Little Big Econ WMA (Kilbee Tract), 4/19/2017


On April 19, I got up early and drove to the Kilbee Tract of the Little Big Econ WMA. I was hoping to find shorebirds, and my biggest hope was to find an Upland Sandpiper, which I've never seen before. There's plenty of dry grass there, and it just seems like the perfect place to find one. I got there before sunrise walked the 1.3 mile road to the flats. The first thing I noticed was a Coyote sitting among the cattle. When it saw me, it stood up, looked at me, and then trotted off. That was my first photo of a Coyote.

Long-billed Dowitcher

Long-billed Dowitcher

Once out there, I was a bit surprised at how few shorebirds there were. There were three Long-billed Dowitchers along the Econ River, as well as a few Least Sandpipers and yellowlegs, but not much else. Then as I walked a little farther south I saw a very small pond that was nearly full of shorebirds--mostly yellowlegs, but a few Black-necked Stilts and a Black-bellied Plover. I was still pretty far away, so I decided to photograph the flock just in case they flew before I was able to get closer. And then I noticed the best find of the morning--a Ruddy Turnstone was there. Of course, these are a coastal shorebird, but they breed in northern Canada, so there's a chance you might see one inland during migration. Last year in May, someone saw three from a kayak, so I knew it was a possibility. But I never actually thought I'd see one here. It was a pretty fun morning--Seminole County bird #262 for me. The photo isn't all that great, since the bird was very far away from me, but I'll include one shot just for fun.

Ruddy Turnstone with Yellowlegs