Huguenot Memorial Park
May 10th @ 8:00 a.m.
Leaders: Joan & Richard Becker[masked]
Huguenot Park is one of the best places to see shorebirds, and we hope to see a lot of them. This oceanfront city park is visited most often by fisherfolk and beachgoers, but is an incredibly attractive birding spot in its own right. Part of the park has been long designated as a critical wildlife area for nesting terns and shorebirds, and is roped off to protect these nesters in season. The beach is an important loafing site for terns, gulls and skimmers by the hundreds, and a variety of shorebirds feed on exposed mud flats at low tide. The park serves as a vital staging area for the rapidly declining rufa subspecies of the Red Knot, which migrates 9,300 miles one-way each spring from Tierra Del Fuego in South America to breed in Canada above the Arctic Circle. In October, Huguenot Memorial Park is a good spot to find Lesser Black-backed Gulls, and Long-billed Curlews may be found in winter. Gannets, loons, and sea ducks can be seen in the distance from late fall through early spring. This site is known for rare bird sightings such as Snowy Owl, Greater Sand-Plover (2nd North American record), Bar-tailed Godwit, Snow Bunting, Lark Sparrow, Bridled Tern, Short-eared Owl and Lapland Longspur. Search the sheltered shallows on the north side of the peninsula for waders, shorebirds and ducks.
We will meet at 8:00 a.m. in the parking lot before the pay station. Drive straight in instead of turning right into the pay lane. We will spend a few minutes there and then go out to the end of the bay.
Huguenot Park is located on A1A north of the Mayport ferry. If you cross the Dames Point Bridge going north, exit right (east) on Heckscher Drive. Follow it past the ferry slip to the blinking yellow light before Fort George Inlet. Turn right into the clearly marked entrance and go straight to the first parking lot.
From I-95 in Jacksonville, take exit 358A for SR 105/ Heckscher Dr./Zoo Pkwy. and drive east for 16.5 mi. The park entrance is located on the right (south) side of the road.