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

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