02 December 2011

M. Godwits

I was doing some shorebird surveys down near Los Banos in Merced County yesterday and happened upon a nice variety of shorebirds at a particular wetland.

The birds I thought were the most odd were 2 MARBLED GODWITS.  Thinking back, I realized these were the first I had seen in the Central Valley.  Of course MAGOs come through during migration in the fall but do many winter in the Central Valley?  I checked the maps on eBird and saw that 2-3 MAGOs wintered last year exactly where I saw mine yesterday.  Other than that, there were very few records from the winter months.

The one pond had:

Black-bellied Plover - 2
Killdeer - 6
Black-necked Stilt - 39
Greater Yellowlegs - 1
Long-billed Curlew - 2
Marbled Godwit - 2
Dunlin - 70
Western Sandpiper - 5
Least Sandpiper - 40
Long-billed Dowitcher - 140
Wilson's Snipe - 3

Unfortunately the godwits were a bit too far to photograph given the 30 mph winds and lack of cover.  Instead I'll give you a picture of an EARED GREBE from that morning: