North American Birds

VOLUME 70 NO2 2018

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

Issue link: http://nab.aba.org/i/1028840

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V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 8 ) • N U M B E R 2 161 H U D S O N - D E L AWA R E the South Nassau C.B.C. 2 Jan. (fide PJL, SSM). The volume of wintering Great Egrets was not as impressive, but 21 found on the South Nas - sau C.B.C. 2 Jan (fide PJL, SSM) still represented a noteworthy count high. Two Snowy Egrets were reported: one at Bombay Hook 6 Dec–18 Jan (Jerald Reb et al.) and one at Brigantine 26 Dec–1 Jan (IS). Three Little Blue Herons were re - ported at Thousand Acre Marsh 9-27 Dec (CR); the number increased to 6 on 18 Dec (Kath - leen Sullivan, AK, TF). Another was reported during the Cape May C.B.C. 20 Dec (fide LZ). Other late wading birds included two Tricolored Heron: one at Brigantine 26 Dec–1 Jan (IS) and one at Burtons I., Indian River Inlet 3-30 Jan (Michael Smith); a Cattle Egret at Dragon Run Marsh, New Castle, DE 6 Dec (Derek Stoner); a Green Heron on the Montauk C.B.C. 19 Dec (fide Angus Wilson, Karen Rubinstein); a Glossy Ibis at Thousand Acre Marsh 10 Dec–1 Jan (CR). White-faced Ibis is a rare bird anywhere on the East Coast, so it was amazing that one lingered from fall to early-Jan at Bunker Pond, Cape May Point (m. ob.). The last reported Os - prey was very late at the Marine Nature Study Area, Oceanside, Nassua, NY 9 Jan (Sy Schiff); the first to return was also very early, along the Raritan R. at the Rte. 18 bridge, Middlesex, NJ 18 Feb (Bernie Sloan). Most winter raptors such as Northern Goshawks, Rough-legged Hawks, and Golden Eagles stayed well north of Long I. The star of the raptor season was a light-type, ad. Swainson's Hawk at Fresh Kill Landfill, Staten Island, Richmond, NY 15-24 Dec (Richard Viet). The bird was first found during a survey inside a closed area, but was visible from outside when it periodically soared while hunting. Common Gallinules were rare this season and included one at John Roebling Park, Mercer, NJ 6-8 Dec (Jim Parris); one at Trenton Marsh, Mercer, NJ 31 Dec–4 Jan (AB); one at McKay Lake in Calverton, Suffolk, NY 16 Jan (Anthony Collerton). Sandhill Cranes were formerly fairly rare in our Region but have become much more numerous in recent years, e.g. 15-20 reported in NY, 15-18 reported in NJ, and 3-6 reported in DE this season. Monmouth, NJ 2 Feb (Chris Takacs). Obviously, Red-necked Grebes had no reason to leave the Great Lakes and move south and east along the coasts of NY, NJ and DE as they did in the previous two, colder winters. This was perhaps illustrated by the total of 1469 Red-necked Grebes counted on Lake Ontario at Hamlin Beach S.P., Munroe, NY 5 Dec, in spite of visibility less than 0.5 miles due to dense fog (RGS, SS). There were 4 Eared Grebes reported in the Region this year, all in NY: one at Barcelona Harbor, Westfield, Chau - tauqua, 2-23 Jan (JM); one at Oswego Harbor, Oswego, 28 Jan–2 Feb (Michael Gullo); one at Aurora Boathouse, Cayuga, 23 Jan–21 Feb (Ann Mitchel); one at Oak Beach, Suffolk, 27 Feb–6 Mar (Pete Morris). Following a one- year break from the recent streak of years with Western Grebe records, this season checked in with a total of 4 reported. Singles were discov - ered at Oswego, Oswego, NY 16-17 Dec (Greg Dashnau); at Montezuma N.W.R., Seneca, NY 27 Dec (Neil Paprocki); at Piermont, Rockland, NY 7-9 Jan (John Haas); at Allenhurst, Monmouth, NJ 6 Feb (SB et al.). Northern Fulmars were found on four ocean-going boat trips. Two Great Shear - waters were seen from a fishing boat in Ocean waters 12 Dec (VN, MCh), a late Sooty Shearwa - ter was seen at Shinnecock Inlet, Suffolk, 12 Dec (Andrew Baksh), and a Manx Shearwater was seen from shore at Robert Moses S.P., Suffolk, NY in howling southeast winds 1 Dec (KF). Ameri - can White Pelicans were reported in all three states. Some of these reports potentially refer to the same birds intercepted by observers multiple times. Three found on the Navesink R. during the Sandy