Eastern Kingbird, Cattle Egret and a fistful of offshore goodies - 3 Apr 2010

There were a scattering of migrants on the South Fork of Long Island today but generally it was typical early April birding, albeit in delightful weather. Bruce Horwith probably tops the billing on land, with an EASTERN KINGBIRD in Shadmoor State Park. The snazzy CATTLE EGRET spent the entire day on the side of Montauk Hwy and was enjoyed by many - a drive by bird if ever there was one! Vicki and Chris Bustamante saw it as late as 5 pm this evening.

In the morning Vicki had an immature WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW on the east side of the Deep Hollow Ranch pond, one of the first reports this far east. I marched several of the trails that cut across Montauk Point finding very little except a lone TURKEY VULTURE and 2 HARLEQUIN DUCKS (ad. and imm. males) off the rocks at the end of the Seal Haul Out Trail. These birds were discovered by Luke Ormand yesterday. Three WILSON’S SNIPE were on the pools at Teddy Roosevelt State Park. Also in Montauk, the LITTLE BLUE HERON continues on Little Reed Pond. Cooper's Hawks seem to be in an amorous mood at the moment with display flights being noted in Camp Hero SP (me), Long Pond (Hugh McGuinness) and along Cranberry Hollow Road (Jorn Ake), where there were also some singing PINE WARBLERS.

However, John Shemilt steals the show with some great pelagic birds seen whilst fishing at the Coimbra wreck, which is 28 nautical due south of Shinnecock Inlet. During the trip they found 1-2 LITTLE GULLS (photographed) mixed in with Boneparte's Gulls, 100 RAZORBILLS, 5+ DOVEKIES (photos), 3 MURRES (likely Common's), and a stunning 25+ ATLANTIC PUFFINS (photos). Clearly there is still plenty of activity off shore!

I've not heard any reports of the Sandhill Cranes from today but apparently two birds were just found on Block Island (fide Shai Mitra via Hugh McGuinness), so perhaps 'our' birds have moved on. Any news that refutes this would be most welcome.

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