#ABArare - Black-tailed Godwit - Delaware
Fall migration for many shorebirds begins quite early. Some are moving south around the time the last northbound stragglers finish spring migration. By early July, you can find southbound birds, and numbers grow throughout the month. Therefore, it's not surprising that sandpipers have dominated the #ABArare posts this month, and today's report of a Black-tailed Godwit (Code 3) in Delaware follows this trend.
The godwit was found by Bruce Peterjohn on Prime Hook Road at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). It was south of the road at the last pullout before reaching Prime Hook Beach. Ed Sigda reports that it was near the Osprey platform. Sigda also reports that there's room for only five or six cars at the pullout, so he suggests going to the end of the road and parking at the refuge kiosk. Be careful walking back to the pullout as there will likely be a lot traffic going to the beach this weekend. Also, local residents haven't always been completely appreciative of wildlife watchers in the past, so extra consideration is advised (e.g., don't stand in the road and block traffic).
This is the second record of a Black-tailed Godwit at Prime Hook NWR. Another one was there in June 1994 along Broadkill Beach Road (which is the same location that hosted a Wood Sandpiper in 2008). You may recall the #ABArare post last month about a Black-tailed Godwit in Texas. Well, that one is still present, so the bird in Delaware is a different individual.
Sigda created a map showing the location of the pulloff (denoted by green arrow). Prime Hook is located southeast of the city of Milton, DE. It's only a few hours from Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia, and it's located just across Delaware Bay from Cape May, NJ. There are a few areas in Delaware that are famous for speed traps, so pay extra attention to speed limits. (I know you all do anyway.)