Slow morning around Montauk Point - 4 Oct 2009

Sunday's weather was wonderful but the birding was a bit slow. In the morning, Hugh McGuinness and I walked the pony trail up the northeast side of Deep Hollow in search of the rare warblers seen the day before but found only a sprinkling of commoner migrants (Magnolia Warbler, American Redstart, Nashville Warbler, Parula, 5+ Palm Warblers, 5-10 Northern Orioles, 2 Winter Wren, 10+ White-throated Sparrows and 3 Eastern Phoebe). Four Blue-winged Teal were on a pool in horse pasture and a migrant American Kestrel tussled with crows. We noted a couple of Solitary Sandpipers on the pools, with another near the cow feeding lot on the south side of the highway. The waters off Montauk Point were placid and spectacularly birdless! A few (c.50) Laughing Gulls, 10+ Surf Scoters, and a couple of distant Gannets were all I could find in about 40 mins of scanning. Given the activity along the beach on Saturday, I was surprised not to see any sterna terns. Did they finally leave with the front? The first skeins of cormorants flying in across Block Island Sound was a sign of autumn. Time to watch out for Great Cormorants. A Merlin hunted around Turtle Cove but had nothing to chase beyond dragonflies. I briefly checked the pools along West Lake Drive, Rita's Horse Farm and Montauk Inlet but saw nothing of note. Maybe next weekend will be more exciting?

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