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Golden Triangle Audubon Bird Alert -- August 29, 2009

Golden Triangle Audubon Bird Alert – August 29, 2009
The end of August is perhaps the peak of shorebird migration.  This year, the problem has been finding suitable habitat.  On August 29, three areas were found in west Jefferson county.
The largest area is on South China Road about half a mile north of the intersection with Lawhon Road.  A field on the east side of the road has standing water, and it had Black-necked Stilts, Pectoral Sandpipers (at least 50), Lesser Yellowlegs (50 +), Greater Yellowlegs (a few), Stilt Sandpipers (5++), Solitary Sandpiper (1 noted), Baird's Sandpiper (1 noted), Semi-palmated Sandpiper (2 noted), Western Sandpiper (several).  There were also White Ibis, Great Egrets and Cattle Egrets. On the grassy levee near the road there was an Upland Sandpiper.
The next most productive area is on Aggie Drive. About halfway between Highway 90 and the A&M buildings, there are some wet plots on the east side of the road.  Right next to the road in one of these were five very unconcerned Buff-breasted Sandpipers.  There were two Semi-palmated Sandpipers, one Pectoral as well as numerous Killdeer.  Further north, halfway between the A&M buildings and the LNVA canal, on the east side of the road, there were a number of birds in a roughly ploughed  field.  Most were Least Sandpipers, but there was also one Upland Sandpiper.
There are several ponds on both sides of Ebner road, south of Willis Road in extreme western Jefferson County. There were four Solitary Sandpipers spread over three of these areas. (In the one that contained two, the birds were sparring continuously with each other.) There was also one Spotted Sandpiper, already in basic plumage.
Other than these three areas, there were very few birds.  No raptors, not even any Red-winged Blackbirds, and very few Northern Mockingbirds. There were two Scissor-tailed Flycatchers on Aggie Drive, but the bird numbers were exceptionally low.
John A. Whittle
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