I crossed from Orient Point to New London on the 11:00 am ferry (Susan Anne) 
yesterday. As I have mentioned before in this forum, this passage can be 
remarkably birdless--and so it was. The only notable birds were a simmer of 
five Turkey Vultires over the northeast tip of Plum Island, some Gannets where 
they don't go except in migration, and one Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 
carefully studied as it tracked our course southwest to northeast mid-sound, 
just off the starboard beam.

Knowing these waters and the surrounding lands all my life, I almost always 
spend some time studying the appearance of things when I'm there. Yesterday's 
crossing was almost hallucinatory in its visuals. This area is exceptionally 
well suited to mirages, and other optical effects, arising from thermal 
inversions, and I've seen quite a few interesting things of this sort over 
decades of sound crossings. But yesterday, with a layer of warm air lying 
stably atop the water-cooled blanket atop the glassy and windless sound, 
produced a uniquely amazing array of effects. Familiar landmarks in the 
distance such as the Montauk peninsula and Fishers Island--and even objects 
ordinarily invisible from the ferry's route, beyond the curvature of the Earth, 
like Block Island and its wind turbines--were subject to every effect I know: 
Layered superior mirages (Fata Morgana), looming, towering, stooping, and even 
(I think) inferior mirages. Through eight power binoculars, the impression of 
this familiar place was utterly strange and disorienting! I did my best to 
capture some of the effects by phone-binning. Most of my captures were aimed at 
familiar landmarks, such as the Montauk Point Light, Camp Hero radar tower, 
Montauk Village water tower, and Hither Hills radar towers.

Although off-topic for birds, i thought I would sharemy images of this 
memorable experience:


Shai Mitra
Bay Shore


NYSbirds-L List Info:

1) http://www.mail-archive.com/nysbirds-l@cornell.edu/maillist.html
2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L
3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01

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