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 36 of 163

V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 9 ) • N U M B E R S 3 / 4 283 H U D S O N - D E L AWA R E four at the Nature Conservancy Meadows, Cape May (Tom Johnson) the same day. Remnant Upland Sandpipers hung on in up- state New York at a half-dozen known breeding sites (Erie, Montomery, Oneida, Oswego, Seneca, and Wyoming). Only Jefferson had fair numbers: six pairs in Fort Drum and 8 at Clayton, 29 Jun (JBo). Two southern outposts persist: Shawan - gunk Grasslands N.W.R., Ulster, NY, and Lake- hurst Naval Air Center, Ocean, NJ. July observa- tions elsewhere likely involved early migrants. Ruffs visited all three states. A male visited Jamaica Bay 25 and 30 Jun (K&SF, Tim Healy, Robert Proniewych). One was at Brig 8 and 11 Jul, and probably another 23+ Jul (RD, David Bernstein, Chris Takacs). In Delaware, what was probably a single black and chestnut male, al - ready present in May, visited Prime Hook 24 Jun – 1 Jul (Tim Freiday) and Augustine W.M.A., New Castle, 9-10 Jul (Kelley Nunn et al.). Wilson's Pharalope were scarce. One at Ja - maica Bay 11-12 Jun showed no evidence of breeding (Karen Fung, Dale Dancis, Pat Ait - ken). A female in alternate plumage at Monte- zuma 2 Jul was likely an early returning migrant (JMcG). Delaware had one (or possibly two) birds at Prime Hook 19 Jul (Sue Gruver) and 24 Jul (David Fees). Red-necked Phalaropes uncharacteristically equalled Wilson's onshore. Northbound, a male was at Jamaica Bay 4 Jun (Nathan O'Reilly, ph Gabriel Normand) and one of unspecified sex at Montezuma 5 Jun (KMcG et al.). Southbound, singles were at Brig 1 – 11 Jul (Pete Bacinksi, ph Howard Eskin, ph LS, m.obs.) and Montezuma 24 Jul (Gary Chapin). This year's Great Lakes Laughing Gull was a sub-adult at Hamlin Beach S.P., Monroe, NY, 28 Jul (AG). For many years Laughing Gulls nested no further northeast on Long Island than JFK airport. This summer a colony of 200 formed on Sexton I., Islip, Suffolk, and 17 bred in three colonies around Montauk (KJ). A total of 48,329 Laughing Gulls in 109 colonies was the most in New Jersey since 2004 (CD). Only three Franklin's Gulls were document - ed, all in New Jersey. One was northbound 2 Jun at Jarvis Sound, Cape May and two south - Bald Eagles and 170 Turkey Vultures on 20 Jun (MT, DNiv, Ed Sailor). The only Spruce Grouse reports came from Bog River Falls, on Tupper Lake, Saint Law - rence, (Ann Nash) and Spring Pond, Franklin, both NY, both 18 Jul (Jim Schlickenriede). The second year of a study of declining Black Rail populations in New Jersey detected them at 13 of 39 water-based points, and at 6 of 174 land- based points (CD). Most locations were in the Mullica River drainage. Sandhill Cranes expanded in upstate New York. The resident pair finally bred at Catherine Creek Marsh W.M.A., at the s. end of Seneca Lake, Schuyler, NY (Menachem Goldstein, Pe - ter Priolo) and a brood at Tupper Lake, Frank- lin (JC et al.) was a first for the Adirondacks. Another new site was Kiantone Twp., Chautau - qua (fide MMo). Bolsinger estimates the Saint Lawrence River valley contains 3-10 pairs; a pair has probably nested near Madrid, Saint Lawrence, for 5-8 years (JBo). The established sites of Montezuma, Oak Orchard W.M.A., and Iroquois N.W.R., both Genesee/Orleans, NY, continued, but not sites near Rochester (RGS). Biggest among many far-flung counts were 12 at Howland Island, Cayuga, 26 Jul (MP, DW) and 16 at Montezuma 3-17 Jul (DN, m. obs.). SHOREBIRDS THROUGH ALCIDS For the second consecutive year since 1984 Pip- ing Plovers nested on Lake Ontario, at Lakev- iew W.M.A., Jefferson, and Sandy Beach S.P., Oswego, both unsuccessfully (IM). New Jersey's Piping Plovers recovered to 115 pairs, from an alarming low of 92 in 2014, aided by strenu - ous protection. They benefited from wash-over in Superstorm Sandy at Holgate, and expanded from there to the south end of Island Beach S.P., the first there since 