Purple Sandpipers are back at Huguenot Memorial Park in Jacksonville. There are basically three reliable locations in the entire state of Florida for this species, and Huguenot may be the best…especially since the pier at Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach has been destroyed. The third fairly reliable location is Jetty Park in Volusia County.
This morning brought heavy rain squalls and I ventured out to Huguenot around 11AM in hopes of getting some birding in between rain bands. I parked at the campground and walked up the river side to the jetties.
Just as I arrived at the jetties area, I encountered a group of shorebirds huddled together. Most were Ruddy Turnstones, some were Sanderlings, and three were Purple Sandpipers.
I haven’t seen three Purples here since December 2013 – usually you’re lucky to find one, very lucky to find two, and hitting the jackpot with three or more. Seeing as how we just got back from Las Vegas, it’s easy to see why we’re still in jackpot mode.