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.

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V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 9 ) • N U M B E R S 3 / 4 277 N E W E N G L A N D more nearly on schedule, but was nonetheless unusual in the Ocean State. Unquestionably the rarest bird of the season was the extraordinary appearance of a Great Knot at Seal I. 23 Jul (ph. K. Yakola). Pres - ent for only a few hours, this stunning rarity was beautifully photo-documented and rep - resented the second record for eastern North America, preceded only by a similarly well- documented individual in West Virginia 13 Aug 2007. With a very limited breeding range in northeastern Russia, this remarkable vagrant winters in Australia and has been designated as Endangered by BirdLife International. Hope - fully further details of this remarkable record will be published elsewhere in the future. Three White-rumped Sandpipers at Fer - risburgh, Addison, VT 31 Jul (TM) were on the early side, but were notably eclipsed by 2 Baird's Sandpipers at Cranes Beach, Ipswich, Essex, MA 26 Jul (ph. ND) because they were nearly a month earlier than usual. Four Ruffs in the Bay State made for a higher than usual number, with individuals noted at Cranes Beach 5 Jun (ND), Plum I. 21 Jun (ph. S. Wil - son et al.), Pittsfield 29 Jun (R. Wendell) for only the second-ever Berkshire record, and Newburyport 27 Jul (SS). Ruffs also appeared at Scarborough Marsh 30 Jun (T. Fennell, T. Marceron) and Stratford, Fairfield, CT 1-8 Jul (S. Martin, FM, et al.). Single Black-headed Gulls made sporad - ic summer appearances at Little Compton, Newport, RI 7 Jul (ph. G. Dennis) and Race Pt. 15-25 Jul (E. Masterson). Two Little Gulls also frequented Race Pt. from 3-16 Jul (BN), as did two different Franklin's Gulls 12 and 23 Jun (BN). Another Franklin's Gull showed up at Plum I. 8 Jul (ph. B. Harris). Puzzling for the date was a generous count of 70 Lesser Black-backed Gulls at North Truro, Barnstable, MA 11 Jun (BN). Even harder to explain was a Bridled Tern at Race Pt. 9 Jul (ph. SA). The periodic inshore appearances of this species, and of Sooty Tern, are mysterious, but most likely represent the wayward prospecting of sub-adults. One to 2 Gull-billed Terns showed up at Plum I. 11-17 Jun (ph. SS, v. ob.), Race Pt. 12&23 Jun (PF) and two were at Wellfleet, Barnstable, MA 17 Jun (LW). A tally of 200 Black Terns at Nantucket I. 31 Jul (L. Dunn) was notably robust for late July. Breeding terns at the Isles of Shoals in New Hampshire had a banner year with record numbers including 103 pairs of Roseate Terns and 2,989 pairs of Common Terns (fide B.R.N.H.). At Monomoy N.W.R., Barnstable, MA a staggering 10,000 pairs of Common Terns represented the larg - est such colony on the Atlantic Coast (fide U.S.F.W.S.). Both intriguing and exciting was the appearance of 2 adult Forster's Terns with 2 very young juveniles at Yarmouth - port, Barnstable, MA 21 Jul (ph. R. Debenham). Assuming these birds nested locally it represents only the second confirmed breeding of this species in Massachusetts. A South Polar Skua carefully iden - tified and photographed several miles East of Chatham, Barnstable, MA 24 Jul (ph. PF et al.) was relatively in - shore for this normally highly pelagic species. A total of 252 Razorbills be - tween Beach and Hog Islands, 20 miles into Penobscot Bay, ME was considered an exceptional concentra - tion in those waters (ph. DL). Practically as exciting as the Great Knot was an Ancient Murrelet well observed at Petit Manan I., Washington, ME 1 Jun (J. Tenegeres, ph. N. Magnusson). Un - doubtedly the same individual first seen at Seal I. 13 May (K. Yakola et al.), and later at Machias Seal I., also in the Gulf of Maine. Al - though a first state record for Maine, this