To follow up on Jeff Bouton's shorebird migration comments, I'll pass along
my notes that Jeff referred to.  The only alternate plumaged shorebirds that
were not local breeders in June and before 11 Jul were a Dunlin missing a
"foot" and a Red Knot (last seen 24 Jun).  I've covered Little Estero Lagoon
pretty extensively the past three summers, and this is a typical example.
Many of the species that winter at the lagoon are still represented by basic
plumaged non-breeders in summer.  This was an exceptional year for basic
plumaged peeps, as 75-100 were present all summer.  As Jeff mentioned about
Least Sandpipers, they were the first alternate plumaged adults to return in
large numbers this year at the lagoon, with Western Sandpipers close behind.

Posted to SWFL Birdline 24 Jul:

Good numbers of returning migrants at Little Estero Lagoon today, 24 Jul 03.
Many new arrivals since my last visit on 11 Jul.  A few Least SP, Western
and Red Knot adults had arrived by then, but today the numbers increased.
compare the average number on most visits this summer with today's

Black-bellied Plover: increased from 3-4 to 11 basic plumaged individuals.
Snowy Plover: increased from 2 to 8 adults (plumage very worn and faded!).
Wilson's Plover: increased from 20 to 40.
Semipalmated Plover: still about 40 individuals.
American Oystercatcher: still 25-30 individuals present (split evenly
adults and immature).
Willet: increased from 4-5 in June to 40 by 11 Jul and 60 by 24 Jul.
Whimbrel: none present till 1 on 24 Jul.
Marbled Godwit: 2-4 basic plumaged (non-breeding) individuals present
through 11
Jul, 23 alternate (breeding) plumage present 24 Jul.
Red Knot: Up to 15 basic plumaged individuals present through 11 Jul (1
alternate (breeding) plumage adult 21 Jun), 4 alternate and 15 basic
24 Jul.
Western Sandpiper: 75-100 basic plumage probable Westerns (no alternate)
11 Jul, 6 alternate 11 Jul and 40 alternate 24 Jul.
Least Sandpiper: No individuals present through 7 Jul, 1 alternate 11 Jul
about 100 24 Jul.
Dunlin: 1 alternate through 11 Jul, not seen 24 Jul.
Short-billed Dowitcher: 2-4 basic through 11 Jul, 1 basic and 13 alternate
present 24 Jul.
Laughing Gull: Numbers of nonbreeding individuals varied throughout summer,
many adults and juveniles present 24 Jul.
Herring Gull: 3-4 1st year birds throughout May, 1 -2 seen through June, 1
and 1 found moribund 24 Jul.
Royal Tern: Numbers still about 150-200, but some new juveniles present 24
Sandwich Tern: 100-150 (mostly basic) present through 11 Jul, 350 (mostly
but quite a few of this summer's juveniles) 24 Jul.
Common Tern: 1-2 1st year present throughout Jun-Jul 11, 8 1st year and 2
alternate 24 July.
Forster's Tern: 1 molting adult 24 Jul.
Barn Swallow: 2 migrating individuals 24 Jul.


Charlie Ewell
Cape Coral, FL
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