Nature photography opportunities at/near Tampa, FL

Discussion in 'Nature' started by arnabdas, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. I did not go to Dallas as mentioned in a prior post. Instead I came
    to Tampa, FL a week back. First US visit.. a nice experience being in
    this great country!

    Any insights on places I could go to at/near Tampa for critter

    Looking for something nearby if any ... I'm at Arbour Ponds @ Dale
    Mavry Hwy, ' don't have a car but can take a Cab to places.
  2. I'd recommend Mons Venus. Any cab driver will know it and it's on Dale Mabry. ;^)
  3. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    It maybe the most over-recommended place in Florida, but go down to Sanibel Island and the Wildlife refuge there. You will have spectacular bird photography on the island. I haven't been there since it was hit this fall by the hurricane, but I'm sure the wildlife is still pretty abundant.
  4. Gary,

    Everyone who ever lived in Tampa, as I once did, knows about Mons Venus. I'm not sure if that's the kind of wildlife Arnab is referring to, but it certainly did get a chuckle out of me and it certainly is located on Dale Mabry. Yes, it is a great country.
  5. The Myakka State Park is about 30 miles south of Tampa, near Saratoga. There are miles of roads and trails, and many wading birds and alligators.
  6. I'll second the suggestion of Myakka State Park. Great place! You can get good photos of Limpkins (unusual wading bird) there.
  7. Check the State of Florida web site, and see what state parks and preserves are near Tampa. The University of South Florida may have a garden, and the tourist trap of Busch Gardens used to be OK.

    Just be glad you aren't there in July - Auguest to share in the lightning storms that are 'local' delights!
  8. As others here have already done, I also recommend Myakka River State Park, south of Tampa, in Sarasota. There you'll find wading birds, alligators and deer. Areas of Tampa Bay, often by large bridges where fishermen are usually present, are very good for sea birds, such as Brown Pelicans, various seagulls, Cormorants, Anhingas, Royal Terns and various wading birds, etc. Tha Sunshine Skyway Bridge, in nearby St. Patersburg, is great for such birds. The old Skyway Bridge remains standing next to the new one and currently serves as a huge fishing pier.
  9. Gary,

    LOLOLOLOL. Got a good chuckle out of me too. Just what kind of wildlife do YOU shoot?!?!

  10. Don't take a cab. Rent a car.
  11. Myakka is near Sarasota, not Saratoga.

    Sanibel is a 2.5 hour drive from Tampa.
  12. Welcome, Arnab! The only place in Florida I can recommend is somewhere near Niceville way up in the panhandle that has pure-white sand beaches, and I can't even remember that place's's been about 16 years. Still, if you can, try to find out from some locals; the beaches are beautiful. Anyway, the pleasure is definitely ours! Please share a lot of your photographs as soon as you can! I look forward to them.
  13. Thanks everyone. Gary, I'm looking for critters/wildlife but not as wild as Mons Venus .. ;-)

    Looks like Myakka tops the list. Thanks to you all for recommending! Dan you're right -- cabs are a bit expensive in US. I'll need a US driving license to rent a car but that's OK.

    Chris, thanks! I have some colleagues in the office here who are native to Tampa/FL so they can give me more info on Niceville. Yes, I intend to shoot a lot of photos while here.. still in process of getting my bearings about, but I'll start as soon as I can!
  14. I don't think photography is allowed at Mons Venus. :)

    Since you may be renting a car now, I recommend Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. It is a couple of hours north of Tampa, but south of Crystal River. They have a variety of animals - dear, bear, bobcats, gators, birds, etc - and you can also get some scenic shots.
  15. There is a place informally referred to as the Venice Rookery, behind the police station in Venice which is not that far from Tampa if you have a car. It's a bit early for the Rookery though. In fact it's a bit early for the winter birds (of the feathered variety)period. We just got down for the winter and we're seeing some early avian arrivals too, but not a lot yet. I'm not sure what other "critters" you're interested in. There is a wild animal (African) safari setup in the Disney/Epcot complex in Orlando which is only about an hour or so drive from Tampa. Used to be a wild animal park in Busch Gardens but I'm remembering back 35 years so not sure if it's still there.
  16. If you can rent a car, take a drive over to Honeymoon Island State Park, near Clearwater. Not many critters, although there may be some resident raccoons and squirrels. Hike along the beach and go waaaayyyy out to the end of the sandspit, look for shorebirds, pelicans, and stuff washed up on shore, like sand dollars and seashells. In the little lagoon, along the edge, there used to be hundreds of little crabs at the waterline. Ask around town about various public parks, sometimes you can luck out with a resident alligator. And all over the place on sunny days, you should be able to find little anoles.
  17. Thanks everyone for the very insightful responses!
  18. Lettucelake park on Fowler or Fletcher Ave, and hillsboro state park on 301 near Zepherhill
  19. I have a photo shoot scheduled in Tampa, FL. Sort of an Urban locale and the other would be swimsuit. Are there any great locations nostalgic or vintage locations in Tampa/St Pete area?

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