Terry and I did the Ft. George Island - Wards Bank circuit this morning.  I
will use the excuse of trying to catch the down-side of an 8:45 am high
tide as an excuse for the not early start.  We did the loop at Ft. George
beginning at 8:50.  Bird activity was limited.  The only definite transient
was a Prairie Warbler.  Two Painted Buntings still singing, and a couple
more seen.

This timing allowed us to hit Wards Bank (Huegenot Park) on the first part
of the outgoing tide.  Not much of significance to report regards migrant
shorebirds, terns, etc.  We did see our first Sanderlings of the fall,
about a dozen or so on the beach.  The positive news would be the
impressive numbers of juvenile Royal Terns in the north end flats.  I
didn't count, but would guess the numbers were in the range of 200-300
hundred, if not more.  There were obviously many more breeding pair present
in the dunes than could be seen from the limits of the restricted
area.  Juvenile Sandwichs were also present, but probably less than 30.  A
number of the juvenile terns, both Royal and Sandwich had almost entirely
yellow bills, making them look very "Cayenne-qess."

No sign of juvenile Black Skimmers, but of interest is potential late
nesting of Gull-billed Terns. There were about twenty in the dunes where I
have not been seeing them before this season, all in immaculate alternate
plumage.  The most seen one recent trips has been less than five.  These
birds were in the northernmost part of the vegetated dunes and were visible
by looking from the ocean-side beach.

Amazingly there were no (=zero) shorebirds, other than a few turnstones and
a flyby peep (Least?) on the tidal flats.  Perhaps the presence of hordes
of juvenile Laughing Gulls makes it too busy for them.

Perhaps the most interesting birds were two Gray Kingbirds on the power
lines at the entrance station, as we were leaving.  As I recall these are
the first ones that I have seen at this location.  Others no doubt may
contradict this.


Noel Wamer
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Jacksonville, FL, US   30.2820 -81.4972
"A strange bird may cause a slight unrest until it is named..."
                                                        (Walker Percy)