Pinellas Point Lookout

Pinellas Point Lookout

Keep in mind that the best time to visit this site is during low, or near low tide. This is when the oyster and barnacle beds are exposed and the wading birds and shorebirds present. There isn’t much to this site, with the park hosting only a few trees that occasionally harbor a passing migrant, but the lookout at the end of 21st Street may yield a tremendous amount of shorebirds, especially from October through April. A scope is a “must” to view the shorebirds adequately. Local rarities that have been reported from here include Peregrine Falcon, Piping Plover, Long-billed Curlew and Stilt Sandpiper.

FALL and WINTER : Usually by October many of Pinellas’ wintering shorebirds have arrived and begun their daily routine. The birds at the south end of the county, away from Fort De Soto Park, can be found at either the North Skyway Rest Area or at the Pinellas Point Lookout. Sometimes they can be hard to figure out as they’ll be resting, heads tucked under their wing, awaiting the best time to feed. Expect to see Marbled Godwit, Willet, Dunlin, Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated and Black-bellied Plovers and Red Knot. Usually each winter a Whimbrel or two or three are reported from Pinellas Point. Most of the saltwater-based wading species are found here, too, including Reddish Egret. Scan the water past the barnacles for wintering Horned Grebes, Common Loons and Red-breasted Mergansers.

SPRING: Like the winter season, shorebirds may still be lingering into April.

SUMMER: Wading birds and the occasional American Oystercatcher highlight the lookout area. The park’s trees may produce a Great Crested Flycatcher or a Gray Kingbird may be heard singing from atop the mangrove-lined shoreline.

INSIDER TIPS: There are no restrooms and limited parking. There are three spaces at each of the two areas, the actual lookout and the small park just to its east. However, there is ample street parking.