Spurred on by Derrick Rogers' Brown Booby (BRBO) reports, I got on my
horse, and took part in the undesirable motor trip from Riverhead to
Montauk during the "construction/service vehicle convoy" that dominates the
road between 0600 & 1000 on any given work day !
Not finding the BRBO at the Star Island Dr. location, I decided to try for
the bird from the south end of Lake Montauk, where I did get my first
sighting of it...but it wasn't down there. While working north, as I
checked out the entire lake, I found it now perched on top of the sailboat,
I had checked from S.I.D., which was birdless 15 minutes earlier. This
behavior of leaving and then returning to the ship's mast was repeated at
least 5 times during the ~ 2 hours I spent viewing the booby.* Back at the
S.I.D. location, and after seeing a juvenile Bald Eagle being harassed by
some crows, I was joined by Bob Wilson, a birder from Sag Harbor, who,
after getting the bird, suggested we try for a better spot along West Lake
Dr., which would be closer, and have better lighting. When I caught up with
him, he had found one ! Even though he was standing on the shoulder of the
road, he was looking down the driveway of house # 278, straight out to
where the sailboat (Maui) was anchored, and enjoying great views ! After
Bob left, Gary Strauss arrived and had the same good fortune.
Next, for me, was "The Point", where I experienced my 2nd unusual sighting
of the day. Upon arrival, I found 6 Herring Gulls, 2 A.Crows and 1
N.Mockingbird in the parking lot. As I was setting my scope up at the rear
of the restaurant, it dawned on me there wasn't any birds around. For the
first time that I can remember, I did not see or hear a single bird on the
land, sea or in the sky from that specific spot...and I did make a slow,
and thorough, 2nd pass ! To put this in perspective, It is fairly accurate
to say I've been birding this spot at least 2-3 times a year, since 1976.
Could the prolonged rough seas, due to the series of hurricanes, be the
On the way home I stopped at both Sag Pond and Mecox Bay, and found nothing
unusual, with the number of our 4 common gulls down. On the up side, at
both beaches the number of Monarch Butterflies moving to the west was
inspiring...maybe they are recovering !
* My thanks to Ed Becher and Brendan Fogarty for their help in getting the
word out !
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