Influx of fall songbird migrants - 21 Sep 2010

Monday (20 Sep 2010) night provided the first major influx of fall songbird migrants onto the East End. Birding some familiar spots on the east side of Lake Montauk on Tuesday (21 Sep) morning, Vicki Bustamante found her first DARK-EYED JUNCO and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS of the season. She describes the NORTHERN FLICKERS, EASTERN PHOEBES, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS as being "everywhere". At Teddy Roosevelt CP, Vicki found 5 newly arrived SWAMP SPARROWS, a late-ish YELLOW WARBLER, INDIGO BUNTINGS and some BOBOLINKS. A BLACKPOLL WARBLER was near Outer Beach. Hawks were also in evidence with MERLIN, AMERICAN KESTREL and 2 PEREGRINES over Deep Hollow.

Proving this was not a localized event, Hugh McGuinness heard two Golden-crowned Kinglets in his yard near Sag harbor and another on the ground of the Ross School in East Hampton. Likewise, Eileen Schwinn found a YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, a CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER and multiple NORTHERN ORIOLES, SCARLET TANAGERS, RED-EYED VIREOS in East Quogue. A similar influx was reported on the North Fork.

John Shemilt visited the mouth of Mecox Bay on Tuesday and found that the swells have filled the cut with sand and that even at mid-tide ocean water was flowing into the pond (yuk!). The few remaining shorebirds included a DUNLIN; a species that generally arrives much later than other shorebirds. I'd expect the numbers to start building from now on. Other shorebirds (Semipalmated Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs and so on) will disappear as they head towards more tropical climes (e.g. Surinam, French Guiana and Brazil). Some Sanderlings and most of the Golden-Plovers will push even further south, all the way to southern Argentina.

Today (Wed 22 Sep) Vicki found fewer kinglets but plenty of phoebes and flickers remain. One of the AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER continues on the horse/cattle pasture (Rusty's) on the south side of Montauk Hwy in Deep Hollow.

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