Bird Watching on the Gulf Coast

Sunday, January 09, 2011 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Perdido Key, FL

Like last year we decided to begin the new year on the Florida panhandle.  In the summer, sun worshippers swarm to the popular Gulf beaches around Perdido Key, Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Destin, and Panama City.  In the winter, these beaches are the realm of the snowbirds.  And since at this moment, snow is blanketing metro Atlanta, we must be snowbirds this week also.
The high-rise beachfront condo building where we've been staying the last several years isn't extremely popular with the snowbirds.  Thus the parking lot, jammed to overflowing in summer, looks like this in January.

As always, we see lots of snowbirds from the Midwest and Ontario.  Active state-based snowbird clubs abound in this area, and many have been organized for residents of the Midwestern states. Snowbirds from Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota all have flourishing state snowbird clubs.  Since it's a fairly straight shot south from these states to the Gulf coast, it's not surprising to see so many here.  Cars we've seen at the local grocery store, suggests that some are willing to travel a bit farther to enjoy the sugar white sands of the Gulf coast.

Perhaps some of these cars belong to personnel stationed at the nearby Pensacola Naval Station, but most belong to snowbirds. A couple from Manitoba are staying in the same building where we are. Traveling almost 3,000 miles to get here, they visited the area for a month last year, loved it, and came back for three months this year.  Like most snowbirds we encounter, they are very friendly and help make a significant contribution to the local economy.