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Hey y'all,
   
  A goup of twelve and I hit Ft DeSoto Park at 8 this morning for a brush-up on shorebirds with all believing it would be a poor day for birds because of the hundreds of bicyclers and runners covering the roads.  As it turned out, they stayed on the roads and the beaches remained free of people and therefore full of shorebirds.  Perfect!
   
  Got a five minute look at a Clapper Rail in the North Beach grasses as it came out to bathe alongside four loafing Wood Storks.  Also had two Piping Plovers without bands and the usual shorebirds.  Moved south on the north beach to its extremity where 3-400 Black Skimmers loafed with several thousand mixed shorebirds, gulls and terns--including about 30 Red Knots mixed among them and a lone Marbled Godwit.  Here we also found 4 Snowy Plovers (no bands).  Returning to the cars we ran into a small mixed flock of warblers (B&W, Pine, Palm and Yellow-rumped with BG Gnatcatchers).  
   
  After splitting for the day, Rick Potter and I headed to East Beach where a Merlin remained in a snag (I had seen it in the same spot at 7).  Nearby, Rick spotted a Broad-winged Hawk in an adjacent tree.  Beautiful markings with a noticeable red breast and barring on the breast, bright yellow cere and wide, dark sub-terminal tail band.
   
  About 65 spp.
   
  Thanks to all who made the trip and made my day. I had a great time!
   
  Lee Snyder
  St Petersburg

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