I spent the day exploring the Montauk area, and managed to turn up some
birds of note. Nearly 200 Black Scoters were present in the surf south of
the cliffs at Shadmoor State Park: a surprising congregation at this time
of year. Plenty of Bank Swallows around, and a number of other expected
breeders. A lone female Wild Turkey and a Red Fox both crossed our path on
one of the Hither Hills State Park access roads. We stumbled upon a
Virginia Rail at Big Reed Pond late in the afternoon, strutting through the
undergrowth near a wet spot along the trail, vocalizing loudly. I'm betting
that it was trying to distract from its nest or young based on its
behavior. We didn't linger too long.
Unfortunately, a stop in Quogue on the way home didn't provide any
nightjars, even though we stopped to listen in several recently and
historically reliable spots. It was quite some time after sunset, so
perhaps the birds were busy foraging after the initial chorus of the night.
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