John R. Bonner Park
JOHN R. BONNER NATURE PARK
This small, city-owned nature park is run by the city of Largo. It is open sunrise to sunset. It’s a popular destination for local birders because its takes no time to check and also because of the migrant birds! Recent great finds include Canada Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Golden-winged Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler (twice!), Philadelphia Vireo, Western Tanager and Mississippi Kite. It is such a top-notch site because of its location so close to the Gulf and along the intracoastal waterway. There’s only a couple of trails, perhaps a third of a mile’s worth, at Bonner.
FALL: Whenever there is disturbed weather over Pinellas, especially if it rolled in from the west, there’s a chance there might be some birds at Bonner. Expect Hooded, Worm-eating and Prothonotary Warblers in late August and early September and the occasional Swainson’s and Ceruleans Warblers at that time, too. Acadian Flycatcher and Summer and Scarlet Tanagers are regularly recorded here each fall. Walk out the boardwalk to the overlook and you might see a few of the expected shorebirds or wading species when the tide is low. You never know what might fly by.
WINTER: This site isn’t birded much in winter, but Hermit Thrush and Gray Catbird are present in the woodlands along with numerous Yellow-rumped Warblers. The intracoastal waterway may harbor a Red-breasted Merganser or two.
SPRING: Again, this park produces when there is poor weather. In early May search the woods for Connecticut Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Cape May Warbler and Blackpoll Warbler.
SUMMER: Summer breeding species include Northern Parula, Tufted Titmouse, Great Crested Flycatcher, Carolina Wren and Northern Cardinal. From the lookout expect to see Brown Pelicans, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret and Double-crested Cormorant.
INSIDER TIPS: There is a clean, maintained restroom building and picnic tables and shelter.