6 Dec 2008 - King Eider, Harlequin, Chat, Clay-colored Sparrow in Montauk

The calm conditions made for a pleasant day on the eastern tip of Long Island. Essentially any view of the ocean yielded nice looks at loons, scoter and Long-tailed Ducks. My totals from several spots between Amagansett and Montauk Point (MP) were 165 Red-throated Loons, 175 Common Loons, 2 Horned Grebe, 1000+ Common Eider (most off MP), White-winged Scoter 4000+ (ditto), Surf Scoter 2000+ (ditto), Black Scoter 100+, scoter sp. 2000+ and Long-tailed Duck 50. In the afternoon a nice male HARLEQUIN DUCK was flying in front of the MP restaurant with 2 WW Scoter and had been seen in the morning by Barbara Rubinstein and party and a full adult KING EIDER was pushed up by a passing fishing boat. A pair of Bufflehead, 5 Black Duck and a female Hooded Merganser were less expected duck for MP. Razorbills remain scarce this season (so far), although Hugh McGuniness and others saw 11 or so from the Point this morning. Despite the excellent visibility, I had no luck with alcids in the afternoon. Razorbills are often, but certainly not always, easier to find in the early morning from this location, so where do they go in the afternoon? Bonaparte's Gull numbers have dropped significantly since last week but a lingering adult Laughing Gull as encouraging for the upcoming CBC (20 Dec).

Other local notables are itemized below.

** Amagansett **
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT - 1 (northeast corner Bluff Rd & Atlantic Av)
Field Sparrow - 1

** Hither Hills SP **
Horned Grebe - 1
Common Eider - 18
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW - 1 (seen with Hugh McGuiness, Karen and Barbara Rubinstein)
Chipping Sparrow - 1

** Tuthill Pond, Montauk **
Ring-necked Duck - 1

** Montauk Manor **
RED-SHOULDERED HAWK - 1 juv (Foxboro Road)

** Montauk Point **
Common Eider - 1000
KING EIDER - 1 ad male
HARLEQUIN DUCK - 1 ad male
Bufflehead - pr.
Hooded Merganser - 1 f
Laughing Gull - 1 ad.

** Ditch Plains **
Common Eider - 10
COMMON GOLDENEYE - 2 f (not many around yet, my f.o.s)
Dunlin - 1 (compared to other Dunlin seen at Accabonac in the morning, this struck me as a quite pale bird with a very long bill)

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