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Friends of St. Marks
Wildlife Refuge
PO Box 368
St. Marks, FL 32355

Phone: (850) 925-6121

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Photo Credits

Don Morrow's Bird Survey

Survey taken on Wednesday, September 19

Before, during and after a shorebird survey this morning at St. Marks NWR, I logged 65 species in just under six hours. Migrants are still moving through and Tower Pond is a focus of avian activity. I was surprised by a Gray Kingbird on Stony Bayou I. Yellow Warblers were popping up all over the refuge, but my only other warblers were a Black-and-White and a Redstart, both at the Double Bridges. I also had three Acadian Flycatchers and a pod of recently hatched gators there. I left when their mother splashed and started growling.

Tower Pond had most of my shorebirds; I counted 425 birds of 12 species. There were Least, Semipalmated, Western and Pectoral Sandpipers, Black-bellied, Wilson’s and Semipalmated Plovers, both Yellowlegs, Willets, Short-billed Dowitchers and Marbled Godwits. The pond was also hosting 115 long-legged waders, mostly Snowy and Great Egrets, but also eleven Roseate Spoonbills and three Reddish Egrets. I had Black Skimmers and Caspian and Forster’s Terns.

Down near the Lighthouse I had Forster’s, Common, Sandwich and Royal Terns, but in smaller numbers than before.

I had a total of 648 shorebirds of 14 species (I had Spotted Sandpiper and Ruddy Turnstone). This is about where things should be at this time of year. Later in October, numbers will soar as Dunlin return along with bulk of the other shorebirds that have completed nesting.

Saturday is the Autumnal Equinox. Celebrate it by going birding at St. Marks!








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