Two Western Kingbirds near Bridgehampton - 1 Nov 2006

The WESTERN KINGBIRD was still present this morning in Deep Hollow, Montauk (Suffolk Co.), favoring the trees on the eastern side of the horse pasture. The bird disappears from sight at times, so be patient if you go in search of it.

Twenty miles further west in Bridgehampton, I found 2 WESTERN KINGBIRDS hawking insects in the heavily overgrown field on the south side of Daniel's Lane (40.9188, -72.2618). Initially the birds were close to Peter's Pond Lane, a dirt road running down to the ocean access but they later ranged more widely across the field, sometimes appearing to go over the dune on the beach itself. An American Kestrel, increasingly scarce on the South Fork, was in a field off Gibson Lane.

The ocean between Main Beach in East Hampton and Mecox Bay was fairly active with numerous rafts of scoter, several hundred Atlantic Gannets and small flocks of Laughing Gulls. Most of the bird feeding on small bait fish being pushed to the surface by Striped Bass and I was surprised to see that even the scoter were feeding on these fish, thinking that their diet was limited to bivalves, polychaete worms and small crustaceans. However, they could often be seen surfacing with these slender fish dangling from their bills before being swallowed. No wonder the gulls like to pester them.

Numbers of Common Eider seemed higher than usual this far west of Montauk, and I tallied 103 along this stretch. GREAT CORMORANTS were also in evidence, with 16 flying west along the beach front and an immature roosting with Double-crested Cormorants on the sand flat at Georgica Pond. An adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was at Sagg Mains. Tom Burke and Gail Benson noted a PARASITIC JAEGER off Main Beach and another off Montauk Point. They also located the female KING EIDER off Ditch Plains before hurrying over to Bridgehampton for their 2nd and 3rd _Tyrannus verticalis_ of the day.

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