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Avalon Seawatch Update – November 17th

As usual, Tom started the week off with excellent numbers and diversity in light to moderate southwest winds.  Monday had brought an excellent flight of Red-throated Loons (2120) and Northern Gannets (4159), as well as a late Blue-winged Teal and a southbound Ruddy Duck.  Also notable were 10 southbound Lesser Black-backed Gulls.  Monday’s rarities were a Great Shearwater and four Black-legged Kittiwake.  Tuesday was considerably slower, but brought 3076 gannets, a Pacific Loon, and two Marbled Godwits.

The middle of the week was dominated by northwest winds, which brought some 1279 Canada Geese and 1954 Double-crested Cormorants on Wednesday, as well as a nice push of 1501 gannets, continuing our continued good movement of gannets this season.  Thursday was the biggest flight of the week, with 23,000+ birds, with 13,000+ scoters, over 2000 each of gannets, cormorants, loons, and 810 Green-winged Teal and 155 American Black Duck.  Friday continued along the same lines, with over 2000 scoters, loons, cormorants, and gannets each.  We also had a northbound humpback whale, the first whale in a few weeks.

The weekend saw the beginnings of a strong coastal storms, with winds between 20-30 MPH from the northeast for the whole weekend.  While there was a decent movement of scoters, with 7000 on Saturday and 8000 on Sunday, there wasn’t a whole lot of movement, possibly in part to reduced visibility from high waves and Sunday’s rain.  The shack was an invaluable resource for staying out of the wind and rain during the storm!

 

Stay tuned to hear about how the stormy conditions continued, and look forward to a peak day of Red-throated Loons in the near future!

 

David Weber

New Jersey Audubon