Sunday, February 21, 2016

February 21 - Montauk Point

The group took the long trip out to the easternmost point of Long Island today so we could search for a rarity a Montauk Point.  We arrived at Lake Montauk, technically not a lake but rather an inlet, and headed for the eastern jetty.   I scanned just outside of the jetty and immediately located the rarity of the Thick-Billed Murre.  This bird was a lifer for Jennifer !
I had seen this species very briefly last February while up in Gloucester, Massachusetts when the bird was mostly diving but I was able to get 3-4 glimpses of it.  Today's views much far superior as this bird stayed above the water almost the entire time.  Here's a pic taken by Bill E.
click to enlarge.

We then walked out onto the jetty itself and were able to see the bird from a distance of 40-50 yard away.  Through my scope I could make out the indentation of the eye-line that will appear once the bird reaches full breeding plumage.  At one point the bird opened its mouth wide to reveal the remarkable yellow inside of it's bill.

Here's the only image I could find of this, and thanks goes to Angus !
credit: Angus

Later at Camp Hero, Jennifer was able to locate a drake King Eider.  Undoubtedly one of my favorite ducks because of it's scarcity in this region and it's lovely colors.  Here's an image showing the species:

We saw both Loons, Oldsquaw, Red-Breasted Megransers, Razorbills, Bonparte's Gulls, Herring Gulls, Greater Black-Backed Gulls, Black Scoter, Surf Scoter, White-Winged Scoter, Common Eider, Great Cormorant, Black Duck etc.

On a peculiar note, when we arrived at Montauk Point's Camp Hero later in the morning, we came upon this sight...which I conclude was an up-and-coming band producing a video of their performance, using the Long Island coast as their background:

Another reason to include this image is its background.  Here you can get an idea of the number of birds...all of those black dots on the to enlarge !