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I decided to go back to Snake Bight today to see if the shorebirds
would be as spectacular as yesterday.  I arrived at about noon to
find that most of the flats that were exposed yesterday were
covered with water, not sandpipers and plovers.  There were
however four Greater Flamingos off to the south-southeast, in line
with Buoy Key which would have been close enough to identify with
binoculars had they not been sleeping.  Later these awoke and
gradually moved eastward.  A check for the main flock in the east
end of the bight from the boardwalk proved fruitless, so I went over
the rail onto the dry mudflat to see if they were there but obscured
by the clump of  Black Mangroves.  When I found them they were a
little closer than yesterday and much more active.  I was able to
count 29, my previous high count was 20 and for the last week or
so there were only about 15, adding the four out on their own made
33.  I spent the next few hours on the boardwalk observing birds on
the nearby mudflat as well as farther out in the bight; American
Avocets, Black-necked Stilts, Roseate Spoonbills, Marbled
Godwits, and lots of Snowy Egrets etc..  By about 2 PM the larger
flock of flamingos had moved far enough east to be seen from the
beginning of the boardwalk and remained in view along with the
other four until I left at 4 PM.  Through the afternoon there was a
general movement of shorebirds to the east, and after 2:20 when
the last of the Marbled Godwits feeding within view left with them, I
turned my attention to the flocks passing by two or three hundred
yards to the south as they flew in from Florida Bay.  These flocks
consisting mainly of (in order of abundance)  Dunlins, Dowitcher
sp., and Black-bellied Plovers increased in frequency and number
until at about 2:25 when one flock about a mile long consisting of
thousands of shorebirds passed eastward.  This morning before
heading to Snake Bight I stopped for a while at Eco Pond where
the most interesting birds were Cooper's Hawk and both light and
dark phase Short-tailed Hawks.

Bryant Roberts
Flamingo, Fl

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