The 5th Annual Seatuck LI Birding Challenge was conducted on 15 
September this year, and although the light southeast winds were not the 
most favorable for migration, the weather was pleasant and cool, and a 
great variety of species was found.
  Ten teams competed this year, and it was exciting to welcome three new 
teams (Jack Gro Dim, Brooklyn Dippers and Bird Brainz). Total 
participants numbered 39, and it was this robust coverage that afforded 
the high number and variety of species.
  The teams found a total of 180 species, amazingly just four shy of 
last year's total when we had a windfall overnight migration preceding 
the count morning. The cumulative total for the five years now stands at 
231, with a dozen species added this year: Great Shearwater, Tricolored 
Heron, Sora, Whimbrel, Western Sandpiper, Whip-poor-will, Black-billed 
Cuckoo, Red-headed Woodpecker, Purple Martin, Cliff Swallow, Worm-eating 
Warbler, and Blue Grosbeak.
  Changing things up a bit this year, some of the long-time teams 
re-amalgamated alliances, morphing into new iterations of old teams. And 
in a departure from traditional strategies of past years, Pteam 
Ptarmigeddon confined their efforts to Suffolk County only, and the 
VizMig Whizzes made the decision to do a Big Sit, barely moving 50 feet 
from the Fire Island Hawkwatch platform! Others traveled far and wide, 
from Brooklyn to the East End.
  All Wings Considered (with one replacement member this year) defended 
their 2017 title as champions, coming in with an official total of 121 
species (with one species inadvertently left off the list, they actually 
saw 122).
  In second place were the Four Harbors Herons, with 112, and in third 
place, Pteam Ptarmigeddon with an impressive 106 species in Suffolk 
County exclusively.
  Pteam Ptarmigeddon led with the most saves, eight in all: Whimbrel, 
Long-billed Dowitcher, Least Tern, Whip-poor-will, Philadelphia Vireo, 
Cliff Swallow, Worm-eating Warbler, and Connecticut Warbler.
  Other saves were
  Bird Brainz: Hooded Merganser, Wild Turkey, Clapper Rail, Solitary 
Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Eastern Phoebe, and Lincoln's Sparrow
  Bearded Vultures: American Bittern, Hudsonian Godwit, Western 
Sandpiper, Magnolia Warbler, and Indigo Bunting
  VizMig Whizzes: Tricolored Heron, Black Tern, Purple Martin, Prairie 
Warbler, and Rusty Blackbird
  Brooklyn Dippers: Pied-billed Grebe, Black-billed Cuckoo, Horned Lark, 
and Baltimore Oriole
  Four Harbors Herons: Pectoral Sandpiper, Bay-breasted Warbler, 
Blackpoll Warbler, and Yellow-rumped Warbler
  All Wings Considered: Willow Flycatcher and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  Stealthy Ibis: Ovenbird
  It was another great Challenge, topped off as always by a lively 
compilation dinner at Scully Mansion. Proceeds from the event will go to 
support environmental and conservation issues, always a worthy cause.
  Thanks to Enrico Nardone and the Seatuck team for organizing and 
hosting this increasingly popular and exciting event. For more 
information on this important organization and to view the complete list 
of species  and team results, go to
  We hope to see everyone back next year, and welcome new teams to join 


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