As Jose churns away far offshore, the south shore of LI has experienced persistent favorable winds for seawatching, from southeasterly on Sunday evening, to easterly on Monday evening, to northeasterly Tuesday morning, and, most recently, to north-northeasterly this morning.
I've observed modest numbers of Cory's Shearwaters during each of my efforts, along with smaller numbers of Northern Gannets, several small flocks of Black Scoters, and a total of 5 Parasitic Jaegers (3 from Cupsogue on Sunday evening and 2 from Robert Moses SP this morning). The gannets and scoters have been moving e to w, whereas Common and Forster's Terns have been moving mostly w to e, and the COSH have been going in all directions. Other migrants have included small numbers of Merlins, Kestrels, Ospreys, a Whimbrel, and a Great Blue Heron flying e to w far offshore. The most interesting highlight for me today--and I'm aware that I've probably never said this before--was a definite migratory flight from east to west of juvenile Herring Gulls. Probably associated with this were no fewer than 8 fresh juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gulls, along with one adult and one older immature. Notably, the ragged one- and two-year-old LBBGs that have been present here in numbers since May were not observed in this offshore flight, but instead were present (just two that I saw) as usual in the loafing flocks in the parking lots. There were also one-two juvenile and two near-adult LBBGs at RMSP yesterday, an adult at Cupsogue on Sunday, and a juvenile (my first of the year) at Heckscher SP on Saturday. It is important to carefully note the age and behavior of these birds because their migration schedules vary by age class and, presumably, according to geographic origin. At this date it is possible, under favorable circumstances to distinguish five different age classes, as follows: HY--fresh juveniles hatched this June SY--ragged yearlings molting from first summer to second winter plumage TY--ragged two-year-olds molting from second summer to third winter plumage 4Y--fourth calendar year birds molting from third summer to adult winter plumage (these can look very, very much like true adults) adults--generally still in beautiful breeding plumage and with all adult-like flight feathers and coverts. Right now we are witnessing the storm-influenced southbound migration of juveniles, adults, and near-adults--and possibly a diminution in the summer population of SYs. Shai Mitra Bay Shore -- NYSbirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsWELCOME.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsRULES.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L 3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01 Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --