A Travellerspoint blog

My First Hitch-Hike!

Long Island, NYC

sunny 31 °F

Today, I birded Montauk Point on the far eastern tip of Long Island, and thanks to a generous birder named Dave, later Shinnecock Bay on the southern coast of the island. It was a chilly but beautiful day to be out, full of birds!

I knew I was in a beautiful part of the state when I got this view from the train!

The train pulled into Montauk around 10:45am and I was soon to the point via taxi. My target bird was Black-legged Kittiwake, which have been seen there recently — I possibly saw these off of Breezy Point in Queens last fall but could never quite clinch the ID due to distance.

Upon arriving at the North Overlook at Montauk, I found this SURF SCOTER:

BLACK SCOTERS also flew by:

Then, a friendly border named Dave and I spotted a small gull that fluttered over the water, occasionally swooping down like a tern. Sure enough, we had it — my life bird BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE! Too cool! This is part of a continuing invasion of these birds around the Long Island waters, bringing unprecedented numbers of this species close to sure — usually this bird is a pelagic species only found far from shore.

Then, Dave told me he was headed to Shinnecock Bay and I asked him if I could hitch a ride with him. He accepted — Dave, if you ever read this blog post, THANK YOU!

We first made a stop at Montauk Harbor where we found a SANDERLING:

Then, a bunch of gulls swooped down next to the car and we scanned for any rarer ones.

Sure enough, a white-winged gull turning out to be an ICELAND GULL flew in, allowing for great photo ops! By far the best view I have ever gotten of this uncommon species! Note one classic field mark of this bird: its completely white wings, as most other gulls have black wingtips.

Then, we headed to Shinnecock Bay on the south side of Long Island in the Hamptons where I immediately spotted a RAZORBILL, such a cool find!





There was a huge raft of mainly COMMON EIDERS with a few BLACK SCOTERS moving around the inlet area. I scanned the entire flock, braving the bitter wind whipping across the jetty for a King Eider seen here this morning, but it was to no avail.

An absolutely delightful day of birding on Long Island! Bird-of-the-day to my life bird Black-legged Kittiwake with runners-up to Iceland Gull & Razorbill. Stay tuned!

Good birding,
World Life List: 965 Species (1 life bird today: Black-legged Kittiwake)

Posted by skwclar 20:19 Archived in USA

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Nice finds and pics of the Iceland gull!
Bird on!

by Poo

Thank you! You are enriching my life with glimpses of the beauty of our creation beyond my own!
It would be lovely if you would add just a note or two about how your musical education is going too. I’m sure you continue to discover delights there as well!

by P Handley

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