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Pat:

I recall some years ago when someone said 60,000 Redheads wintered off SMNWR-most of the nation's Redheads.Wonder if any one knows the current situation? Your ducks in the Big Bend are probably part of  that same wintering group.

BTY and off topic, and I'll take my answer privately, is the proposed development on the one out parcel in the coastal Big Bend dead? 

Lenore McCullagh
Orange Park

-------------- Original message -------------- 
From: "prlearybellsouth.net" <[log in to unmask]> 

> Horseshoe Beach, Dixie County (Wednesday 11/21/07) Incidental to a survey of 
> wintering Am. Oystercatchers in Dixie and Levy Counties, we sighted >5,000 
> Redhead ducks rafted and occasionally flushing en masse in the shallow gulf 
> waters off Horseshoe Beach. The first large raft was sighted south of the jetty 
> and just off a small key SE of HS beach. Passing vessels flushed this raft that 
> moved SE over the gulf where even more undetected rafts flushed and filled the 
> clear skies. On one occasion, flushed flocks were aloft over an entire mile to 
> the SE of our location. Later, one large flock returned to an area a few hundred 
> meters SE of the jetty and we were able to approach and positively ID the 
> species. Although a few Scaup (species) were sighted amongst the Redheads, it's 
> our impression that the greater majority were of the latter species. By a wide 
> margin, this is the largest assemblage of Redheads we have sighted in Florida. 
> (These gulf sightings follow recent observations of massed (>5,000) Black 
> Scoters off south Cumberland Island the preceding week) 
> 
> Roosting on the Horseshoe jetty were recorded: (>300) Am. Oystercatchers, (44) 
> Marbled Godwit, (4) Whimbrel and host of Black-belly plovers, Short-billed 
> Dowitchers and smaller shorebirds. 
> 
> Sighted at another, remote, roost 2 miles south of Shired Island in Dixie County 
> were: (ca 100) Am. Oystercatchers, (>100) Black Skimmers, (1) Am. White Pelican, 
> >1000 small shorebirds (Dunlin, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, (1) Snowy 
> Plover, (2) Piping plover including a Michigan-banded bird, (100) Willet, a 
> Caspian tern and sundry other species. 
> 
> Images of the Redhead flocks are available off list. 
> 
> 
> Doris and Patrick Leary, Fernandina Beach, Nassau County 
> 
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