Outdoors

At the clam-shucking contest at Harborfest in Sag Harbor last weekend
Peter Ambrose was the top shucker in the Harborfest clam-shucking contest on Sunday in Sag Harbor, besting The Star’s fishing columnist, among others. Terie Diat

State D.E.C. officers with some of the estimated 1,000-plus fluke and sea bass they seized after checking a party boat in Lake Montauk on Aug. 31. The fish were donated to charity, according to a D.E.C. spokeswoman. N.Y.S. Department of Environmental Conservation

The unofficial change of season earlier this week does bring about a number of noticeable observations on both land and sea here on the East End
Bennett Burki, 14, caught a 35-pound striped bass on the charter boat Hurry Up off Montauk on Monday. Peter Burki
Emilie McKenna kissed her freshly caught smooth dogfish before setting it free on Friday. Amie Rappoport

Of particular interest in the invertebrate world are the largest migratory insects of them all, the monarch butterflies
Monarch butterflies, which migrate along the Atlantic Coast in their greatest numbers starting in September, have been less numerous in recent years, but local observers have reported an uptick in sightings so far this year. Terry Sullivan

Harvey Bennett has never witnessed so much action tight to the ocean beach with sharks — mainly brown, thresher, and dusky sharks — as he has this summer
Mason Mannino, 10, of Sag Harbor held a weakfish he caught in Noyac Bay. Brian Corbett

The Elizabeth Morton National Wildlife Refuge in Noyac is famous for its ospreys, wild turkeys, small birds, and chipmunks
At the Elizabeth Morton National Wildlife Refuge in Noyac Durell Godfrey

Potentially harmful enterococcus bacteria levels have been recorded at the Georgica Pond "kayak launch" on Montauk Highway in East Hampton. Concerned Citizens of Montauk/Surfrider Foundation

Scientists who have studied the Eastern coyote now call it a coywolf, as it also has some gray wolf genetic material
Is this coyote spotted a few years back in the fields north of Bridgehampton the same one seen less than a week ago in Southampton?

The hurricane season enters its prime historical level of activity over the next few weeks
James Stanis caught and released this dusky shark on 60-pound leader while fishing from the beach in East Hampton Village on Aug. 12. He lost another five, saw a thresher shark, and spotted a mako as large as 300 pounds “jump clean out of the water.” James Stanis

Protected species drawn in by baitfish aplenty
Off Wiborg’s Beach in East Hampton on Friday, beachgoers saw a whale breach the ocean waters, one of many such sightings over the past week. George Anderson
Charlie Egan, above, and Teddy Danforth went out in a two-person kayak, about a half-mile off Napeague Beach and caught a shark, which they then released back into the ocean. Michael Scharfenberger