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Some Ways of Shorebirds with Emphasis on the Ephemeral

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  • KM1DOT2@aol.com
    The following is from Gail Menk: On 15 FEB I mused that the retention pond downhill and west of Canopy Oaks Elementary School (Perkins Drive) was a prime
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 16, 2002
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      The following is from Gail Menk:

      "On 15 FEB I mused that the retention pond downhill and west of Canopy Oaks
      Elementary School (Perkins Drive) was a prime possibility for hosting pending
      migrating shorebirds during March/April (one grandiose muddy flat there at
      the time), as was the case during spring of 1999 when said locale harbored
      500 or more shorebirds, including a well-documented Baird's Sandpiper. But
      not long after above said musing, did come that untimely eight-or-so inches
      of rain which rudely zilched any such possibility, and, needless to say,
      SIGH, such site is presently better suited for such as ducks! Such is always
      likely to happen to those oft-occurring but oft-ephemeral good places to
      shorebird, and the birder is accordingly advised to 'make hay while the sun
      shines' and ere falls the rain.

      Ironically, did such above-mentioned deluge create another 'ephemeral' - a
      water-drenched stretch of grass near the holding ponds at the Springhill Road
      Sewage Treatment Facility (SRSTF), where on 3 MAR Sally and Dean Jue reported
      good numbers of Least Sandpipers, a dozen or more Lesser Yellowlegs, an
      unusually early Pectoral Sandpiper ('Grass Snipe') and plenty of Common
      Snipe. On 6 MAR I 'made quick hay' and added 2 Long-billed Dowitchers there,
      but on 11 MAR said 'ephemeral' had indeed become 'de-ephemeralized', as well
      as de-shorebirded - only a matter of history (Ah, NOSTALGIA!).

      EPISTLE TO THE NIMROD (he/she who would explore): Always after a
      night-before rain (and replete with quick Mac-breakfast?) might ye locate
      'good shorebirds' during migration at any rain-covered stretch of grass
      and/or mud along the way, i.e., those mini-retention ponds behind Tallahassee
      Community College on Appleyard Drive. - G. Menk"

      Keith MacVicar
      Tallahassee FL
      km1dot2@...
      "Never look back. Someone may be gaining on you!"


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Swamphen
      Hi all, On the subject of shorebird ponds, please allow me to suggest the retention pond in J.Lewis Hall Sr. Park in Woodville. Last May, I found one each
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 17, 2002
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        Hi all,

        On the subject of shorebird ponds, please allow me to suggest the retention
        pond in J.Lewis Hall Sr. Park in Woodville. Last May, I found one each
        Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers there. Unfortunatly this pond is usually too
        full for shorebirds, but it's still worth a check.

        On the subject of gulls, a scan of the RBAs reveals a possible 1st-winter
        Thayer's Gull in Gulfport, Mississippi on the 9th. Perhaps the same bird
        that was in Tallahassee a few weeks back?

        And on the subject of hummers, we have had at least two coming to the
        feeder, a male and a female.

        -S.P.MacCumhail
        Crawfordville, Wakulla County, Florida
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        "Nobody goes there anymore...it's too crowded" - Yogi Berra
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      • Swamphen
        Hi all, Highlights from St. Marks NWR this morning: TROPICAL KINGBIRD - on the east side of the road, just south of the primitive walking trails. BLACK-NECKED
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 17, 2002
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          Hi all,

          Highlights from St. Marks NWR this morning:

          TROPICAL KINGBIRD - on the east side of the road, just south of the
          primitive walking trails.

          BLACK-NECKED STILT - they're baaaackk! in Lighthouse Pond.

          GREEN HERON - in a tree across the road from Picnic Pond.

          Other highlights: male Harrier, ENORMOUS flock of peeps (Least, Semi,
          Western, S-b Dowitcher, Semi Plover, Willet), two Oystercatchers...and no
          Mallards!

          -S.P.MacCumhail
          Crawfordville, Wakulla County, Florida

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        • slmoskow
          I ve been lurking on this list for close to a year now, and it s been a great resource. Any sparrow specialists on the list? I hiked the Deep Creek trail loop
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 18, 2002
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            I've been lurking on this list for close to a year now, and it's been
            a great resource.

            Any sparrow specialists on the list? I hiked the Deep Creek trail
            loop at St. Marks NWR Friday, and about a mile and a half down Tram
            Rd from the trailhead, saw what I'd swear was a Henslow's Sparrow:
            big bill, flattish head, GREEN face with distinct black markings,
            dark streaks on pale breast and flanks, rusty brown wings and back,
            singing what sounded like a slightly drawn-out "sslick". However, I
            don't know sparrows in general very well, I've never seen a Henslow's
            outside of a field guide, they're not on the St. Marks bird list for
            spring (only "rare" for winter), and the habitat wasn't right--
            Henslow's Sparrow is supposed to hang out in open fields. If not a
            Henslow's Sparrow, what might it have been? Do any other sparrows
            have a green face?

            Other cool stuff on the trail: a pair of Swallow-Tailed Kites
            overhead about two miles in (my first this year) and a pair of Yellow-
            Crowned Night Herons (doing the same funky flying-circles-around-each-
            other dance as the nesting pairs at Wakulla) along the creek at
            around mile six. Lots of Osprey, Bald Eagles and Red-Shouldered
            Hawks, too. After the second mile or so I put my binoculars away, so
            I didn't notice many smaller critters further down the trail.

            Thanks,
            Sharon Moskowitz
          • Swamphen
            Hi all, While out taking my morning walk, I spotted at least three, and quite possibly four, Swallow-tailed Kites along FR-321 in Medart. One bird flew over
            Message 5 of 6 , Mar 19, 2002
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              Hi all,

              While out taking my morning walk, I spotted at least three, and quite
              possibly four, Swallow-tailed Kites along FR-321 in Medart. One bird flew
              over very low, loosly assocating with 3 vultures, then a few minutes later
              three more kites cruised over high overhead.

              -S.P.MacCumhail
              Crawfordville, Wakulla County, Florida

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            • Swamphen
              A Happy Easter to all... Went down to St. Marks this evening to see the Swallow Tornado. It was the most astounding thing we ve ever seen...AT LEAST 250,000
              Message 6 of 6 , Mar 31, 2002
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                A Happy Easter to all...

                Went down to St. Marks this evening to see the Swallow Tornado. It was the
                most astounding thing we've ever seen...AT LEAST 250,000 Tree
                Swallows...absolutley amazing!

                Lots of Barn Swallows too, and another highlight was seeing a gator lunge at
                a Sora! (he missed)

                -S.P.MacCumhail
                Crawfordville, Wakulla County, Florida
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                to you later.
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