Late this afternoon I headed up to the Westside
Industrial Center on the west side of Jacksonville.
Prior to going in to see what might be in the ponds
I decided to take the long way around from Chaffee
Rd to Jones and past all the pastures and fields to
see if there was anything good hanging around.
Heading up Jones I had three flyover Sandhills,
usually easier to get on the south side of I-10.
I turned east on Garden checking some of small
rain pools in the pastures on the south side of
the road. Just before Garden takes a hard left
left to the north (but the actual road continues,
becoming Imeson (not to be confused with
Imeson Industrial center in the northeast part
of Jacksonville) I saw a very large flock of White
Ibis hanging out with some horses.
I turned around at the intersection and pulled
over just beyond on the north side of the road
(which has a pretty wide and hard shoulder)
and began to look for Glossies. I did not find
any but I saw a flock of birds heading my way
from further out in the fields. As they came
close they resolved themselves into fourteen
Snow Geese. There were five dark morph and
nine white. They circled over the pasture fairly
close to the road and I was able to to get a few
bad pictures. As I waited for them to come
around again everything in the field took off.
The ibis flew a short distance and settled but
almost immediately took off again, ending up
some distance to the south but along Imeson.
The geese headed toward an area in the middle
of the (very large) pasture and appeared to
land in that area. It looks like there may be a
pond or wetland there. Even all the horses
bolted. I never saw what caused the comotion
but I did late see an eagle at the industrial
park, possibly coming from that direction.
At any rate, I'm pretty sure that this is the largest
flock of Snow Geese I have ever seen in Florida
and any other flocks approaching that size were
spread out on the ground, not in flight in a coherent
group. Very nice.
I got lat/long coordinates of the location from Google
30 deg 24 min 28.44 sec N 81 deg 46 min 30.69 sec W.
That point is in the pasture. You will see nearby the
intersection where Imeson becomes Garden. If you look
on Google Maps there is a largish green area here labeled
Stone Mountain Industrial Park. I don't know what that is
and there isn't a whole lot at that location.
I also made it up to Spoonbill Pond and saw the nice
adult male White-winged Scoter. Note that he is not
one of the three birds I originally found, so there are
or have been at least four individuals.
The best picture I got of the geese can be seen at this
or try the pBase link below and go to the Duval County
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