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Whimbrel Watch Wrap-Up, May 20-27, 2023

You have been patient and now here they are. The final numbers are in. Let's check them out: Whimbrel: 1930 Hudsonian Curlews flew by the point between May 20th and May 27th. This is a lower count than last year, but I am actually pleasantly surprised as I thought it would be much lower. Wednesday May 24th's total helped us reach this total number. What a special day it was. In the end, we did better than I thought with our target birds. Dunlin: 3040. This is an outstanding number. Wednesday really helped out here too. Semipalmated Sandpipers: roughly 923 SESAs flew by with Wednesday being yet again the best day for them. Red Knot: what I believe is a record high of 60 flew by Whimbrel Point between May 24th and May 25th. This is a very satisfying statistic as this species is critically endangered. It is great to see they are keeping to the traditional migration routes. Non Shorebird specialties include 119 Brant, 2 Red-throated Loons, one American White Pelican and a Lark Sparrow. The Celebrity Least Bittern and Connecticut Warbler were also a nice touch. Final remarks: I want to thank everyone who came out to the Watch this year. Your contributions to the counting were much appreciated and helped us ensure the most accurate data could be collected. We had lots of great moments together on the point, as well as a few challenges. In the end however, values of dignity and respect were maintained and this contributed to an enjoyable experience for everyone. When the birding community works together, magical things can happen. I also want to thank Nancy Barrett who helped me run the count as smoothly as possible. With all the things she does for FOSS and TOC, her touch at this year's watch was exceptional and deserving of a pat on the back. As for myself, I am once again very honoured to have been a head counter for the watch. I enjoyed welcoming you all and chatting with you at the point. I learned a lot from the birding community and I am grateful to have been around for many special moments. Wednesday was a day I won't soon forget, and it set the stage for an interesting week on Whimbrel Point. That's it for me this year. I hope everyone had fun and that we all learned something new during the watch. Thanks again and see you all in the field! Arrivederci. --Eric Baldo Photo: N Barrett

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