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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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 162 H U D S O N - D E L AWA R E NJ 26 Dec–3 Jan (Dave Harrison) and a second was reported at Holmel, Monmouth 7 Feb (AB). Given the number of records for this species in NJ, it is hard to believe that these two sight - ings did not refer to the same individual, but the idea that a Crested Caracara could hide in plain sight in NJ all winter is also bizarre. There were four sightings of the Gyrfalcon, all in NY: one gray-morph at Cedar Beach Marina, Suffolk 8-10 Dec (K&SF); one at Shawangunk Grass - lands N.W.R., Ulster 25 Dec (Anne Swaim); one at South Livonia, Livingston, 21 Feb (Diane Mc - Cullough); one at Wallkill N.W.R., Orange 26 Feb (Linda Scrima). It was not a good season for tardy flycatchers. A Least Flycatcher southwest of Elmer was found during the Elmer C.B.C., Salem, NJ 30 Dec and continued to 2 Jan (Joe Sebastiani, Brian Henderson). Two Ash-throat - ed Flycatcher were found: one at Fort Hill Cem- etery, Montauk, NY during the Montauk C.B.C. 19 Dec–1 Jan (John Gluth); and one at the Rut - gers University Livingston Campus, Middlesex, NJ 27 Dec–1 Jan (Steven L. Albert, PB). Round - ing out the flycatchers, 2 Western Kingbirds were seen: one at Montauk 5-15 Dec (AB) and one at Smithville, Atlantic, NJ 9 Dec (Michael Newlon). One Blue-headed Vireo was found on the Brooklyn C.B.C., Kings, NY 19 Dec (fide RC, BM). Common Ravens may now be expected in parts of Long I. but they are still extremely rare in DE. When 2-3 spent time at the Ashland Na - ture Center and nearby Yorklyn, New Castle, DE 1-13 Feb (JS, JW), local birders came to have a look. Several late swallows, aside from the more expected Tree Swallow, put in late appear - ances and included singles of Northern Rough- winged and Barn swallow at Veola Waste W.T.P during the Wilmington C.B.C. in New Castle, DE 19 Dec (JW et al); 6 Cave Swallows at Mon - tauk 12 Dec (Tim Dunn, Taylor Sturm); 4 Cave Swallows at Sandy Hook 12 Dec (Jeff Eller - busch). Black-capped Chickadees that migrate south in fall often overshoot the Black-capped/ Carolina Chickadee line in Pennsylvania and reach n. DE, but that did not appear to happen this season. There was no obvious incursion of Red-breasted Nuthatches for the third consecu - tive winter. In fact, there was only one reported in DE and that was found attending a feeder at Cape Henlopen 3 Jan–25 Feb (APE). THRUSHES THROUGH FINCHES A Varied Thrush continued from fall at Cox Hall Creek W.M.A., Cape May, NJ to at least 30 Jan (m. ob.) and another was found along a trail near Middle Saranac Lake, Essex, NY 2 Feb (Tom Langen et al.). Bohemian Waxwing was very scarce this winter and haunted only n. NY in Lawrence, Essex, and Oswego. The 18 species of warblers reported was yet another testament to the warmest Dec since records have been but the tally of 109 seen on a pelagic trip out of Cape May 6 Feb (PAG et al.) was the high - est total reported. A total of 21 Atlantic Puffins were detected on the pelagic trip out of Cape May 6 Feb (PAG et al). The only Black Guille - mot reported was one at Montauk 1-9 Jan (Sean Camillieri). As might be expected, a small number of Black-legged Kittiwakes were seen on the Ni - agara River in NY, on Lake Ontario in NY, and along the Atlantic coast from Cape May to Mon - tauk, though a majority were seen from boats well offshore. There were 30 in Ocean waters, NJ 12 Dec (VN, MCh); 75 near the Continental Shelf in NJ waters 20 Dec (ADF, LS); 15 during a dedicated pelagic trip into NY waters 9 Jan (PAG et al.); 12 during a dedicated pelagic trip out of Cape May 6 Feb (PAG et al). The number of Black-headed and Little gulls was about nor - mal, but the number of Laughing Gulls was far above normal throughout Dec. Several C.B.C.s in the region tallied 2-5 Laughing Gulls each, but the max was 85 during the Wilmington C.B.C., New Castle, DE 19 Dec (JW et al.). The highlight gulls of the season were a Mew Gull (probably Common Gull) at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, Richmond, 22 Jan (Isaac Grant) and a first-winter California Gull at Gravesend Bay in Brooklyn, Kings, NY 19 