1999 (TP). New York also had a good year, with 392 pairs that fledged 680 young, for a productivity rate of 1.73 (KJ), the best in 15 years. Piping Plovers start south very early; the first Canadian-banded bird ar - rived at Brig 12 Jul (TP). Am. Oystercatchers continued expanding westward into Long Island Sound; 22 were at Hen Island, Rye, Westchester, NY 12 Jun (AF). On Long Island 270 pairs were censused at 52 sites (KJ). Single Black-necked Stilts ranged north to Shirley Marina, Suffolk, NY 3-6 Jun (Robin Shea, m.obs.) and even more remark - ably to Montezuma 18-21 Jun (Stacy Robinson, Bill Purcell, JBr et al.), a first for the Cayuga Lake Basin. Fifteen Am. Avocets on 14 July (Gale VerHague) constituted a record count at Dunkirk Harbor, Chautauqua, NY, a frequent northerly stop-over on their annual post-breed - ing trek from the west to coastal Delaware. Five more paused at Hampton Bays, Suffolk, NY 15 Jul (vince Cagno, Eileen Schwinn, et al.) and et al., ph Cody Nichols), was considered the third record for the Finger Lakes (WO). Last summer's historic White Ibis incursion echoed modestly in coastal Delaware, starting in late May. The largest of several groups reached 24 on 23 Jul at Savage's Ditch, in Delaware Sea - shore S. P., Sussex (MM). Unlike last summer, about half were adults or changing into adult plumage. Northernmost were singles at Tuck - erton, Ocean, NJ (RD et al.), Brig (fide SG) and, remarkably, an adult on Lake Erie at Evangola S.P., Erie, NY 15 Jul (Matt Nusstein, fide AG). One on the Niagara River at N. Tonawanda, Ni - agara, NY 18 Jul (CK) was likely the same bird. White-faced Ibis, probably undercounted, were noted at Jamaica Bay 5-28 Jun (AB et al.) and again 15 Jul, probably a different bird (AB). The only other report came from Brig 11 Jul (SK). Ospreys filled a blank space in the Hudson Valley; a nest in Dutchess, NY (Ken McDer - mott, ph Carena Pooth), was the first there since 1923. A severe thunderstorm at Cape May 22 Jun killed at least 17 Osprey chicks. Even so, 42 new pairs established themselves in New Jersey and 670 fledglings were counted statewide with an excellent productivity ratio of 1.78 (KC). A full census comes next year. New Jersey's long-awaited first Mississippi Kite nest was finally confirmed at Waretown, Ocean (Eileen Bennett, Andy Egan, Jennifer Crusco); birds were already present there last summer. New York had only transient Mississippi Kites: Mt. Loretto, Richmond, 1 Jun (Anthony Cian - cimino); Sterling Forest, Rockland, 9 Jun (Ju- dith Cinquina), where breeding was attempted in 2012; and on the Lake Ontario shore at Braddock Bay 20 June (MT, DNiv). The only Swallow-tailed Kite was at W. Cape May, NJ 13 Jun (Michael Lanzone). Bald Eagles added 15 pairs in New Jersey; 172 pairs laid eggs there, of which 150 pro - duced a record 216 young (KC). The Delaware River remains their stronghold in New Jersey; 41% of the nests were in Cumberland and Sa - lem. Delaware's Bald Eagle population rose to 71 active nests (68 last year), but only 72 young were counted (85 last year). This figure probably underestimates, as nesting trees leafed out early and young were hard to count (Kate Fleming, D.N.R.E.C.). New York had a record 260 active nests (Scott Crocoll, N.Y.D.E.C.). Bald Eagles are causing problems in parts of the state, for example by predating loons. In Salem, NJ, someone cut down a nest tree with eggs, but the pair renested successfully nearby. Curious late passages of immature raptors along the s. Lake Ontario shore, now noted an - nually at Braddock Bay, included 739 Broad- winged Hawks on 2 Jun and 212 on 20 Jun. They were accompanied by 40 Bald Eagles, 88 Turkey Vultures and 7 Opsrey on 2 Jun, and 11 This Franklin's Gull, one of three this summer in the Hudson-Delaware Region, displayed its striking wing pattern as it lifted off at Liberty State Park, Hudson Co., NJ 9 July. Photo by © Dominic Garcia-Hall

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