Hook C.B.C. 20 Dec (Rob Fanning) and 3 at B.H.N.W.R. 31 Dec (Lindsey Simmons, Patricia Valdata) may have been the same birds. Likewise, the 2 reported at Jamaica Bay N.W.R., Queens 17 Nov–7 Jan (Ed Becher) and 2 seen at Cape May 8 Jan (m. ob.) also might have been the same birds. However, 2 seen flying over the Atlantic Ocean at Jones Beach 16 Jan (Tim Healy) do not fit this narrative. An American White Peli - can tried to winter at Syracuse 12-26 Jan (Ruth Florey) but eventually failed and was found dead of starvation (fide JB). CORMORANTS THROUGH RAPTORS Since Dec brought record warmth across the Re- gion, many wading birds had no reason to move south. Amazingly, one Least Bittern at Battery Park, New Castle, DE was still present 27 Dec (Russ Ruffing). Great Blue Herons were found in great numbers throughout, e.g. 112 on the Barnegat, NJ C.B.C. (fide RR), 92 on the Bom - bay Hook C.B.C. 20 Dec (fide APE), 88 on the Cape Henlopen C.B.C. 3 Jan (fide FR), and 63 on gered at the opposite end of Suffolk, returning for the sixth straight year and visiting North Babylon 9-11 Jan (Ethan Goodman), Centerport 15-28 Jan (Brent Bomkamp), Belmont L. and Riverhead 7-21 Feb (Carlos Sanchez et al.). Three Barnacle Geese were seen with a large flock of Canada Geese at Riverhead, Suffolk 7 Feb (John Sepenos - ki et al.). Two were found in NJ: one in a restrict- ed area during the Sandy Hook C.B.C, Monmouth 20 Dec (Tom Boyle) and another at Thompson Park, Middlesex 7-15 Jan (Emma Price). Finally, 2 Barnacle Geese were found at a restricted area near Brandywine Creek S.P., New Castle, DE dur - ing the Wilmington C.B.C. 19 Dec and lingered to at least 21 Dec (Bill Stewart, Kim Steininger, AGo, Mike Hudson). A few Trumpeter Swans always remain in n. NY, even in a typically cold winter, and this year was no exception. This year none were reported in s. NY, Long Island or NJ, but two Trumpeter Swans were reported at Prime Hook during the Cape Henlopen C.B.C. 3 Jan (BGP). If documentation is accepted, this would furnish a first state record. Only 17 Eurasian Wi - geon were reported in the Region this year, low for a warm winter. However, an unusually large number of Blue-winged Teal lingered into and through Dec across the Region with 3 in NY, 2 in NJ, and 4 in DE. Four Eurasian Green-winged Teal were reported: one during the Smithtown C.B.C., Suffolk, NY 27 Dec (fide Rich Gostic), one at the Setauket Mill Pond, Suffolk, NY 7 Feb (fide Gail Benson) and one at B.H.N.W.R. 9 Jan (Al Guarente) and one on Southern Nassau C.B.C., Philippe Dubois.. Three Tufted Duck were re - ported: one male on Lake Capri at West Islip, Suffolk, NY 13 Dec–15 Feb (Jonathan Stocker), an imm. male at Blue Pt., just west of Lake Capri 12-16 Feb (Derek Rogers), and one male on n. Cayuga Lake, Cayuga, NY 16 Jan (Ken Rosen - berg, Alex Lees, Tom Auer, Nargila Moura). Numbers of King and Common eiders, Harle - quin Ducks, and Barrow's Goldeneyes reported were all well below normal and all, for the most part, remained in the northern parts of their re - spective ranges, likely a result of the record-high Dec temperatures and an overall mild winter. Common Eiders and Harlequin Ducks were reported regularly down the coast to DE. Last year, following a five-year hiatus for the species in DE, an imm. male Harlequin Duck appeared at Indian River Inlet in mid-Dec and left in mid- Mar. This year, DE birders were thrilled when the same or another bird appeared at Indian River In - let 10 Nov (Sharon Lynn). Unfortunately, it was eventually shot by hunters pursuing seaducks 27 Jan. Hopefully, DE birders will not have to wait another five years for the next Harlequin Duck to winter in the state. Two Pacific Loons made brief appearances this winter: one at Cayuga Lake south of Sheldrake Pt., Seneca, NY 12 Dec (JM, Nathan Goldberg) and one at Shark River Inlet, These Barnacle Geese were found during the Wilmington C.B.C. at a restricted location in New Castle, DE 19 Dec and stayed the the area through at least 21 Dec. Photo by © Mike Hudson.

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