Long Island Tern search

In response to yesterdays reports of 8 species of terns at Cupsogue County Park, Suffolk County, I couldn’t resist heading out there this morning to try for them. The Sandwich Tern was my main target, I didn’t get it. That said, I had a great day with far fewer terns than were seen yesterday. I almost immediately spotted a second summer ARCTIC TERN! A new state bird for me five days ago, and now a second within the week. This bird remained the entire three and a half hours I was present. He flew around a lot, but turned up only moments later nearby. This bird was easily identified as a second summer bird by its nearly complete black cap that still has white scattered through it. Also, especially in the flight shot, you can see how the breast is molting into the darker feathering of an adult unlike the all white feathering of a juvenile. It wasn’t that hard sifting through the terns today, I only had a total of 85 terns at the highest count. Most of the birds found yesterday had either moved on or were out feeding.
Addendum: I had originally thought that I had found two Roseate Terns during my visit to Cupsogue. Thanks to Shai Mitra’s input, it has been clarified that the first tern was a Common Tern regardless of a rose blush on its underparts. Shai was able to quickly explain all the reasons it was not a Roseate. The second tern, turns out to be a second ARCTIC TERN! This is what I had initially thought when I found the bird until I had such close up looks at the bill which I had thought was far to long for an Arctic. It turns out that though unusual, this long a bill is not unheard of and the bird is indeed an Arctic Tern. That’s three Arctic Terns in five days, all in different plumage and found to be different birds than had been seen the day before. It appears there are a lot of Arctic Terns out there this year, we just have to have people in the field looking for them. Thanks again Shai!

This Arctic Tern is a second summer bird as evidenced by the nearly all black cap.

This Arctic Tern is a second summer bird as evidenced by the nearly all black cap.


The Arctic Tern comes in for one of his many landings.

The Arctic Tern comes in for one of his many landings.


Arctic Tern with Common Tern.

Arctic Tern with Common Tern.


This is yet another ARCTIC TERN, a second summer bird with a rather long bill for this species.

“This is yet another ARCTIC TERN, a second summer bird with a rather long bill for this species”.


Arctic Tern another shot second summer bird, Cupsogue County Park 6/15/15

Arctic Tern another shot second summer bird, Cupsogue County Park 6/15/15

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