing Island, where guests will disembark at Disappearing Island at Ponce Inlet and walk the shoreline to explore and view such species as red knots, black skimmers and a variety of plovers and sandpipers only seen in this area during the winter months. This three-hour trip will give guests time to explore on their own or with small groups of experienced birders.
The Thursday morning tours will be offered once a month in January, February, March and April, with tours set for Jan. 14, Feb. 11, March 11 and April 15. Cost per person for the three-hour tours will be $40 for adults; $37 for seniors (62+) and students; and $22 for children under 12.
Trips will leave MDC’s dock on the North Causeway at 9 a.m., and return at noon. Guests are encouraged to bring binoculars, viewing scopes and to wear comfortable, water-tolerant shoes to walk along the shoreline.
Discovery is a 40-passenger boat, but under current Covid guidelines, will operate at 50 percent capacity with a maximum of 20 passengers. MDC may adjust the maximum seating capacity in early 2021, based on CDC recommendations. All passengers are asked to wear masks.