Favorable northwest winds produced another huge flight this morning at Robert 
Moses SP, Suffolk County. Species diversity is dropping as Neotropical migrant 
species drop out of the mix, but the most numerous medium-distance migrants are 
at high abundance: 10,000 Myrtle Warblers, 2,690 Pine Siskins, 1,320 American 
Goldfinches, 1,175 Red-winged Blackbirds, and 1,077 American Robins in two 
hours. But the most mind-bending thing was the crush of Purple Finches, a 
species that is often more numerous on passage than many birders appreciate, 
but which nevertheless is a bird I expect in no more than scores or hundreds 
per day, even in flight years. I thought my first hour this morning was good, 
with a total of 276, but during the next hour, things got strange. More than 
once I had to abandon my sample counts of MYWAs and other species in disbelief 
as my scans revealed individual flocks of 100+ Purple Finches in view at once; 
the one-hour total for 09:30-10:30 was 1,940!

I had to leave it at that, with the finches continuing in huge numbers. The 
ocean was teeming with gulls, gannets, seaducks, and cormorants but had to be 

Shai Mitra
Bay Shore

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