Checklist S38491957

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Owner Brendan Murtha

Traveling
  • 1
  • 1.2 mi
Comments

Raining during the beginning of my stay.

Observations

  1. Number observed: 10
  2. Number observed: 2
  3. Number observed: 4

    Comments: A group on the rocks off the eastern end of the point. Continuing summering flock in the area.

  4. Number observed: 4
  5. Number observed: 1
  6. Number observed: 15
  7. Number observed: 3
  8. Number observed: 19
  9. Number observed: 3
  10. Number observed: 1
  11. Number observed: 3
  12. Number observed: 10
  13. Number observed: 8
  14. Number observed: 7
  15. Number observed: 3

    Comments: Probably more. Could only confirm 3 ROSTs out among the feeding flocks of terns a decent distance offshore, but had several more contenders.

  16. Number observed: 36
  17. Number observed: 40
  18. Number observed: 7
  19. Number observed: 4
  20. Number observed: 3
  21. Number observed: 1
  22. Number observed: 1
  23. Number observed: 2
  24. Number observed: 4
  25. Number observed: 2
  26. Number observed: 7
  27. Number observed: 92
  28. Number observed: 6
  29. Number observed: 1
  30. Number observed: 1
  31. Number observed: 11
  32. Number observed: 8
  33. Number observed: 3
  34. Number observed: 60
  35. Number observed: 4
  36. Number observed: 3
  37. Number observed: 16
  38. Number observed: 5
  39. Number observed: 20
  40. Number observed: 2
  41. Number observed: 1
  42. Number observed: 2
  43. Number observed: 1
  44. Number observed: 2
  45. Number observed: 6
  46. bird sp.

    Number observed: 3

    Comments: Alright-- rarely in my birding career have I ever been more stumped. While seawatching I picked up on a group of 3 birds flying west, pretty far out, in front of Little and Great Gull Islands. I initially thought they were terns, but as far as they could tell they were ALL DARK. They were flying erratically, weaving in and out of one another on long, slender wings. I noted a long-tailed appearance. Frequently two of the three birds would split from the group and swoop down close to the water in a shearwater-esque arc, with wingtips seemingly grazing the surface of the water before they rose up again to join the third bird at a decent altitude. I was frantically trying to stay on them and extract any details I could, and didn't even attempt photos-- probably a mistake, even though they were too far out for any half decent record shots. Even at my scope's highest magnification they were distant. I finally lost them when they dropped down and LANDED on the surface of the water with a flurry of wingbeats. I know of no Tern species that exhibits that type of behavior.

    I truly have no idea what these birds were. In the moment I considered Sooty Tern, Brown Noddy, Jaeger sp., and Sooty Shearwater, birds I'm all pretty familiar with in the field. Like I said, I'm truly stumped. They were not Black Tern (too long winged, with a very different flight style, and BLTE would never land on the surface of the sound.) With later reflection, I think Jaeger is the most likely possibility (Parasitic.)

    I'm not going to ever reach a conclusion on these birds. But I'd advise other birders in the area to keep their eyes out.