17 Jan 2009 - Bohemian Waxwing in Napeague Beach

Whilst counting waterfowl in Amagansett and Napeague, Hugh McGuinness and I spotted a handsome BOHEMIAN WAXWING perched on an overhead wire at the intersection of Atlantic Drive and Shore Drive. I believe this is the first Bohemian on the island so far this winter. The waxwing gave superb views as it flew around the neighborhood returning repeatedly to a stand of fruiting evergreens behind the 2nd and 3rd houses to the east of the beach access road. The waxwing seemed to be traveling with a flock of 20-30 Starlings, rather than a similar sized flock of American Robins that were feeding on the same berries. This was all in a small community of beach side houses between Montauk Highway (Route 27) and the ocean, near the junction with Napeague Meadow Road ('Art Barge'). Although late in the afternoon, Karen Rubinstein, Barbara Rubinstein and Vicki Bustamante were able to join us in time to see the bird.

Nearby Napeague Harbor was almost completely frozen, with a variety of waterfowl concentrated in a small area of open water off Lazy Point. In addition to 'Larry' the resident LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, Karen and Barbara found an adult PEREGRINE with prey out on the ice. A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was noted flying from Lazy Point towards Gardiners Island. In Beachampton, Hugh and I found three IPSWICH SPARROWS at the end of Napeague Lane and noted three RAZORBILLS on the ocean along with large numbers of Red-throated Loons. We could not find the Western Grebe seen in this area last Friday & Saturday.

In Southampton, a male AMERCIAN KESTREL was at the tree farm on the northside of Route 27, just east of the junction with County Road 39A. Sadly this species has become very scarce on the South Fork in the winter and was missed by both the Montauk and Sagaponack Christmas Bird Counts. Lastly, whilst driving on Montauk Highway in Waterwill, I was puzzled by a large bird that was weaving a few feet above the dense vehicular traffic much like an impatient motocyclist. Only as it flew past my driverside window did I realize it was an immature and apparently very confused GREAT CORMORANT! Moments later, a second GREAT CORMORANT (an adult this time) was seen flying over the vinyards of the Duckwalk Winery.

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