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Fred and Idah Shultz Preserve

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

ROUGH DRAFT

Mar 2019
 Typical view [?]
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Typical View (19)

Snapshots! (2)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
Revisit? B
Birding B *
Wildlife B *
Summer Heat C *
Terrain D *
Fun Hike B
Maintained D *
Mosquitos D *
Biting Files A
Ticks C *
NOTE: C+ B-
NOTE: Lots of sign for how it's just a penninsula.
NOTE: Not many tall tress for shade
NOTE: It's very not flat. If you have any ankle issues - be careful.
NOTE: Signs good (color coded poles) but weeds on trail very tall in winter - summer must be horrid.
NOTE: None in winter but I assume this would be bad in summer.
NOTE: Of which there is a whole lot
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: Around Corner From, 4722 Adamsville Rd, Gibsonton, FL, Hillsborough, USA, 33534
OFFICIAL INFO:

1) What It's Like

It's a suddenly very randomly hilly low forest with a lot of diversity in plants that's a peninsula going into bay. Mangroves, exposed coast, with lots of birds of all sorts (warblers especially). At least one duck pond but I think there are more in the rainy season. Not maintained well. Next to the Big Bend power station so I don't know if it's coal fumes or what but the smell can start to get to you if you're sensitive.


2) Kinds of Birds

In January we saw lots of palm warblers and phoebe (which is kind of true anywhere), some sea birds like pelicans and gulls, 2 hawks in the air, 2 robins, a common yellow throat, a few yellow rumped warblers, a blue bird, heard several cat birds, and heard a gallinule in the weeds of the freshwater pond near the entrance.

3) Wildlife

Lots of predator scat - so I would assume bobcat or coyote - I'm not great at discerning. You can see most of Tampa Bay from several spots so maybe you could spot dolphin here. Manatees go to the power station for it's hot outflow so you might see them from here as they come and go. All that said - we didn't actually see anything directly.


4) Amenities

A trailhead sign and a parking area. Nothing else.


5) Directions

If you use GPS the address it gives you is technically correct: Kracker Ave... however if you turn on to Kracker Ave from US41 it is closed off before you can reach it. It's a big U - the north and west side are Kracker Ave and the east side is Adamsville Rd. Most of that west side of the road is abandoned/fenced off so take Adamsville and the parking area is right around that corner.


6) Dear Ranger

I'm assuming you have to run up against people dumping trash out here and that's why you closed off the road. But I wish you'd mow the grass out here. In winter I'm not super worried about ticks but in summer I'd be wary about coming out here with the trail weeds at the height they were now - in summer if this is like most trails that aren't a priority the grass is going to be out of control high. No?


7) Time Requirements

It's bigger than you might expect. Here's the official map. It's a red loop and the blue loop is added on to the end of that. I'd say they are about 45 minutes each. BUT - there are some trails in there are aren't just that. SO - you could easily spend 2 hours. If there's a sweet spot where you ought to at least see X if you're cutting it short - there's a pretty tall hill that lets you see downtown and the ocean well and from memory I want to guess that would be 30-40 minutes round trip. Still - if you just want to be in warbler territory it starts right away.

Experience

The history of this place is that in the 60s they dug out a ton of muck from the bay to maybe make a port and they dumped it here some places 15ft high. In 1995 when it was bought for a park it was full of pretty much only invasive species (or so I read) and not of much use. They tore all that out and I presume bulldozed things to be more what they wanted - I think I read they actually formed the islands and coast right next to this to make good habitat. SO - what you have is a very non-flat in terms of you walking on it peninsula with 5-15 ft hills at random. The plants out here are just very random. I recognized a couple invasive species but just a ton of shrubs/weeds I didn't recognize - very odd. I don't know if they are invasive house plants or just well planted natural stuff you don't usually see. Regardless - it means a lot of seed producing plants at ground and low-tree level for tons of birds to gorge on. And it's by the coast and water so birds are double attracted. We initially came out because we heard there were ducks out here but instead for the most part just found lots of warblers, blue birds, robins, cat birds - etc. The ducks - there were a few areas where there were water plants barely holding on in some depressions that probably turn into full on large duck ponds in the rainy season. There was one pond in the front that was surrounded by tall cat tails and covered in algae (duck weed) so it was hard to see and it didn't look like anything in it - but - we heard some very vocal gallinules in there somewhere.

An issue of concern though is that this place seemed like they were excited to build it and now they just want to forget about it. The road is half blocked off behind fence (see directions section). The parking lot is in tall fence. The main sign looks quite old. And all of that is fine but the problematic part is that on the trail the weeds are really tall. It's possible they CAN'T mow this thing because it's so irregular you couldn't do it - and I'm assuming they use actual mowers to cut grass on trails - I have no idea. Regardless - I was concerned about ticks. I've been COVERED by ticks not far from here at Wolfbranch creek in weeds shorter than this while on trail and with less sign of animal scat than here. In winter the ticks aren't as problematic but in summer the grass tends to be much much more abandoned on trails and it grows much faster. SO - I'd be really careful here in summer.


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