AudioDateDownLeftRightUpIconCloseDownload iconfacebookReportGallerySettingsGiftLanguageGridLanguage iconListMapMenunoAudionoPhotoPhotoPlayPlusSearchStartwitterUserVideo

Checklist S20697399

Cape Island--CMPSP (Cape May Point SP), Cape May County, New Jersey, US ( Map ) ( Hotspot )
Date and Effort
Mon Aug 30, 1999
Party Size:
Michael O'Brien
1 species total

Alternate adult found by Graham Gordon and subsequently seen by many at Bunker Pond. The bird was resting in the company of several hundred Common Terns, all of which were already well into molt to basic plumage. Distance was 75 feet or less (from the path on the south side of the pond to the sand bar on the pond) and lighting was good so detailed study was possible. Seen through Leica scope with 32x eyepiece. I saw the bird only at rest though others saw it in flight and noted the diagnostic wing pattern. Field notes written at the time are copied below.

- Full summer plumage with full black cap.
- More crouched posture than Common with flat crown and back, bill held straight out, neck sunken in shoulders, and fluffed out breast and belly giving front-heavy look.
- Short-looking legs (though difficult to see joint); legs bright red.
- Bill similar in length to Common’s but very slightly more up-curve d along lower edge; bill all dark red (as in mid summer but looking more “shadowed” as if changing to black).
- Narrower sliver of white between bill and cap than on Common.
- Steeper forehead than on Common.
- Tail tip even with primary tips.
- Primaries all of same generation though outers strikingly blackish toward tips contrasting with pale inners, evidently the result of wear; bases of all primaries evenly gray; p10 with striking white shaft.
- Darker above and below than Commons.

Age & Sex
Juvenile Immature Adult Age Unknown
Sex Unknown 1

Are you submitting a complete checklist of the birds you were able to identify?