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Nassau County: While conducting a survey along the S. Amelia River this
morning, I noted a flock of large shorebirds flushing from another roost
site .5 miles to my north. As there were no other birds aloft at the time, I
tracked the flock as it approached my location and, as the 20 or so birds
coursed over the marsh in an open "V" formation, I studied their size,
shape, color and flight profiles. Then, as they passed by within a few
hundred meters, I especially noted their slim, upturned, bills - Hudsonian
Godwits. 

Because there were hundreds of mixed shorebirds roosting along a rake
directly in front of me, I anticipated that the flock might put down amongst
them, but the godwits continued south over the marsh on a course toward
Nassau Sound. After noting a high ratio of hatch year juveniles (53 out of
138 counted) amongst the many Short-billed Dowitchers on the rake, I too
turned south toward the sound, hoping the godwit flock might stop there.

Regrettably, I did not find the rare godwits in the sound, but I did find
nine, hatch year, juvenile Red knots feeding with yet another juvenile
Short-billed Dowitcher on Lt. Talbot's NE beach. Sometime later, I sighted
a, hatch year, juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper on adjoining Big Bird
Island. (This sighting within 24 hrs. of a similar sighting last August on
Bird Island in mid-Nassau Sound) 

With two Hudsonian Godwit flocks sighted in NE Florida in the last several
days, it's possible that Irene's path has compelled other migrants to shift
inshore toward the Atlantic coast.

Pat Leary, Fernandina Beach, Nassau County  

See link below for images of the juvenile BBSA and REKNs


http://www.flickr.com/photos/28226894@N03/?saved=1

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