Date: 6/3/18 7:13 pm
From: Shaibal Mitra <Shaibal.Mitra...>
Subject: [nysbirds-l] Arctic Terns on the south shore of Long Island.
Dear Bob and all,

You are correct that the window is open for Arctic Terns.

There are very few rules for searching for them, and the foremost involves place. The observer must be present near an ocean inlet and receptive to studying terns.

It still amazes me, but wind, weather, time of day, and point of tide cycle are all remarkably unpredictive of Arctic Tern occurrence. What you need to do is get down to an inlet and look for loafing flocks of terns. Any flock of 30+ birds, especially one including a subadult tern of any species, deserves serious scrutiny. The motley subadults are the key, and their turnover illustrates that birds are cycling through the flock you are watching. Plum Beach in Brooklyn and Nickerson Beach in Nassau County are simpler to access than places like Breezy Point, Democrat Point, the new Old Inlet flats, the Moriches Inlet flats, and Mecox Bay (the promising-looking area formerly known as Baldelli's Breach or Wasilco's Wash, near Tiana Beach, is a near total loss due to chronic kite-surf disturbance).

These are pelagic birds and they seem to drop in almost randomly (but within a very well-defined date range, 20 May-10 July). The key is that you have to be there when one drops in! It might be worth emphasizing this a little more. Given that observer patience is a critical variable, and that weather is not, choose tolerable weather over intolerable for your search. For instance, today started out as possibly an Arctic Tern search for us, but the brutal 25 mph easterly winds readily discouraged that approach in favor of seawatching.

Shai Mitra
Bay Shore
From: Robert Lewis [<rfermat...>]
Sent: Saturday, June 2, 2018 2:12 PM
To: NYSBIRDS (<NYSBIRDS-L...>); Shaibal Mitra; EBirds NYC; Robert Lewis
Subject: [nysbirds-l] Arctic Terns on the south shore of Long Island.

June is here, and every year some Arctic Terns are seen at several places on the south shore of Long Island. Does anyone have a sense of how weather impacts the probability of seeing this species? Specifically, how does the forecast for the next week or so look for maybe seeing Arctic Terns?

Bob Lewis
Sleepy Hollow NY


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