I don't live near the shore and only get there about once a year. And then when I get there, I have to admit that I'm not very good at identifying many of the birds I find there. So I really consider myself lucky to have twice sighted a flagged shorebird.
My first flagged bird was a Red Knot we saw in North Carolina in May 2011. I entered the resighting on bandedbirds.org and found out this knot had originally been flagged and banded in Brazil (date unknown). It was first resighted on Delaware Bay in May 2008 with additional resightings there in May 2009. My resighting 2 years later was the only sighting outside the Delaware Bay Area. Nine days after I saw it, it was resighted again in Mispillion Harbor, Delaware. Unfortunately, it has not been resighted again or since. Check out my post Red Knot: 65,000 Miles and Counting for more on my sighting.
My most recent flagged bird was a Ruddy Turnstone we saw at East Point Lighthouse along the Jersey side of Delaware Bay. It was foraging near high tide with other turnstones, a few Red Knots, a few Short-billed Dowitchers, many Dunlin, as well as some other shorebirds I couldn't identify.
I didn't see the flag while observing the flock, but noticed it as I went through photographs later. The turnstone had a lime green flag meaning it was banded in the U.S. The letters 2KE were clearly readable. He also had a metal band on his lower right leg.
With that information entered into the Banded Birds site, I found out that this turnstone was originally banded on May 17, 2012 in New Jersey and was resighted 3 more times that May on the Jersey side of the bay. He returned and was resighted 5 times in 2013. My resighting on May 19 was the first of this year.
It's really exciting to see a flagged bird but more importantly, I consider it an honor to contribute to the work that researchers are doing by reporting my resightings. It's so cool to think that I may help make a difference!