Black Terns congregate in Napeague Harbor - 30 Aug 09

The BLACK TERN show continues in Napeague Harbor (Suffolk Co), viewed from Lazy Point on the western side of this shallow bay. The Black Terns - a nice mix of molting adults and birds in smart juvenile/formative plumage – were dip feeding all over the bay and roosting on the shellfish hatchery floats at the north end along with several hundred Roseate and Common Terns. The latter two species appeared to be feeding on the ocean and flying back and forth over Route 27. I kayaked across the channel so as to get a better look at the roosting birds and made several single sweep counts, with a maximum of *261 * Black Terns. I only noted a single Forster's Tern in the mix and a handful of Least Terns. A basic-plumaged COMMON LOON flew overhead into Gardiner's Bay and a scattering of shorebirds around the bay included 8 WESTERN WILLET.

There was a good ocean swell at Montauk Point, left over from yesterdays storm, but relatively few birds. I noted a single CORY'S SHEARWATER, 5 WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS and a paltry 10 Laughing Gulls (presumably this will build as we enter the fall). Small groups of Common and Roseate Terns ranged widely but did not form any significant feeding congregations.

WHITE-WINGED SCOTER flew past the Montauk Inet and 6 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, 2 Semipalmated Plovers, and 2 Black-bellied Plovers joined 18 Killdeer on the fields at the Deep Hollow Ranch on the south side of the road. The pond on the north side is brimming (no shoreline) but I noted 4 Green-winged Teal and 2 Green Heron in the vegetation. I checked several wooded and scrubby area but could find no evidence of any passerine migration.

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