Dunedin Causeway


This section of roadway, complete with areas to pull off, is situated just before reaching the entrance to Honeymoon Island State Park. It is a good place to view wintering shorebirds, Black Skimmers, gulls and terns, and the occasional Reddish Egret. On the other hand, during the weekends there are lots of recreationalists and the birds tend to scatter. But it’s worth a stop if you’re heading to Honeymoon Island. This is not a place to look for migrating or wintering passerines. There are few trees or shrubs.

FALL: Shorebirds, especially Short-billed Dowitchers, Willets (western), and Sanderlings start to show here as early as September. By late October and November look for Dunlin, Black Skimmers and the occasional American Oystercatcher. Early in the morning look north to the couple of small islands where dozens of Magnificent Frigatebirds are known to roost. In November you might also see a few flocks of migrating ducks passing over as they continue southbound.

WINTER: The best part of this season along the causeway is that there are fewer recreationalists and you can see the shorebirds up close without too much disturbance, especially along the causeway’s north side. Ruddy Turnstones are always a treat and skimmers can usually be seen along the causeway’s south side by the kayak rental business. Scan the water on both sides of the causeway for wintering Red-breasted Mergansers, Horned Grebes and Common Loons.

SPRING: The birding here is pretty much like the fall season, but most of the shorebirds depart by late March and so there will be fewer birds present. Again, watch for frigatebirds to the north and late wintering ducks like Lesser Scaup and Redhead.

SUMMER: Few birds are present, but you should see plenty of the ever-present Osprey, Brown Pelicans, Laughing Gulls and just a few over-summering shorebirds like Ruddy Turnstones. Least and Royal Terns nest nearby at Three Rooker Bar and Anclote Key so there’s always a few around. Gray Kingbirds are not known to nest along the causeway, but are seen quite often as they feed there. In late summer and early fall is when they would most likely be expected.

INSIDER TIPS: Get there early before all the people do and you’ll surely see birds. Honeymoon Island doesn’t open until 8 AM, so it’s a usual routine by locals to bird the causeway first and then head to Honeymoon. Late fall and winter is best.