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Two nice beaches near each other where Bradenton Beach and Longboat key meet. South end of Coquina is where birds are more likely. Leffis Key is across the road (birding spot of sorts). This is more a pretty spot than a birding mecca and some of the nicer beaches in Florida IMHO.
Park at the southern most area of Coquina beach. One - there are gulls and shorebirds on that end but Two - there's actually a surprising number of warblers etc in the tall Australian pines here. Look up and listen.
Coquina - everything a popular beach has though north a bit. Whitney - nothing - they really do not like normal people out here - it's odd how far you have to drive to see someplace you could possibly stop for a bathroom.
Coquina - it's a long beach - go to the southernmost area - RVs park there often. Walk to the bridge and just that area on the gulf side of the bridge to the rocks.
Whitney - it's not far after you go over the bridge on the right. I believe the road will curve twice and on the right you'll see Broadway St. You should see the boardwalk from the road.
It's a couple spot so you'll really only stay as long as it is interesting.
Coquina beach is a long stretch of beach on Bradenton Beach - south of Anna Maria. Whitney beach is the tip of and going around Longboat Key. There's a pass and drawbridge separating the two. Leffis Key (not sure why they call it a key when it's just a man-made bunch of mangroves across the street from Coquina beach) - is right there - which is supposed to be a big deal birding spot we never see anything at.
The south end of Coquina - birds often hang out here. No big deal - just gulls and shorebirds. Dig in the sand where the water goes out on any of these beaches and in the puddle you'll see little brightly colored clams digging away to hide - those are coquinas.
Whitney beach is perhaps the only public space on long boat key- EXTREMELY snooty "leave me alone" retired people. Their local paper was fun to read because the police beat would be 100 variations on "I think I saw a black man on the key" or "someone sabotaged my pool light". That said - Whitney beach is nice. You park in a small lot on the right side of the road. Walk on a boardwalk. Then it's a pretty wide expanse of sand to reach the beach. Since it (like all longboat key) is blocked from access by endless condos - who don't really use the beach... it's a pretty nice empty beach. Walk to the right and you'll curve around to see Coquina beach across the pass and maybe some birds.
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