Blue Cypress Conservation Area at first glance appears to be just a small public boat launch. In reality, the property serves as a gateway to the much larger Fellsmere Water Management Area.
As part of the Upper St. Johns River Basin Project the area consists of some 10,000 acres of recently restored wetlands.
Although this TPF visit consisted solely of the 512 boat launch area, the entire Fellsmere WMA warrants additional Telephoto Florida scrutiny. The 512 access point offers various hiking trails along the dike system and into the bigger and perhaps better birding areas.
Telephoto Florida visited in mid-December looking primarily for migrant warblers, and we were not disappointed. Dozens of Yellow-rumped Warblers flitted about the tree lined berm joined by the occasional Palm Warbler or gnat-catcher. We also spied a yellow-bellied sapsucker, a red-bellied woodpecker family and the ever present boat-tailed grackle.
The area offers an ideal habitat for wintering waterfowl, wading birds and migrant song birds. Look for gators, deer and otters as well. The site offers a boat launch, restrooms and a small picnic area.
Blue Cypress Conservation Area is on the more rugged side but well worth exploring if you have the time to assign to it. On the other hand, our drive by shoot proved quite fruitful during season. Bring water, insect repellent and expect sun.