Seabird movement & Northern Goshawk - 4 April 2009

Today's persistent westerly winds (21-25 mph) produced a nice flight of seabirds and ducks along the Atlantic seafront of the South Fork of Long Island. A one-hour count in the early afternoon (1:30-2:30 pm) from Atlantic Ave, Amagansett, Suffolk Co., logged 9,811 birds - the vast majority flying east. The highlight were my first of the season LAUGHING GULLS, a RAZORBILL and two COMMON EIDER.

Northern Gannet - 770
Red-throated Loon - 145
Common Loon - 9
loon sp. - 9
Black Scoter - 2,550
Surf Scoter - 60
White-winged Scoter - 4
scoter sp. -5,350
Long-tailed Duck - 75
COMMON EIDER - 2 (females)
Red-breasted Merganser - 55
Atlantic Brant - 18
Canada Goose - 30
Green-winged Teal - 2
duck sp. - 600+
LAUGHING GULL - 4 (all adults)
Herring Gull - 92
Great Black-backed Gull - 30
Ring-billed Gull - 5

In Napeague, 'Larry' the LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL was still in its favored spot at the narrows between Lazy Point and Hick's Island. On Promised Land Road near the fish hatchery I was treated to spectacular views of an immature NORTHERN GOSHAWK fighting its way into the wind over the strip of pines that runs parallel to the railway. Goshawks tends to get over reported on Long Island, when people to mistake large Cooper's Hawks for Goshawks. What prompted me to pull off the road and get out of the car today was how un-accipiter-like the hawk looked. My first impression was of a small buteo, perhaps a Red-shouldered Hawk rather than a typical accipiter. I encounter Goshawks so infrequently, and often so briefly, that a chance for proper study is a real treat.

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