Marbled Godwit at Moraine State Park, Butler County, PA
On the afternoon of September 15, this Marbled Godwit was found seemingly wildly out of place at the day-use area on
the south shore of Lake Arthur. Out of place because there was no recent weather that may have put this bird down, and
the "swimming area" at Moraine State Park usually hosts nothing better than ring-billed gulls, canada geese and roving dogs.
(Of course, there was that black-headed gull back in 1998, and the Brant in 2003... maybe it's not that bad!) Thankfully,
this bird, a second county record for Butler, stayed around almost until dusk and was enjoyed by half a dozen birders and
several non-birding "beach-goers" as well. For at least three birders present this godwit was their state first,
and what a show it was!
Two of us stayed behind to "put the bird to bed", and as if on cue, as the sun was fading behind the hillsides, the godwit
took to the air, circled for three or four minutes, and disappeared to the south on its way to the coast.