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Hudsonian Godwit, Davis Wetlands, Yolo Co.

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  • Jon King
    PLEASE NOTE: the City of Davis Wetlands are CLOSED to general public access from September 1st (today) until Feb 15th (except Mondays from 7am to 1pm). Early
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2006
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      PLEASE NOTE: the City of Davis Wetlands are CLOSED to general public
      access from September 1st (today) until Feb 15th (except Mondays from
      7am to 1pm).

      Early this morning I had a stunning juvenile HUDSONIAN GODWIT on Tract
      4 at the Davis Wetlands, Yolo Co. I found it a little before 0725 while
      'scoping through an excellent concentration of shorebirds on this tract
      (I had had a juv Semip Sand a minute earlier). It was initially head on,
      but being very familiar with all species of godwits, it was immediately
      obvious as a non-Marbled, and as soon as it turned sideways I was happy
      it was a Hudsonian. I watched for a couple of minutes to get an
      excellent view of the all black tail (which it obligingly preened
      briefly), and then started making some calls. I had it 'scoped at only
      about 50m perfectly lit with the sun behind me throughout.

      The Wetlands closes at this time of year for dove hunting season, and I
      was on the 'phone to my wife Anne in Sac (while still watching the
      godwit through the 'scope), telling her to get my digital camera, some
      of my birding co-workers, and get on over here, when the guns opened up
      nearby. This flushed some of the shorebirds, including the godwit, which
      I then agonisingly watched fly off alone strongly to the north-west
      through my binos (getting crippling views of the diagnostic underwing
      pattern), describing every turn and plumage feature in excruciating
      detail to Anne! I watched it until it was invisible, and although it
      threatened to drop a couple of times, it carried on to the north-west. A
      later check of my cell 'phone revealed that I called Anne at 0728, so it
      probably left at 0730.

      All the regular Yolo birders have been alerted, and some are out
      searching as I write. Candidate areas for the bird to come down include
      any fields with curlew/whimbrel flocks (e.g., along Pole Line Rd),
      somewhere near Davis WTP, or somewhere around Woodland WTP (the latter
      is itself currently closed to birders). Unfortunately this observation
      fits the pattern we have established for Davis Wetlands, whether it be
      Stilt Sands, Willets, a Ruddy Turnstone, or a Buff-breasted Sandpiper,
      that the Wetlands attracts good shorebirds but rarely holds them for
      long, often only a few minutes.

      Cheers for now, Jon.

      PLEASE NOTE: the City of Davis Wetlands are CLOSED to general public
      access from September 1st (today) until Feb 15th (except on Mondays from
      7am to 1pm).


      Jon King
      Senior Ornithologist
      EDAW, Inc.
      (916) 414 5854
      jon.king@...
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