Glaucous Gull – Huguenot Memorial City Park, Florida

Anna and I are slowly making our way towards Gainesville, Florida where Anna is starting a job soon. Today we stopped at Huguenot Memorial City Park which is east of Jacksonville. Huguenot Memorial City Park is a famous birding spot on the northeastern coast of Florida. Anna and I had been here once before and loved it, so we knew we had to stop by again. Plus there were a few species we knew might be there that we needed for our 2011 ABA year list – Wilson’s Plover, Reddish Egret, and Sandwich Tern. We arrived at the park at 9:45am and were able to quickly find the three year birds we needed, as well as an additional one for Anna – Piping Plover. Around 11:30, we headed over to the gull roost near the jetty and were happy to see a nice assortment of terns and gulls. We had heard an Iceland Gull had been seen there recently, but we couldn’t find it. However, the birding gods must have been smiling at us because at 12:15pm, I spotted a juvenile Glaucous Gull flying in off the ocean. The gull landed among the Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls at the gull roost. This large and almost pure-white gull was unmistakable and I was totally blown away – I never thought I would see a Glaucous Gull in Florida!

Glaucous Gull - juvenile (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Glaucous Gull - juvenile (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Finally being down here in Florida is a very nice change from how the winter has been back up in Pennsylvania – Anna and I both wore shorts and short-sleave shirts while birding today, the sun was out, it wasn’t windy, and birds were everywhere! Here is a link to our full checklist from our time at Huguenot Memorial City Park today. Below are a few photos that Anna and I took this morning, that we particularly liked.

Sandwich Tern (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

One of two Marbled Godwits foraging around Fort George Inlet today. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Lesser Black-backed Gull - adult with Laughing Gulls (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Piping Plover roosting with Semipalmated Plovers (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Wilson's Plover - my 670th species of 2011 (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Osprey (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

No parking....or this Loggerhead Shrike will kill you. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)


Bald Eagle - subadult in flight after being harassed by a flock of Black Skimmers (Photo by Anna Fasoli)

Reddish Egret - adult foraging in Fort George Inlet (Photo by Anna Fasoli)