North American Birds

VOLUME 70 NO3-NO4 2019

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/1115839

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 276 N E W E N G L A N D annually in recent years at several Bay State wetlands produced 7 Least Bitterns at Great Meadows N.W.R., Concord, Middlesex 10-11 Jun (SA) and 3 at Bolton Flats W.M.A., Worces - ter 19 Jun (SA). A leucistic juvenile Great Blue Heron with yellowish legs in a nest at Bolton, Worcester, MA in June clearly showed dusky flight feathers eliminating possible confusion with a Great White Heron (ph. D. Sibley). Regrettably no systematic counts were con - ducted at Kettle I. this season, however several higher than usual inland counts were obtained, no doubt due to the drought conditions that created concentrations away from the coast. Most notable were 39 Great Egrets and a single Cattle Egret at Longmeadow, Hampden, 29 Jul (SKe, A. Robblee) and 4 Snowy Egrets at the same locality 28 Jul (C. Suprenant). It is possible that 5 Great Egrets at Colchester, Chittenden, VT 21 Jul (TM, Q. Ren) may also have been drought related. A Little Egret that initially appeared in April at Falmouth, Cum - berland, ME was still present until at least late July (DL, v.ob). Possibly the same Tricolored Heron was noted at Magnolia and Essex, Essex, MA 16 and 24 Jul (J. Hoye, J. Garrett), how - ever a single at Mattapoisett, Plymouth, MA 10 Jul (NM) was certainly a different individual. For at least the second year in a row an elu - sive but striking wader thought to be a Snowy Egret X Tricolored Heron hybrid sporadically appeared at Scarborough Marsh throughout June and July (fide DL). A record-high Granite State count of 7 Yellow-crowned Night-Herons at Seabrook, Rockingham, NH 21-23 Jul (J. Ma - her, R. Suomala et al.) was certainly sug- gestive of local breeding, as was a count of 4 at Plum I. 4 Jul (DA). The sight - ing of a White Ibis at Fairfield, Fairfield, CT 23 Jul (D. Zawisha, J. Hintz) was a bonus for Nutmeg State observers. A count of 171 Glossy Ibises at Man - chester, Essex, MA 2 Jul (J. Hoye) likely represented a significant percent of the Kettle I. nesting population, and a single White-faced Ibis variously observed in northern Essex County throughout June and July (v. ob.) was possibly also an in - dividual from last year's nesting effort at Kettle I. In Connecticut, solo White- faced Ibis were noted at Old Saybrook, Middlesex, 26-27 Jun and H.B.S.P 3 Jul (C. Elphick, FM et al.). In keeping with the northward range expansion and breeding of Black Vul - tures in New England, an impressive tally of 41 individuals at Sheffield, Berk - shire, MA 31 Jul (KS) is hardly surpris- ing. However a Golden Eagle at Errol, Coos, NH 2 Jun (BG) was hardly ex - pected for this rare Regional breeder (?). Photographs taken of a Swallow-tailed Kite at Sanford, York, ME 1 Jul (ph. JF) had to be an early summer birding treat in Maine. Almost as exciting, in New Hampshire, 2 nests of Missis - sippi Kites were present at Newmarket, Rock- ingham, and Durham, Strafford throughout the period (SM, v. ob.). Migrant Mississippi Kites were also noted at N. Truro and Eastham, Barn - stable, MA 6-7 Jun (D. Manchester, M. Lowe), Coventry, Kent, RI 1 Jun (ph. M. Schenck) and Block I., RI 7 Jul (ph. C. Joyce). Bald Eagle nesting results indicated that in New Hamp - shire 31 successful nests produced 51 chicks for a new record-high (fide C. Martin); Ver - mont nests successfully fledged 34 young; a minimum of 36 active nests in Massachusetts produced 63 chicks (TF, M.D.F.W.); and 34 active nests in Connecticut fledged 58 chicks established a new zenith for the Nutmeg State (fide C.D.E.P.). These figures provide ample testament to the success that Bald Eagles have enjoyed in the Region since their recovery from the DDT era. A maximum of 4 Clapper Rails at Fairhaven, Bristol, MA (C. Longworth et al.) throughout the summer established a new breeding locality for this species near the northern terminus of its range in the Bay State. King Rail, the fresh - water analog of the Clapper Rail, was present at Burrage Pond W.M.A., Hanson, Plymouth, MA throughout May and June (v. ob.), but was not confirmed nesting until 31 Jul (ph. NM). Other reports of this scarce rail, also near its north - ern range limit, were of 2 at Webhannet Marsh, Wells, York, ME Jun-14 Jul (B. Benvenuti, L. Bevier, JF, D. Hitchcox et al.) and Galilee, Nar - ragansett, Washington, RI 8 Jun (tape recorded, M. Moniz). As Sandhill Cranes continue to consolidate their presence in the Region, the confirmation of nesting at two new Massachu - setts localities, Burrage Pond W.M.A., Hanson, and Worthington, Hampshire (fide B.O.), was particularly noteworthy. SHOREBIRDS THROUGH ALCIDS New England hosts a major portion of the Pip- ing Plover population on the Atlantic Seaboard, where currently the number of nesting pairs is 66 in Maine, 7 in New Hampshire, 649 in Massachusetts, 98 in Rhode Island, and 63 in Connecticut (fide U.S.F.W.S. 2017. Abundance and productivity estimates – 2016 update: Atlan - tic Coast piping plover population. Hadley, MA). Despite continued losses from predation, over- wash flooding, and human disturbance, this resilient little shorebird continues to flourish as a result of intensive Regional management ef - forts. At the center of their New England head- quarters in Massachusetts, approximately 190 breeding pairs of American Oystercatchers suc - cessfully fledged a sufficient number of chicks in 2016 to maintain the target goal of .5 chick per pair needed to sustain a healthy population (fide M.D.F.W.). Probably the most notable shorebird for June was an American Avocet at Sheffield, MA 28 Jun (pho. KS) that represented a first coun - ty record for Berkshire and only the third-ever for western Massachusetts. Less remarkable were single avocets at Jerusalem, Narragansett, Washington, RI 20-22 Jul (D. Finizia) and Plum I. 25-31 Jul (TW, v. ob.). The only meaningful report of Upland Sandpipers was of 10 at Pease Int'l Tradeport, Newington, Rockingham, NH 31 Jul (S. Cooper). A Whimbrel at Shelburne, Chittenden, VT 20 Jul (TM) was slightly out of place, while a Hudsonian Godwit at Plum I. 2 Jun (TW) was ahead of schedule by nearly a month. A Marbled Godwit at Napatree Pt., Westerly, Washington, RI 27 Jul (R. Dewire) was This leucistic juvenile heron, despite its yellowish legs and largely white plumage, possessed the normally dusky flight feathers of a typical Great Blue Heron. The bird was photographed at a nest containing two normal-plumaged siblings at Bolton, Worcester County, Massachusetts 9 July, 2016. Photo by © David Sibley Despite the previous nesting of Mississippi Kite in Rhode Island, this southern beauty was nonetheless a most noteworthy migrant at Block Island 7 July 2016. Photo by © Catherine Joyce

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