Sunday, August 5, 2018

August 5 - Bridled Tern and other seabirds from Great Gull Island.

As I posted yesterday, an adult Bridled Tern has appeared on Great Gull Island for the third year in a row. The bird was still present on the northeast corner of the island this morning. For about the last ten days the island has also witnessed a great show of other seabirds visible around the island. There have been large numbers of four species of shearwaters. Jonathon Layman first reported large numbers of shearwaters around the island on July 24 (while I was back in NYC) and Joan Walsh got the word to me and out on Facebook. Since I got back to the island on August 1 we have continued to have a good variety visible from the island. Sean Sime and I have observed every day since I got back. Yesterday Sean and I saw four species of shearwaters: Cory's Shearwater (60), Great Shearwater (150), Sooty Shearwater (6), and Manx Shearwater (5). We also saw at least six Parasitic Jaegers (one a dark phase individual). A single immature Northern Gannet added to the seabird variety. In addition to the breeding Common and Roseate terns, we saw a single adult Black Tern north of the island yesterday. After a weather front came through yesterday the winds shifted to the northwest and this morning I only saw a handful of Great Shearwaters off the island.

Obviously, however, the highlight of the last few days has been the adult Bridled Tern showing up for the third straight summer. Below are some additional photographs taken on August 3, the day Sean first spotted it. All these shots were taken by me and are copyright J. DiCostanzo

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