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To your point, Jay, the curlews I follow for your study have all departed and are on or near their non- breeding grounds. I recall that in the 70s while teaching at Council High, Adams County, I regularly saw yellowlegs the third and fourth weeks of August at a pond south of town.
I might add that, though it seems crazy relative to our traditional thinking about summer, most shorebirds are quite early migrants after breeding. Most of this has to do with their molt strategy as all shorebirds migrate south before their complete molt. Thus, whereas many songbirds (robins, warblers, many sparrows) molt on or near the breeding grounds - and therefore linger for 3-6 weeks after nesting - adult shorebirds “pack their bags” remarkably quickly after nesting. Reports in Idaho this year have shown multiple species of southbound shorebirds (e.g., godwits, yellowlegs, Western Sandpipers) since the last week of June and many of the Long-billed Curlews we study head S by the 2nd or 3rd week of June - 1 bird a few years ago even flew south in late May!!!
The early southbound migrants are all adults - and largely failed breeders followed by successful breeders.
Hope this helps explain this seemingly odd timing 😁
On Thursday, July 9, 2020, 10:15 PM, Larry Arnold <larnold47@...> wrote:
Thursday, July 9, 2020 8:35:16 PMSubject:
Re: [IBLE] Thank Godwit (marbled)
Wow, they are already heading back? They get less than 3 months of vacation, apparently… Jonathan Barnett, Horseshoe Bend
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Indeed, Denise. This has been 115 days of confinement while covering birding/fishing as much as possible in Gem Cty. But what a reward waited for us this week in Valley.
Nice find! I love large groups of unexpected birds. It becomes a WOW moment.
On Jul 9, 2020, at 6:21 PM, Elizabeth Medes <liz.medes@...> wrote:
Still adding photos from a morning birding at Sugarloaf in Valley County. https://ebird.org/checklist/S71298275
But, the big surprise - which wouldn't have happened without a bored spouse benched from the ice rink due to Covid 19, an electric trolling motor, and a startling view of them lifting off 200 yards away, was 100+ Marbled Godwits, parked on the east side near
HWY 55 among Canadian geese, pelicans, and other waterfowl. What gorgeous critters.
Emmett (the east side)