Tropical Storm Bob stirs up the terns - 29 Aug 09

There seems to be a major eastward flight of terns and other larids along the ocean side of Long Island today, presumably brought about by the heavy rains. Winds were moderate swinging around from the S to the E during the middle part of the day. I seawatched from Main Beach in East Hampton (Suffolk Co) late this morning. Visibility was limited to a few hundred yards but there was enough movement very close inshore (and overland) to keep it interesting. A 1-hour tally (11:40-12:40) produced:

Wilson's Storm-petrel – 5
Laughing Gull – 6
Common Tern - 1,423
Forster's Tern – 19
Roseate Tern – 326
Least Tern – 265
Black Tern – 11

Andy Baldelli (via Hugh McGuinness) also watched from Main Beach earlier in the morning and I believe he logged 6 PARASITIC JAEGERS, numerous Wilson's Storm-Petrels and Black Terns - again all going east fairly close to shore.

In Napeague Bay I counted 200+ BLACK TERNS but there could easily be more as it was impossible to scope properly in the driving rain. There were also a few Roseate and Forster's Terns. This seems to be one of the best spots for Black Tern in the fall. An adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was on the Maidstone Golf Course and in only a few minutes of looking skyward, I noted several hundred terns flying out of Hook Pond and back onto the ocean. Like observers to the west, I am currently puzzled by the numbers of Roseate Terns (mix of adults and juvs) in this eastward movement as the bulk of the local population is already east of these watchpoints. Perhaps they had moved south offshore and are now spinning back up to avoid the worst of the weather?

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