Weekly Shorebird Update!
July 29, 2022 —
First, some important announcements about upcoming events:
The Annual Steward Potluck is back! If you are new or just can’t remember because it’s been too long… each year all stewards, monitors, and other shorebird volunteers in the Suncoast Shorebird Partnership get together to celebrate the successes and recount the failures of the past few months. Site managers, anchor stewards, and coordinators for our breeding sites will present on the stewardship data and almost-final results of the breeding season for each site stewarded or monitored.
This will be a potluck, so bring your favorite dish to share with your fellow volunteers. Bring an appetizer, dessert, or something in-between! Audubon staff will be providing pizzas, drinks, and ice. In order for us to reduce waste, please also bring your own plate, utensils, and cup. If you are bringing a dish, please bring the necessary serving utensils as well!
The Potluck is Wednesday, August 10 from 6 to 9 pm at Eckerd College ES 100.
For stewards who may be unable to attend the potluck in St. Pete we will also be having a get together locally at O’learys Tiki Bar & Grill at Bayfront Park:
Now for the bird updates:
Well, the time has come where we no longer have any active nesting. I did complete surveys of Lido and South Longboat yesterday and today and found no skimmers incubating. The loss of our last nests was likely due to Laughing Gulls. Enclosures will be taken down next week.
I have observed a lot of the birds spacing out and dispersing from the nesting areas. I only had 178 Skimmer fledges across all of Lido yesterday and 29 across South Longboat today.
In total I would estimate we had about 300 Skimmers fledge from Lido and about 40 from Longboat. We also had about 19 Least Terns fledge from Longboat earlier in the season. At this point most Least Terns are staging as they head south on their migration to South America. On our beaches we are seeing more Royal Terns and Sandwich Terns with fledged young. These mostly nested on offshore islands north of us, such as Egmont Key and Passage Key. The Skimmers that stay local normally head out to Siesta but some may travel further south. We are still learning a lot about the migratory habits of birds!
Although we had no active Snowy Plover nesting in Sarasota this season, I did find 4 Snowy Plovers on my Lido survey this week. A sign that they are at least returning to the area for the winter. None of the birds were banded so it is a mystery where they came from.
Kylie Wilson, Shorebird Coordinator
(Pronouns: she, her, hers)