A.L. Anderson Park


This small, but woody park along the northeastern edge of Lake Tarpon is under-birded, but only because there are a couple of larger, more-celebrated parks nearby. The parking areas are shaded by live oaks overhead and, especially during the fall season, this is where the passerines can be found. A.L. Anderson is worth a stop for typical Pinellas resident birds and migrant warblers. Look and listen for Limpkin around the park’s boat dock.

FALL: From late August through October warblers of all kinds can be found during migration. In particular check the oaks for American Redstarts and Blackburnian, Tennessee, Yellow-throated and Chestnut-sided Warblers. There are always a few Yellow-throated and Red-eyed Vireos as well as Summer and Scarlet Tanagers reported as September stretches to October.

WINTER: Look for Lesser Scaup and American Coots from the western tip of the park and always keep an eye out for terns; Forster’s from fall through spring, Royal and Sandwich at any time, and Caspian in late winter and early spring. Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers are easily seen in winter with the typical wintering species such as Black-and-white Warbler, Blue-headed Vireo, Hermit Thrush and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker also moving with the roving flocks.

SPRING: By late February Northern Parula’s have returned from the tropics and are heard singing throughout the park. A few Prothonotary and Hooded Warblers are always found in late March and early April and by the end of April anything might show up. Listen for singing Great Crest Flycatchers and vireos at this season, too.

SUMMER: Resident species such as Carolina Chickadee and Tufted Titmouse are quite common. Other species that can be heard vocalizing include Pileated Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Pine Warbler and the ever-present Carolina Wren.

INSIDER TIPS: The best places to look for migrants include the oaks over the parking lot and restroom building immediately to the left when you first pull in and in the oaks along the Lake Tarpon shoreline by Shelter #3 at the park’s east side. But, really, since the park can be pretty-well covered in an hour or so you might find a migrant anywhere.