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Dixie, Levy Counties, FL 30, Sept. ~ 2, Oct.  During surveys conducted from Wed. through Fri. of this week along the upper gulf coast in Dixie and Levy Counties, we sighted a single Long-billed Curlew roosting on the Horseshoe Beach jetty and two juvenile Am. Golden plovers roosting on a remote shell rake in the gulf NW of downtown Cedar Key. These were the highlights amongst many observations that recorded: ca 1000 Am. Oystercatchers occupying multiple roost in the two counties. Amongst the many flocks, we recorded 75 banded birds from MA to GA, including 21 not recorded in prior seasons.  Marbled Godwit were present in large nos. along with hundreds of Short-billed dowitchers and Western Sandpipers. Despite the late date, many Whimbrel remain in the region and the first Am. Avocet have returned for the winter. On two success days our field work was impacted by an adult female Peregrine that kept the multitudes of shorebirds and larids on edge. The large winter flocks of Am. White pelican are just arriving in the region. 

Note: All survey sites were remote from the mainland and accessible only by vessel.  The Horseshoe Beach jetty is accessible by canoe or kayak a short distance offshore of the mainland shore. With care, birders can obtain very close views of shorebirds roosting along the structure on high flood tides, however the passageway is narrow and boat traffic can be modest on occasion. 

See Fliker link for images of rare species

Doris and Patrick Leary, Fernandina Beach, FL
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28226894@N03/?saved=1

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