Friday, August 28, 2009

TS Danny

At the risk of sounding sexist, we may as well change his name to Danielle.

Tropical Storm (barely) Danny, which once peaked with 60mph winds and was forecast to be a Cat 1 'cane by the time it reached us, currently lies stationary off the SE coast with max winds of 40mph. TWC reports that he may even lose tropical characteristics before reaching our latitude. That's the bad news.

The good news? Well, it is still a tropical cyclone....a tropical cyclone that is sitting in the Gulf Stream and will continue to track up this bird-rich current before passing just to our east tomorrow. Any strong low with such a track, especially at this time of year, can bring good birds with it. Recall that a nor'easter in April '07 unexpectedly dropped a Sooty Tern in Southington, CT and three more in Rhode Island...so you never know. And being a weak TS, Danny will not pose a safety threat as long as you don't do anything too stupid, and that's a good thing.

So the question is...what to do. I have the weekend off and nothing much social planned. The boat is out of the question. So is the beach (well, for tanning purposes anyway). My options are 1) stay in CT, head to the eastern part of the state, and watch an empty Long Island Sound hoping for that one seabird to fly by. The upside is that anything more than a Wilson's Storm-Petrel would be exciting; something like a Sooty Tern would be a state bird; 2) head out to Cape Cod, where the center of the low may actually make landfall. Even if nothing tropical is swept up by the storm, it should still offer several seabirds visible from land. South Beach or a whale watch on Sunday is also an option if the storm clears quickly enough. I still need Sabine's Gull for a life bird, and my bet is that one is seen somewhere on the Cape before the weekend is over.

I haven't decided what to do quite yet...I'm 50/50. Not really feeling a 4-hr ride to the outer Cape in this weather. Either way I'll be out in some real shit weather tomorrow.

Note for those wondering: I'm not hoping that threatened species such as Bermuda or Black-capped Petrel are displaced by this storm....but if they are, I may as well be there to see them.

- Nick

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