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I got back up to the Belle Glade area today and found things a little wetter since last weekend and a few more migrant shorebirds around.  My first stop on a foggy morning was at the big Microwave Tower on US 27 where there were about eight Pectoral Sandpipers, four Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, and a King Rail walking around out in the sod fields.  There were also good numbers of Black-necked Stilts, Lesser Yellowlegs, and the usual waders, which were also at most of the sites I visited today.  

 
The flooded field in Belle Glade south of SE Avenue G had four American Avocets, about ten more Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, and a Fulvous Whistling-Duck.  A stop at the flooded field on CR 880 a little over a mile east of Duda Road had little of interest then besides an American Avocet.  From there I went on to Roth Sod Road, which turned up little of interest.

 
On the way back to Belle Glade I went south on Browns Farm Road and checked the flooded field a few miles down on the right.  Here there were several groups of Fulvous Whistling-Ducks and Black-necked Stilts with fledgling young.  This normally wouldn't be of much interest, especially the stilts, but young birds have been scarce this summer, perhaps due to the dry early summer.  The real surprise in this field though, was a pair of Northern Shelducks, almost certainly escapes.  A check of the swallow roost on the back roads off Browns Farm Road south of the microwave tower turned up about four hundred Bank Swallows, ten Cliff Swallows, three Tree Swallows, and a single Barn Swallow and Purple Martin.  I've been wondering about the origin of these early Tree Swallows and came tantalizingly close to an answer.  One of the immature Tree Swallows had a band on its right leg and I was close enough to possibly read the markings through my scope.  Unfortunately, the band was turned!
  so I couldn't see any numbers and the bird flew off and was lost when I tried to view it from a different angle.

 
Returning to the flooded field along CR 880 I found about a dozen Black Terns hunting over it and the American Avocet in about the same location as this morning.  Vince Lucas and Allan Murray stopped by and we compared notes for the day.  Allan spotted three more Avocets in the field and before we parted, over twenty-five Black Terns were flying over the flooded field.  I checked a shallow grassy portion east of the main field before leaving the area and found about fifteen Stilt Sandpipers, ten Pectoral Sandpipers,  several Greater Yellowlegs, a few Least Sandpipers, and a few Dowitchers which were most likely Long-billed.

 
An afternoon check of the SE Avenue G flooded fields didn't produce anything new but the four Avocets were still there.  Things got a little more interesting when I worked around the residential roads to the corner of SE Avenue K and SE 4th Street.  A scope sweep of the flooded fields to the southeast turned up twenty-four American Avocets, four Roseate Spoonbills, many Stilt Sandpipers, along with several Least Sandpipers and a couple of Western Sandpipers.

 
At the King Ranch Sod Fields along US 27 that were shrouded with fog when I first passed by in the morning there were about fifty-five Pectoral Sandpipers but little else of interest.

 
Since last week, there seems to be a noticeable increase in the number of Common Nighthawks roosting and flying around the area.  Black-bellied Plovers have been conspicuously absent and while there are a few Least Sandpipers around, Peeps have been scarce.

 
Here are a few recent notes from around Broward.  On Friday, 7/27 I saw my FOTS American Redstart at H. T. Birch State Park.  On Thursday, 7/26 I saw my FOTS Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at Robbins Park.  Something that may be of interest but isn't worth getting excited about was a sighting of two White-cheeked Pintails in Southwest Ranches in a canal a block south of Old Sheridan Street (SW 72nd Street) and Hancock Road (SW 142nd Avenue).  These birds weren't much concerned with my being within forty feet of them and were about three blocks from where I saw about sixty Egyptian Geese last summer so I'm reasonably sure they are wandering pets.

 
A visit this evening to the Purple Martin roost on Davie Road only turned up on Martin flying around the roost trees.  Last Sunday there were a little over a thousand still coming in.  I'll put my notes from the activity there this summer together and post something soon.  A good title might be “The Martin Chronicles”.



Bryant Roberts
Davie, Fl

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