Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Summer Shorebird Season is on

With 80-90 degree days, a person doesn't really think about fall migration, but the first regular migrants we get are the large shorebirds.  Mostly this is willets, but with a few avocets, and some years Marbled Godwit thrown in too.  Today was the first day I was able to connect with any.  I checked the beach in a brief lightening in the rain early this morning and figured I'd check it again midday when I got out of lectures; Tim quick-drew me though, finding a couple flocks of willets and marbled's.

Mid-afternoon I walked most of the way to Jean Klock to catch up to the birds.  I waded out into the water waist deep to see if the beachwalkers would push them past me; it didn't work, though they did flush right past.

This group was 73 Willets and 3 Marbled Godwits, my personal high count for each in the county.

I was thinking that there was a difference between males and females in terms of bill color, but neither Sibley nor the Karlson Shorebird guide make note of one.  Sibley shows the breeding bird as having an oranger bill base with the non-breeding birds pinker.

 Karlson says that females average larger with longer bills.

I think this is the 4th time I've had Marbled Godwit in the county.

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