There’s one avian species I never thought we’d be observing at such close range: Snowbirds.
That’s what Florida locals call retirees from “up north” who migrate to the Sunshine State every winter. Three decades ago — when Anders and I were newlyweds living in Miami Beach – we’d snicker at old fogies who drove so slow and yet rushed out to dinner at 5 o’clock for the “early-bird” menu.
Now we’re part of that flock.
Normally our extended birding adventures involve a leapfrogging route over thousands of miles, camping in state or national parks surrounded by lush hiking trails. As wonderful as this nomadic life can be, the downside is a complicated checklist of moving chores.
Every other day or so, I’m inside the Airstream furiously cleaning, packing the breakables and securing anything else that could become a projectile once we move. Anders tackles the outside – pulling up stakes (literally), hitching the trailer, hoisting bikes and emptying water tanks.
And then we drive, hours and hours, only to do everything in reverse at the next location.
This trip we wanted to try staying put, so we spent the last six weeks of winter as snowbirds in an RV park in Melbourne, Florida, called Land Yacht Harbor. We chose the park due to its proximity to a host of preserves, national parks and other birding hotspots that allowed us to make all kinds of day trips around South and Central Florida.