Sunday, February 21, 2016

Coney Island: Thick Billed Murre and my redemption Razorbills

I saw reports of a Thick Billed Murre seen at Montauk by the inlet at Lake Montauk - as I was contemplating making the trip out there a second report was posted of another one by the 35th street jetty by Coney Island.  Still a good drive but a lot closer to Montauk, I got my gear and headed over there.  By the time I had arrived the Murre had moved west towards Norton Point out of decent scope view.  A suggestion by another birder to walk up the beach was all I needed to go chase it.  Getting through the sand hills, rocks and metal beams along the way was tricky but not enough to stop me.  I made my way up the beach but didn't see the Murre.  Just when I thought I wasted my time and energy a bird appeared fairly close to me in the water- was a Razorbill!  I had seen one some years ago right off Jones Beach Field 10 but the photos I got were bad so I always hoped to see another.  The Razorbill gave good views preening itself and diving- I had no idea they could stay underwater so long.  After a while I also got to see a likely second one.

Scanning the water I assumed I missed the Murre by now but one dark object that seemed to just float caught my attention- turned out to be my lifer Thick Billed Murre after all.  I must've raced past it and  didn't see it till now.  Great day - I was glad my effort finally paid off.

Thick Billed Murre

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