9 Nov 2008 - Cackling Goose, Pectoral Sandpiper, Parasitic Jaeger in the Montauk area

Hugh McGuinness and I seawatched from Montauk Point (Suffolk Co.,) this morning. There are still good numbers of Laughing Gulls feeding over the rips and Hugh found a light-phase PARASITIC JAEGER pestering them shortly before I arrived. He also glimpsed a swallow passing over the beach - always worth a second or third look at this time of year - but could not get a firm ID. Numbers of seaduck continue to increase and we logged more than 70 COMMON EIDER and 24 ATLANTIC BRANT as well as all three scoter, Long-tailed Duck and Red-breasted Mergansers. COMMON and RED-THROATED LOONS were conspicuous and were joined by 2 HORNED GREBES. The passerine flight was also quite noticeable with a flock of 30 PINE SISKIN at the Montauk overlook and numerous AMERICAN GOLDFINCH (200++), as well as YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, AMERICAN ROBIN, CEDAR WAXWING, COMMON GRACKLES.

At Deep Hollow, the CACKLING GOOSE reported from last week continues in the horse pasture south of the hwy together with 48 KILLDEER. We walked the paths of the Teddy Roosevelt County Park but did not find much of note except for a FIELD SPARROW, HAIRY WOODPECKER, several flyover PINE SISKIN and AMERICAN GOLDFINCH. A TURKEY VULTURE buzzed the crows and Ring-billed Gulls on both sides of Deep Hollow. At Gin Beach (Montauk Inlet) the finch flight was more impressive, with flocks passing every few minutes. I was surprised to see several flocks of siskin, goldfinch and Yellow-rumed Warblers flying low over the water several hundred yards offshore. These were most easily picked out when silloueted against one of the many fishing boats. Overall, I would estimate more than 200 PINE SISKIN and 700-800 AMERICAN GOLDFINCH for the morning.

A late juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER was on the pond at Rita's Horsefarm with a BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER and 60 COMMON EIDER and all 3 scoter species were just beyond the surf line at Ditch Plains. 4 WILD TURKEY were are Montauk Landfill with another in Hither Hills SP. A PALM WARBLER was at the Hither Hills camp ground but the howling westerly wind made birding increasingly difficult in the afternoon. Of local note, 3 ATLANTIC BRANT were at Louse Point in Accabonac, seen independently by Karen and Barbara Rubinstein as well, and a TURKEY VULTURE was over Springs/Fireplace Road in The Springs, this morning.

I'll end by saying that Hugh called shortly after 3 pm to say that the 2 CATTLE EGRETS are still present in the cow pasture at the Mecox Bay Dairy in Bridgehampton.

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