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

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