So many of great places to take bird photos in South Florida are boardwalks that go over wetlands. It seems that the birds become accustomed to the boardwalks, and seem to in some cases totally ignore the human activity that occurs there. Green Cay and Wakodahatchee in Delray Beach are two of the best known examples. Another is the Anhinga Trail in the Everglades. I recently purchased a bean bag, and wish I had a long time ago. The beanbag attaches to screw hole used by the tripod. When placed on the boardwalk railing, it holds the camera perfectly steady at most reasonable angles, and is so much more practical than carrying a tripod around. Unlike a tripod, it works well on the ground too, if you are going for the eye-to-eye shots. And unlike a tripod, it works well from a car window.
Here is a quick Amazon link to this product. I recommend this manufacturer, as mine has lasted me two years with heavy use. Alternatively, you can make a beanbag out of beans, preferrably dried, and a bag. Rice works as well.