TAVARES – The Lake County Parks & Trails Division is offering two opportunities in December for nature lovers to view wintering birds during guided tours.
Park rangers will lead participants on a hike from 7:30 - 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 5 at Ellis Acres Reserve, 25302 County Road 42, Paisley during a free Birds & Butterfly Survey. Bird watching volunteers are invited to help conduct surveys at this restoration habitat. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars, field guides, water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat and hiking shoes. This activity will include hiking approximately two miles on trails.
The “Wintering Sparrows: Helpful Tips for ID” event will be held from 8 - 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13 at Ferndale Preserve, 19220 County Road 455, Ferndale. Park ranger and biologist Gallus Quigley will help participants learn to identify these elusive little brown birds on a hike through the preserve, where at least a dozen species of sparrows have been spotted.
Ferndale Preserve is located on the western shore of Lake Apopka and just a few miles from Sugarloaf Mountain, the highest point in peninsular Florida. This unique location offers a view of both Lake Apopka and on clear days, the Orlando skyline. The preserve also boasts an enormous amount of wildlife, including more than 180 species of birds and 50 species of butterflies.
On Dec. 8, the Green Mountain Scenic Byway Overlook & Trailhead, located at 20700 County Road 455, Ferndale, will officially open to the public. The new facility includes a 130-foot elevated boardwalk leading to a 20x20 foot overlook, a covered pavilion with picnic tables, restrooms, and a switchback trail from the parking area to the railroad bed.
For more information and to register for these events, call the Lake County Parks & Trails Division at 352-253-4950, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/parks. To view updates about the County’s Parks & Trails Program, like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFLParks.