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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Page 32 of 163

V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 9 ) • N U M B E R S 3 / 4 279 H U D S O N - D E L AWA R E seen 30 May. There were multiple reports of Eurasian Wigeon from all three states. A female Tufted Duck was recorded at Patchogue Lake, Suffolk, NY 3 Mar (Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell). In ad - dition, males were found at three widely spaces sites in upstate New York: Canandaigua Lake 5-11 Mar (m.ob.), Conesus Lake 4-14 Apr (Mike Wasilco, m. ob., ph.), and Sandy Beach, on the shore of Lake Champlain south of Port Henry, Essex, NY on 7 Apr (Stacy Robinson, ph.). The last continued at several places be - tween there and Crown Point through 28 Apr. One of the most exciting birds of the sea - son was never identified with certainty. Initially thought by most observers to be a Smew, this duck at Fisher's Landing on the St. Lawrence River in Jefferson County, NY 3-7 Mar was ultimately deemed most likely to be a hybrid after careful study and debate. Even so there was no consensus regarding the identities of its parents! It was generally agreed that one parent was a Bucephala and the other a small mergan - ser (either Hooded Merganser or Smew). Per- haps the leading explanation was Hooded Mer- ganser X Bufflehead, but other analysts pointed to Smew and/or a goldeneye. Three Eared Grebes were at traditional sites. Singles at Fire Island Inlet, Suffolk, NY 3 Mar (m.ob.) and nearby Jones Beach 6 Mar (KF) were on dates typical of overwintering birds (and might even have represented the same individual), whereas one at Batavia Waste Wa - ter Treatment Plant, Genesee, NY on 31 May was more difficult to interpret. Far too late for a spring migrant, the date is also significantly early for southbound arrival. White-winged Doves at Sandy Hook on 9 May (TBo, ph.) and Jones Beach on 12 May (Brendan Fogarty, ph.) were found in the spe - cies' classic spring context, coastal traps during the first half of May. One or two Eurasian Col - lared-Doves were present at a traditional site near Hamlin, Monroe, NY through the season. Sandhill Cranes were represented by multiple reports from all three states. Perhaps the most notable pattern was the absence of any reports from Long Island, NY, where the species re - mains rare. As usual, Black-necked Stilt was re- ported widely in Delaware; one at Heislerville 25 May (John DeBalko, Rod MacKenzie) was the only one away from Delaware. American Avocets were also widely reported in Delaware, but others were found further afield. A Wilson's Plover at Little Beach, Brigantine 4-11 May (Jesse Amesbury, Ryan Risher) was an excellent find. Two others were found on Long Island, New York, both at traditional ocean in - let sites in Suffolk: a male at Shinnecock Inlet 23 Apr (GB, TB) and one at Democrat Point 11 May (Amanda Carey, ph.). An American Golden-Plover at Portland, Chautauqua, NY 7, 11 Apr (Carol Hardenburg) furnished a rare spring record for western New York and a Pip - ing Plover passing Hamlin Beach 27 May (Brad Carlson) was even more unusual, represent - ing just the third spring record for New York's Genesee Region, centered around Rochester. Elsewhere in upstate New York, banded Piping Plovers returned to Lakeview WMA, Jefferson, where they nested successfully last year (fide Jeff Bolsinger). Perhaps related to this activity was a Piping Plover with an orange leg band at Oneida Shores County Park in Brewerton, Onondaga on 7 May (Dennis Anderson). This represented a first county record and the third record for the shores of Oneida Lake (fide Matt Perry and David Wheeler). At least six Ruffs were recorded, distributed nicely across the coastal portion of the Re - gion: Prime Hook 6 May, Bombay Hook 21-26 Apr and 27-29 May, Cape May 7 May (Jacob Cuomo, ph.), Heislerville, Cumberland, NJ 27 Apr-1 May (Cameron Cox et al.), and Timber Point, Suffolk, NY 26 Apr (Phil Uruburu et al., ph). Further inland, a male Ruff was notable at Ditch Bank Rd., Town of Sullivan, Madison, NY on 2 May (Jerry Case, ph.). SKUAS THROUGH RAPTORS A boat trip on 29 May to 82 miles southeast of Shinnecock Inlet yielded a South Polar Skua (Derek Rogers, John Shemilt, Angus Wilson), among other notable species. Four Common Murres were found on 12 Mar on the shelf waters 20 miles south of Fire Island Inlet, Suf - folk, NY, where now expected during winter and into March (fide Tom Burke). Another was found dead at Jones Beach 19 March. Thick- billed Murres staged a small inshore incursion, Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks have dramatically increased in the Northeast in recent years. This flock delighted birders for one day at Marine Park, Kings, NY, 28 May. Photo by © Peter Paul SA Two American Avocets were present at Absecon, Atlantic, NJ through much of March, and others appeared in interesting contexts in upstate New York. One at New Swamp Road, near Hudson Falls, Washington, NY 17 May (Deb Shaw, Naomi Lloyd, and Nancy Kern) was with a Western Willet and three Short-billed Dowitchers, all locally quite noteworthy. Similarly, one at City Pier, Canandaigua Lake, Ontario, NY 1-2 May (Brian Morse, Brooke Morse, m.ob.) also co-occurred with a Western Willet. Breaking taxonomic sequence slightly to flesh out this theme of prairie-breeding shorebirds, the only Marbled Godwits north of the Mason-Dixon Line were singles in upstate New York, at Lisle Park, Broome 1 May (Tim Lenz et al.) and at Wilson Hill WMA, St. Lawrence, NY 22-23 May (Greg Lawrence et al.)—the last also in the company of a Western Willet. Bill Ostrander (The Kingbird Vol. 66, p, 205) summarized the shorebird season in New York's Finger Lakes Region as follows: "It was an exciting year for shorebird watching. Several species that are more commonly seen in the Region during fall migration made appearances. American Avocets appeared along Canandaigua Lake, unprecedented numbers of "Western" Willets were at several locations, and numerous Long-billed Dowitchers foraged at Montezuma NWR in early May. In mid-May, American Golden-Plovers, a Hudsonian Godwit, and Stilt Sandpipers were at Montezuma NWR. Another Willet and Sanderlings were on the shores of Canandaigua Lake, and a Wilson's Phalarope was at Montezuma NWR in late May."

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