Sunday, February 19, 2017

Little Gull and Black Guillemot at Montauk - 19th Feb

A long weekend in winter is a good opportunity to head off to distant parts of the state to pick up on some rarities. Several good birds were found in Montauk this week, so I headed off early for the long drive east. First up was a Black Guillemot that has been hanging around the Coast Guard Station in Montauk inlet. It was very obliging, but didn't come too close. Lots of other good birds there including extremely close views of Common Loon and Surf Scoter, and a nice first winter Iceland Gull.

Next stop was Ditch Plains Beach. Just offshore was a feeding flock of Bonaparte's Gulls, with a single Little Gull. Good views, but the tide was rising so time was short.

The lighthouse at Montauk Point was glorious, but the sea was flat, and the rafts of ducks were some distance offshore. Thousands of Black Scoter, Surf Scoter, Long-tailed Duck and Common Eider, but no sign of the female King Eider that has been here. No problem, a good day all round.

I can't remember the last time I saw Little Gull. I think it was Staines Reservoir in about 1989! Brilliant birds.

Black Guillemot are quite rare in New York, this is the first record in about 5 years.

Cracking first winter (Kumlien's) Iceland Gull.

Surf Scoter
Female Common Eider
Common Loon. Almost close enough to touch!

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