Arlington Ponds

Map / GPS

Parking: There is no real parking lot as of the time of this writing since the best ponds are in a future development area that is surrounded by a chain link fence. Ambitious birders can park on the east side of SR 113 in the shopping center and take the sidewalks to Tredinick Parkway, walk under the overpass and then back south along the sidewalk heading south along the frontage road. It is not recommended to walk across the highway and dodge vehicles doing 55-75 MPH!

The pond across from Wal-Mart is more accessible; park in the lot there and take a short walk to the water’s edge.

Trails: There are no trails; only sidewalks.

Facilities: Retail stores and restaurants abound; just choose your preference.

The Dailey Birder’s Tips: This is a heavily trafficked area so be vigilant at all times while on foot, even on sidewalks and crosswalks. Birding here is not for the faint of heart and requires significant effort to have the possibility at waterfowl.

Target Species: American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Bald Eagle, Sora, Common Gallinule, American Coot, Killdeer, Upland Sandpiper, Loggerhead Shrike

About: The ponds in this area of Jacksonville have been very productive for many years despite development all around them. The best ponds are still on the west side of SR 113 / Southside Connector where Tredinick Parkway. As of 2014, this area is still undeveloped and mostly consists of sand dunes and not much vegetation.

Birding Strategy:
Park as described and walk along the paved sidewalks to the rectangular shaped pond in the south end of that parcel of land. Scan from the sidewalk in winter for high numbers of American Coot, Hooded Merganser, and Ring-necked Duck. Each winter, Redhead can be found in low numbers (2-12 individuals) as well as Ruddy Duck and Bufflehead. Canvasback is occasional but should not be expected. Scan the edges of the pond for Common Gallinule and Sora in season, and scan the skies for Bald Eagle or other raptors. In April 2010, I recorded a migrant Upland Sandpiper next to this pond.

The pond in the Wal-Mart village can be accessed from Hutchison Park Drive and has a paved sidewalk around much of it. This pond is particularly good in winter for Northern Shoveler, Ruddy Duck, Hooded Merganser, Ring-necked Duck, and Double-crested Cormorants. The grassy edges of the pond are also good in winter for Savannah, Swamp, and Song Sparrow.

The small ponds within the circular on and off ramps at N Regency Square Boulevard are worth checking for these same species and other rarities; Common Goldeneye was recorded in one around 2009, and in some springs Black-necked Stilt make an appearance.

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