As we were leaving, we saw Pete Morris arriving, and we couldn't resist joining 
Doug and him for some more effort. 

Compiling observations for the day yields the following remarkable numbers for 
Robert Moses SP yesterday:

Great Shearwater  669
Cory's Shearwater 48
Manx Shearwater 8
Sooty Shearwater 9
Wilson's Sturm-Petrel 6
Northern Gannet 5
Parasitic Jaeger 1
Black Scoter 4

To put the Great Shearwater total in perspective, my previous high count from 
land on Long Island over 21+ years was 45, on 23 June 2001, at Democrat Point. 
The general pattern is for Great to be vastly outnumbered by Sooties during 
good early season flights, then by Cory's on good days later. In fact, in my 
Long Island seawatching experience, the overall frequency and abundance of 
Great from land has generally been very similar to that of the 
perceived-as-rare Manx: one or a few single-digit counts per year, versus many 
more and larger counts of Sooty and Cory's.

We await more data from other areas, but it is already obvious that the numbers 
of Greats from the Jones Inlet area were far in excess of any counts there in 
recent memory, and it appears that numbers from further east on the island were 
unexpectedly low (usually they increase steadily eastward). The occurrence of 
exhausted birds (including the Brown Booby) suggests a prolonged storm far 
offshore during prior days that was positioned in such a way as to trap birds 
in the New York Bight (if weather-savvy folks could check on this, I'd 
appreciate it). Locally at least, the wind speeds were never in the range that 
would cause shearwaters any difficulties.

Shai Mitra
Bay Shore

Following up on Steve's report and after hearing about the Jones Beach flight, 
Shai and i returned to Robert Moses and put in another hour (4:22-5:22). 
Spectacular views on many birds as they passed by close to shore.  
Great Shearwater  177
Cory's Shearwater. 5
Manx Shearwater. 4
Sooty Shearwater. 1
Parasitic Jaeger. 1
Black Scoter. 4
No. Gannet 2

Doug Futuyma just arrived to take up the vigil here.

Patricia Lindsay
Bay Shore
Sent from my iPhone
[] on behalf of Steve Walter 
Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2017 4:40 PM
Subject: [nysbirds-l] Robert Moses S.P. Sea Watching 6/18

I spent the morning sea watching at Robert Moses State Park Field 2 from about 
6:30 (not seriously until the fog eased around 8:30) to 12:30 (when the fog 
thickened again). Also joining in the effort were (until about 10:30) Brent 
Bomkamp, Pat Palladino, and Taylor Sturm, and (from about 11 to 12) Pat 
Lindsay, Shai Mitra, and Peter Morris. Actually, I have to give them more 
credit than that, as they picked out a lot more birds than I did. But I think I 
did a decent job of being the scribe. So here is what I scribed.

Great Shearwater – 119
Cory’s Shearwater – 23
Sooty Shearwater – 1
Shearwater sp. – 21 (most earlier on when denser fog added to the ID 
difficulty; Brent thought one may have been a Manx, but too difficult to 
Wilson’s Sturm-Petrel – 6

One amusing sequence involved two Great Shearwaters, closer in than expected, 
and a swimmer, further out than expected. The shearwaters slowed down to 
investigate the swimmer, with the second one actually landing very close to 
him. It flapped its wings at him (or something like that) a bit before moving 

Afterwards in the parking lot, a few Larus fuscus americanus (well, they might 
be in a few thousand years).

I didn’t know about the Brown Booby until I was already at Robert Moses. As 
I’ve mentioned before, I get the reports off the archives. I don’t know how 
well that always works. I’m pretty sure I checked last night and the booby 
reports hadn’t made it to the archives yet. I know that when I looked this 
morning, it was obvious why I choose not to get the e-mails. I see a lot of 
reports of things like Yellow Warbler getting in the way of the reports I 
really need. Why? Okay, Steve, be nice, stop your rant right there.

Steve Walter
Bayside, NY  (currently featuring the Henslow’s Sparrow)


NYSbirds-L List Info:


Please submit your observations to eBird:


Reply via email to