Banded shorebirds on the loose

In the great expansive outdoors, it is nearly undeniable that all things are connected in some way. Ecosystems overlap and changes in one will have affect upon others. This is made more possible by the components of ecosystems that move around a lot, like birds, large mammals and insects. Other very fluid parts of systems are streams and air. They transport bits and pieces over great distances. Within this realm of connectivity, one can imagine distant patterns of activity having repercussions locally. One can imagine, on the geologic scale, a mountain range reducing to the sands that blanket our coastal plain and continental shelf. One can also see the importance of a highland river to the health of a shore ecosystem, as it carries nutrients that continually replenish the food source of millions of plants and animals in far off places.
The New River in these highlands is one such provider, sending its bounty to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. There the shore birds feed upon the resulting plethora of food.

Below is a recent post from Bill Dunson, focused primarily on banded shorebirds and their migratory movements. Immediately upon reading this I wondered if any shorebirds make it to the Blue Ridge during migration? the headwaters that drive nutrient flow to the shores. Upon inquiring to a few bird "experts", the answer is yes! Shore birds in the Mountains, rare as it may be, happens. Keep your eyes open! Here are a few that have been verified:

"shorebirds that I see at least once per year are sanderlings, woodcock, Wilson's snipe, spotted sandpiper, least sandpiper, pectoral sandpiper, solitary sandpiper, and yellowlegs. I have also seen semipalmated sandpiper and short-billed dowitcher. Other species are much more irregular."

From Bill:

You might be interested to know that there is a huge effort to band and track shorebirds underway in the Gulf of Mexico and some of these birds may come your way at some point. I was at Don Pedro Island State Park yesterday on the SW coast of FL and was pleased to see a flock of about 85 red knots feeding in the surf.
I did not have binoculars since I was "beaching" with the grandkids but did have my trusty 18x camera. I took some random photos and was surprised to find that 5 of the birds were banded in an unusual way. There is the usual silver metallic USFWS band on the ankle,but also a colored strip with letters and a number. So for example in the photo attached the code seems to be upper right leg/light green/JN4.
I found a website which solicits reports on such banded birds:
The website allows you to report your findings and check on previous reports of the individual sighted. This particular group of red knots has been working its way up and down this coast between Clearwater and Sanibel Island since banding. But they will be heading north I suppose to Delaware Bay in the Spring.
So look closer when you see some shorebirds and maybe you will be able to help solve some of nature's mysteries, the migratory movements of our wonderful shorebirds.

Bill Dunson
Englewood, FL & Galax, VA