16th Ave S

Parking: Free. There are about 20 paved parking places including 2 handicapped spots at the end of 16th Avenue South, where it terminates into the beach access.

Trails: There are no trails but rather direct access to the wide Jacksonville Beach of the Atlantic Ocean.

Facilities: There are public restroom facilities at Huguenot Park one block to the west. This should not be confused with Huguenot Memorial Park, which is a premier birding destination in north Jacksonville. This Huguenot Park is a small city park in Jacksonville Beach consisting of a 3 acre pond and tennis courts.

The Dailey Birder’s Tips: Bring a scope as this is a seawatch destination. It’ll be difficult to pick anything else out with just binoculars, but you would be able to add Rock Pigeon and Laughing Gull.

Target Species: Northern Gannet, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Black Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Surf Scoter, Red-throated Loon, Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Bonaparte’s Gull, Parasitic Jaeger, Pomarine Jaeger, Long-tailed Jaeger.

About: The end of 16th Avenue South in Jacksonville Beach was put on the birding map by the late Noel Wamer in the late 1990’s and through the mid 2000’s. Beginning in mid-October through the end of January, Noel performed countless daily seawatches over the years from this location and reported his observations to the FL Birds listserv. He had some remarkable daily and seasonal totals over the years, including hundreds of Red-throated Loons and several Long-tailed Jaegers. This location is a perfect combination of oceanic conditions and a tall condominium to provide a wind-break for scanning the ocean, and we should always remember this as Noel’s spot.

Birding Strategy:
Anytime from October 15th through mid-February, arrive in the early morning while migrating seabirds and waterfowl are most active and scan the ocean. Use the nearby buildings as a wind break, if necessary. After scouring dozens of Noel’s reports, my assessment is many of his peak observations came between 9 and 10 AM. Another pattern seems to be the Jaegers show up the last few days of October, and often Pomarine outnumber Parasitic here, which is especially unusual from shoreline observations.

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