Monday, September 27, 2010

Red Knots at Bunche Beach

Red Knots at Bunche Beach
Monday, September 27th

Came out at Bunche Beach in Estero Bay to see what's new.  Arrived about 8:30 on a falling tide and very people using the beach.  Found the usual shore birds - Sanderlings, Semipalated Plovers, Black-bellied Plovers, Brown Pelicans, several Marbled Godwits, a couple of Piping Plovers, several Wilson's Plovers and Willets. Short-billed Dowitchers were busy on the receding shoreline and were checked out for any Red Knots. And Yes, we do have a busy flock of Red Knots on hand. So we finally are seeing numbers of the red knots here.  Won't be long and the dunlins will appear too. Hundreds of Black Skimmers are on hand and about a dozen Roseate Spoonbills also. Spotted a single Spotted Sandpiper, a dozen or so Least Sandpipers a a couple of Western Sandpipers. The usual waders were here including Reddish and Great Egrets, a Great Blue Heron and few Little Blue Herons. A pair of Magnificent Frighetbirds appeared and a lone Osprey.  Several Fish Crows were around and it seems one was feeding on a dowitcher's carcass on the beach.

Ran into Vince McGrath who was here to do his Bird Patrol survey.  He is a  very knowledgable, experienced birder and I took the opportunty to tag along with him for awhile.  He will be leading the Hawk Watch at Sanibel Lighthouse on October 17th, which I plan on attending.  Sanibel Lighthouse can be seen across the bay from Bunche Beach. We can expect to see sharp-shined hawks, merlins, peregrines, kestrels, ospreys, bald eagles and more as they head south. October 17th is also the kick-off for Ding Darling Days at the Ding Darling wildlife refuge on Sanibel Island.
   UPDATE (9/28): I left Vince too soon. Read his report on Birdbrains -
 As I stand here a red- necked phalarope is feeding with western

sandpipers and semipal plovers at Bunche Beach in S Ft Myers, Lee Co

Piping Plover

Piping Plover

Short-billed Dowitcher

"Did You See That!!" - Red Knots

Red Knots

Black Skimmers

Roseate Spoonbill


Spotted Sandpiper

Bird List for the Day at Bunche Beach - (28)
Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatebird, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Reddish Egret, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Osprey, Black-bellied Plover, Wilson's Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Spotted Sandpiper, Willet, Marbled Godwit, Red Knot, Sanderling, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Laughing Gull, Black Skimmer, Belted Kingfisher, Fish Crow, Northern Cardinal

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