Around 9:00 this morning an adult Brown Booby flew east to west past Robert Moses SP, parking field 2. Its uniformly dark brown upperparts, head, and upper breast were discernible, as was the sharp contrast between the last and the white belly and underwing linings. Moreover, its flight style differed markedly from that of Northern Gannet, of which several were also present, including birds flying on the same bearing in relation to the northeasterly winds. Specifically, its wingbeats were more rapid, powerful, and continuous than those of a gannet, and the overall impression was of a significantly smaller bird. Conversely, its very long, slim wings, long and pointed neck and head projection, and long tail were all clearly those of a sulid and not a shearwater, petrel, jaeger, or gull. The bird was quite distant, and I was troubled that I was unable to make out the bill color. This might have been attributable to the bill having a dull pale color that blended in with the tone of the background water and sky.
This was the last bird I saw during a generally slow seawatch, because I quit after it passed and raced around to the other side of the Fire Island Inlet, on the chance that the booby might enter and fly past or perch. Earlier, over the course of an hour I saw a close Manx Shearwater, an adult-like Parasitic Jaeger (w to e), and at least five Northern Gannets, but very little else. These observations, together with those yesterday morning of Manx Shearwater at Sagg Main Beach and Cory's Shearwaters there and off Shinnecock Inlet, suggest an improvement over the past several weeks' dismal seawatching conditions--perhaps attributable to the recent northeasterly winds. We also saw Humpback Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins at a couple of sites yesterday. 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://firstname.lastname@example.org/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/ --