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Dolphin Fleet Birdwatching Update by John C. Conlon

There are still a few greater shearwaters moving through the area. I will here mention that the birding authorities of the world have decided that the name of the greater shearwater shall now be the great shearwater so that we Americans can speak the same name as the rest of the English speaking birding world. I’ve also seen Manx shearwaters more consistently this past two weeks than during the previous summer months…

As we are now into mid-October the autumn migrants and the winter residents are offering more steady sightings…

First some of the migrants. 11 Oct., offered some 1000 to 1200 terns of mixed species from just outside Race Point toward Wood End. Plenty of common and roseate as well as a few least terns and even Forster’s terns. Look through here and you should also find plenty of black-legged kittiwakes and Bonaparte’s gulls. Though never in large numbers there are steady sights of parasitic and to a lesser degree pomarine jaegers. Both red and red-necked phalaropes are moving through as well.

And as for winter visitors. Great cormorants are joining the throngs of double-crested on the breakwater. You will see they are larger in size and blacker in color than the double-crested. And there are also occasional sightings of these greats cormorants offshore. Northern gannets of all age classes here in steadily increasing numbers. Eider ducks are increasing in number. While looking up into the air flocks of 15 to 40 or more scoters are common; black, white-winged , and surf scoters are all arriving for the winter though October is the best month. Common and red-throated loons are also arriving but they are more likely to be seen overhead offshore as singles pairs and triplets…

SOOOOOOO, don’t forget to bring your birding binocs on your next whalewatching trip…