Jan (Daniel Fraz - er). An extremely late Common Tern was seen at Indian River Inlet 12-13 Dec (Chris Bennet, AGo et al). Two Black Skimmers were record - ed at Prime Hook during the Cape Henlopen C.B.C., Sussex, DE 3 Jan (BGP). DOVES THROUGH CHICKADEES The two small colonies of Eurasian Collared- Doves remaining in our Region are hanging on by threads, even though the species has totally overrun the South, based on eBird data. The oldest colony at Selbyville, Sussex, DE took shape in 1997 and reached a total of 19 birds by 2004, but now numbers no more than 3 in - dividuals. Only two were reported this winter, on 30 Jan (FR). The second colony, founded in 2005 in the Town of Hamlin, Munroe, NY had increased to 15-20 birds, but was down to just 2 birds this winter (fide Steve Taylor). The only White-winged Dove of the season at - tended a feeder at Piscataway, Middlesex, NJ 31 Dec–2 Jan (PB). The massive, southward irrup - tion of Snowy Owls during winter 2013-2014 produced a minor shadow last year, but their numbers were at or below normal this year throughout the Region. The record-warm Dec likely did not benefit this situation and prob - ably helped explain why the only Snowy Owl that made it into DE this season, an ad., arrived later in the season at the DE A.F.B., Kent 11 Jan–12 Feb (Peter Zoll). A Crested Caracara was seen at Milford, Holland Twp., Hunterdon, SHOREBIRDS THROUGH GULLS American Avocets often try to winter in DE but are eventually driven south by the cold of win - ter. This winter, with its warm Dec, the Ameri- can Avocets in DE stayed in record numbers, e.g. 466 at Prime Hook 3 Jan (BGP). Even more unusual was a late bird at the Barnegat Unit of E.B. Forsythe N.W.R., Ocean, NJ 11 Dec (Ron Fry, Matt Webster) and one that actually win - tered at Absecon, Atlantic, NJ 28 Jan–22 Feb (Lester Block). A high total of 197 American Oystercatchers were reported on the Oceanville C.B.C., Atlantic, NJ 19 Dec (fide BH). Semipal - mated Plovers are typically quite rare in winter. Eleven were reported at Bombay Hook 10-13 Dec (TF, AK), one was reported on the Ocean - ville C.B.C., Atlantic, NJ 19 Dec (fide BH), and one was a count-week bird on the Southern Nassau County C.B.C. 2 Jan (fide PJL, SSM). A Curlew Sandpiper at Brigantine N.W.R., Atlan - tic, NJ was a great find 22 Dec and lingered to 17 Jan (Mike Danzenbaker). Other common, wintering shorebirds, such as Greater and Less - er yellowlegs, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Dunlin, Western Sandpiper, Purple Sandpiper, and both dowitchers managed quite well dur - ing this winter. Over 1000 Red Phalaropes were seen on an offshore fishing/birding trip in Ocean waters 12 Dec (VN, MCh) and 1439 were seen during a fishing trip near the Continental Shelf 20 Dec (ADF, LS). The highlight of the winter pelagics was a Great Skua seen well on a See Life Paulagics trip out of Cape May 6 Feb (Steve Kacir, PAG et al). Two Parasitic Jaegers were reported at In - dian River Inlet during the Sussex Bird Club/ Delmarva Ornithological Society Sea Watch 12 Dec (CB, AGo et al), and one was at Gordons Pond S.P. Area, Kent, DE 19 Dec (Rachael Shap - iro). Most Jan and Feb boat trips were cancelled on account of poor weather. Despite this, 195 Dovekies tallied during a See Life Paulagics trip out of Cape May 6 Feb (PAG et al) show that they were certainly out there this winter. Com - mon Murres was detected on several boat trips: one in Ocean, NJ waters 13 Dec (VN, MCh), 2 viewed from a survey vessel near the Continen - tal Shelf in NJ waters 20 Dec (ADF, LS), and one found during a See Life Paulagics trip out of Cape May 6 Feb (PAG et al). Though it was nothing like the influx of Thick-billed Murre that was seen last winter, a few members of the species still made it to Long I., NY in Feb. The first report of the species detailed a dead bird at Southhold, Suffolk, NY 16 Feb (fide GB). This was followed by sightings at Lake Montauk, Suf - folk, NY 19-21 Feb (fide GB); one seen at Co- ney I., Kings, NY 21 Feb (Joshua Malbin); one at the Village of Montauk, Suffolk, NY 22-28 Feb (SSM). Razorbills were relatively common along the coast, even at Indian River Inlet in DE,

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