itiner- ant alcid is not without precedent elsewhere in the Region. DOVES THROUGH PASSERINES The period's only White-winged Dove was an ocean wanderer that briefly visited Seal I. 18 Jun (ph. KY). The seasonality and the varied occurrence of these well-traveled wanderers never ceases to amaze! A single-site count of 24 Black-billed Cuckoos at Myles Standish S. F., Plymouth, 11 Jun (Gd'E) has to represent one of the seasonally highest on record in the Bay State. A Long-eared Owl at Grand Isle, VT 21 Jun (DH) constituted a notable summer occur - rence; this species is noteworthy wherever it appears over the summer season. The confir - mation of 5 scattered pairs of nesting Common Nighthawks offers hope that this state-listed species is still holding on in the Granite State (B.Suomala, N.H.B.R.). Still unconfirmed as a breeding species in New England, Chuck-will's- widow reports came from Plymouth, Plymouth, MA 23 Jun (B. Harrington), South Orleans, Barnstable, MA 16 Jul (M. Iliff), Ellsworth, Hancock, ME 1-7 Jun (from May) (S. Monk), and West Greenwich, Kent, RI (fide RF, m. ob). Token Selasphorus hummingbirds this season featured a Rufous Hummingbird at Dunbarton, Merrimack, NH 29 Jul (ph. N. Jay) and an inde - terminate individual at Greenland, Rockingham, NH 29 Jul (BG, L. Kras). Always exciting in the Region was a pair of American Three-toed Woodpeckers with a juvenile at Nesowadna - hunk Camp. Rd., Piscataquis, ME (ph. DL). Two Merlins at Nantucket I. were almost certainly nesting, 3 Jul (T. Sackton), and a pair at Barre 9-17 Jul (L. Allen, v. ob.) raised four young for a first, Worcester, MA record. Per - egrine Falcons set nesting records across the board. Forty-six successful pairs raising 79 young in Vermont (fide M. Fowle), 14 success - ful nests produced 32 chicks in New Hamp- shire (N.H.B.R.), and 37 nesting pairs, of which 28 were monitored, raised 56 chicks in Mas - sachusetts (TF, M.D.F.W.). In New Hampshire results were less encouraging with only 8 suc - cessful pairs raising 22 young (CM, N.H.A.). Always exceptional, especially in summer, a Fork-tailed Flycatcher was a bonus for the lucky few that got to see it at Saugus, Essex, MA 7-8 Jun (ph. S. Zendeh et al.).Two Fish Crows at Burlington, Chittenden, VT were on location 1 Jul (TM), where last year the Green Moun - tain State established its fourth state breeding record. In spite of the season's heat and drought, Massachusetts Purple Martins continue to flourish, with seasonal totals of 76 adults and 162 young at Mashpee, Barnstable (M. Keleher), and 89 adults and 267 young at Re - hoboth, Bristol (fide R. Marr). Similarly, in the Ocean State martins thrived, with 104 adults and 428 young at Barrington, Bristol and 36 adults and 161 young at Westerly, Washington (fide R. Marr). As Swainson's Thrushes struggle to hold on as breeders in Berkshire Massachu - setts, 3 at Savoy and 2 at Mount Greylock, Berkshire 18 Jun (ML, Gd'E) offered cause for optimism. The presence of 2 singing American Pipits at Mount Lincoln, Franconia, Grafton, NH 27 Jul (H. Galbraith) suggests that this could be a new and only the third nesting location for New England. Warblers of inter - est were an out of season Tennessee Warbler at Sudbury, Middlesex, MA 20 Jul (TS), a fairly late and northern Louisiana Waterthrush at Chatham, Carroll, NH Jul 30 (B. Crowley), and a robust total of 49 Prairie Warblers at Myles Standish S.F. 11 Jun (d'E). A Lark Sparrow at Nantucket I. 31 Jul (SK) This Great Knot, an extraordinary vagrant from eastern Russia with only a single previous record for eastern North America in West Virginia in 2007, was artfully documented during the several hours that it visited Seal Island, Knox County, Maine 23 July 2016. Photo by © Keenan Yakola

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