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3954RE: [wsbn] Shorebird birding, 28-30 August [3 Attachments]

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  • Tom & Kay McConnell
    Sep 1, 2009
      Coen, it would be interesting to get fall shorebird numbers in western CO or even all of Colorado.  Of course I would enjoy doing an MSR (migratory shorebird route) each season and gather data for the cause.  The mudpuddles vary year by year in most locations, but there are always birds at the big lakes.  Late August is a great time for project like this because there aren't a huge number of birds around (unless of course someone reports a Long-tailed Jaeger In the burbs of Grand Junction).
       
      Tom McConnell
      Glenwood Springs


      From: wsbn@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wsbn@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Brenda Wright
      Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2009 3:38 PM
      To: wsbn wsbn
      Cc: Brenda/Coen Wright/Dexter
      Subject: [wsbn] Shorebird birding, 28-30 August [3 Attachments]

       

      Greetings,
      From 28-30 August Brenda and I visited many shorebird locations. Few shorebirds were found, however. Best bird species, three individuals, was at Ridgway Reservoir and there are three pictures attached. See what you think! Any curlew species is casual at this time of year in western Colorado.
      Shorebirds found were 1 Semipalmated Plover, Ridgway Res on 30 Aug.
      Killdeer at only a few locations.
      American Avocet, 3, at Fruitgrowers Res on 30 Aug.
      Lesser Yellowlegs, 1, near Norwood in Montrose County on 28 Aug.
      Spotted Sandpipers at only a few locations.
      Mystery birds in photos were at Ridgway on 28 Aug. Answer will come tomorrow.
      Least Sandpipers, 3, at Rifle Gap on 29 August and, 2, at Ridgway on 30.
      Baird's Sandpiper, 1, at Rifle Gap on 29 August, 5, at Spring Park Res on 30 August and 20 plus at Fruitgrowers on 30 Aug.
      Long-billed Dowitcher, 2, at Redvale, Montrose County, on 30 Aug.
      Wilson's Snipe, 6-8, at Fruitgrowers on 30 Aug.

      Seems to me there are fewer shorebirds detected each year in western Colorado. We worked hard to find just 10 species at the peak of shorebird migrantion this past weekend. The species we did find were found in very limited numbers. In total there was fewer than 50 individuals.

      Back in the 1980s I kept daily records. In just a few locations around Grand Junction I would find between 50 and 100 individuals per day in late August or early September and averaged about 12 species.

      Fewer shorebirds detected could be because of so many factors like falcons, weather, more places for shorebirds to rest in migration or fewer shorebirds migrating through western Colorado.

      We do not monitor shorebird migration in western Colorado but maybe we should. We could set up a randomly selected number of sites matched with a randomly selected date or dates and follow a set protocol for 10 years. I bet we could generate some good data that may expose some trends.

      We walk transects, drive breeding bird survey routes (BBS) and work atlas projects all for breeding birds. Then there is Christmas Bird Counts (CBC) for wintering birds. We report species in season reports for migrants but the data collected is not useful to determine trends for migrants. This would be a great project for RMBO and maybe they can get some funding.

      Coen and Brenda

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