These days, I am working with a great team of folks to pull together the details of our annual Georgia's Colonial Coast Birding and Nature Festival October 8-12. My goal is to share some of the special places on our coast. In that spirit here is a post from Brad Winn. He is the Senior Biologist for GA Department of Natural Resources studying shorebirds on the GA coast.
Thanks Brad for the work that you do and thanks for sharing this information and these great photos. These are four Red Knots in flight.
Since 1996 GA Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Divison, Nongame Program has been documenting red knot use of the Altamaha River mouth during a late summer and early fall staging event there. This year the number of knots appears to be up slightly from the last several years. Tim Keyes, Stacia Hendricks, and I had about 2,500 knots feeding on the mud banks of Wolf Island NWR on September 1. ( Here is part of this flock of knots.)
We will end up with more than 100 individual band codes from those bird. This flock will spend the winter in the SE US after dispersing from the Altamaha later this month. High counts in 2000 and 2001 were approaching 12,000 knots. The Western Atlantic knot population has been tanking.
We are lucky to have these birds staging in GA. Let's keep the Altamaha waters flowing and clean to maintain the health of the food for these birds on our coast. (Lydia's comment: Counting these birds must have been a challenge. Look at the flock!)