North American Birds

VOLUME 68 NO4 2015

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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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 482 n e w e n g l a n d NH, where six pairs and four nests produced 11 chicks (fde TV). Among shorebird reports interesting because of their date, location, or count, were: an American Golden-Plover at Duxbury, Plymouth, MA 24 Jul (R. Bowes); 14 Solitary Sandpipers at Acton, Middlesex, MA 22 Jul (J. Forbes); 180 Lesser Yellowlegs at Newburyport Harbor 10 Jul (RH); a Hudso- nian Godwit at Popham Beach 18 Jul (fde LB); 3 Marbled Godwits at Chatham 20 Jul+ (Bird Observer); 5400 Semipalmated Sandpipers at Plum Island 31 Jul (RH) and 5000 at Milford Point in late Jul (m.ob., fde GH); a Western Sandpiper at Milford Point 6 Jun (FM); a Baird's Sandpiper at Plum Island 26 Jul+ (Bird Observ- er); 3 Stilt Sandpipers at Scarborough Marsh 27 Jul (DL); 675 Short-billed Dowitchers at South Beach 19 Jul+ (Bird Observer); and single Wilson's Phalaropes at Jerusalem, Washington, RI 21 Jun (T. Auer) and Plum Island 11 Jul (T. Wetmore). As previously noted in this report, changing conditions in the Chatham/South Beach area are making shorebirding more diff- cult, and several recent shorebird reports refect this reality. Unusual larids included single Black-headed Gulls at Provincetown 3 Jul (G. Gjervold) and Nauset Marsh, Eastham, Barnstable, MA 30 Jul (B. Lagasse); no fewer than 7 Little Gulls be- tween Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont 30 Jul (D. Hoag); and a Franklin's Gull at Plymouth Beach, Plymouth, MA 10 Jun (ph. C. Gras). The Massachusetts state total of 2089 pairs of Laughing Gulls (fde CM, N.H.E.S.P.) is increasing largely as a result of a burgeoning colony at Plymouth, a situation that is caus- ing concern because of its location near one of the largest tern colonies in the state. Caspian Terns appeared inland at Lake Messalonskee, Kennebec, ME 23 Jun (DL); 5 (including a juv.) were at St. Albans Bay, VT 10 Jul (TM, KP); and several were in Hillsborough, Cheshire, and Car- roll, NH, a state that apparently has fewer than fve previous inland records (fde TV). Always a rare and local New England breeder, at least 10 Black Terns, including 2 carrying food, were noted at Mississiquoi N.W.R., Franklin, VT 10 Jul (TM, KP). Regional numbers of nesting Least Terns included an all-time high of 249 pairs in Maine, 3259 pairs (down slightly from 2013) in Massachusetts (CM, M.N.H.E.S.P.), 10 pairs in Rhode Island, and approximately 250 pairs in Connecticut (fde C.D.E.P.). The count of 1832 pairs of Roseate Terns in Massachusetts marked a slight increase, as did 16,812 pairs of Common Terns (CM, M.N.H.E.S.P.); however, depredation of nests, and negative effects from Hurricane Arthur, were problems this season. Uncommon tern reports included 2 Gull-billed Terns at Plum Island 13-18 Jul (m.ob.; Bird Observer); a liberal Regional scattering of Royal nested for the past several years (fde GH). In Rhode Island, a juv. was seen at South Kings- town, Washington 3 Jul (S. Tsagarakis). Nest- ing results for Bald Eagle were good. Of New Hampshire's 27 incubating pairs, 24 raised at least one young, a new state high (fde TV). Mas- sachusetts had 36 successful pairs that fedged 59 young (fde TF), and Rhode Island had two new nests, at least one of which fedged 2 young (fde RF). A Zone-tailed Hawk was at Halifax, Plymouth, MA 8 Jul (ph. M. Rhodes), probably the same individual seen in Apr in Massachu- setts and in Jun in Nova Scotia. An American Coot at Wallingford, New Ha- ven, CT all summer showed no evidence of nesting (J. Rieger). Sandhill Cranes were fnally confrmed nesting for the frst time in New Hampshire at Monroe, Grafton 23 Jun–31 Jul (fde TV). The species also nested in the Pine Tree State at its traditional location in the Bel- grade Lakes region and possibly elsewhere (fde LB). SHOREBIRDS THROUGH ALCIDS Piping Plovers, by virtue of their federally listed status and unique and specifc habitat require- ments, are probably more precisely counted than any other avian species in New England. As is always the case, Massachusetts hosted the greatest number of nesting plovers, with 678 pairs fedging approximately 0.7-1.0 young/ pair (fde K. Parsons, MAS). Maine had 50 pairs, New Hampshire six pairs (fde TV), Rhode Is- land 71 pairs (fde RF), and Connecticut 51 pairs (fde C.D.E.P.), a new record for the Nut- meg State. Although the number of breeding pairs of Piping Plovers in the Region continues to trend upward, the data also suggest that pro- ductivity may not be keeping up with the in- crease in pairs. Continued vigilance and habitat protection are vital for the ultimate survival of this charismatic beach bird. A tally of 35 Pip- ing Plovers from Revere Beach, Suffolk 3 Jul (R. Stymeist), one of the most urban beaches in the state, was a reminder of the species' resilience as well as its vulnerability. The Massachusetts American Oystercatcher population was ap- proximately 170 pairs, and productivity was generally favorable, with Bay State oystercatch- ers producing approximately 0.75–0.94 chicks per pair (fde CM, N.H.E.S.P.). Rhode Island's 32 American Oystercatcher pairs represented a modest increase from 2013 (CR). A Black-necked Stilt continued from May at Rowley, Essex 1-4 Jun (Bird Observer), and a single was at Popham Beach, ME 14 Jul (fde LB). One or 2 American Avocets appeared at Ip- swich/Plum Island 19 Jun+ (M. Halsey, m.ob.), at Milford Point, CT 14-15 Jul (F. Gallo), and at H.B.S.P. 31 Jul (N. Bonomo). The only available Upland Sandpiper data came from Pease A.F.B., faced Storm-Petrel, and Band-rumped Storm- Petrel clearly occur with some regularity in those waters in summer. A Brown Pelican at Block Island 20 Jun though early Jul (ph. CR) was on the n. cusp of the species' regular sum- mer wandering, and a Red-billed Tropicbird at Seal Island N.W.R. in the Gulf of Maine was present throughout the period for the tenth year in a row (m.ob.). Nesting Least Bitterns at Salem, Rockingham (ph. K. Wilmarth) were thought to furnish a frst confrmed nesting record for New Hamp- shire. A Great Egret at Presque Isle, Aroostook, ME in mid-Jun was marginally extralimital (BS). Two apparent Snowy Egret x Tricolored Heron hybrids, one at Rockingham, NH 19 Jul (ph. SM) and 1-2 at Scarborough Marsh throughout the period (ph. DL, m.ob.), where a Tricolored Heron also spent the season, contin- ue to provide a mystery. In 2012, a somewhat similar-looking wader that was identifed as a Little Blue Heron x Tricolored Heron hybrid appeared at Scarborough and was thought to possibly represent an individual seen previous- ly in Connecticut! More straightforward was a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at Hampton, NH 19 Jul (SM). A juv. White Ibis was at Rye, NH 11-29 Jul (J. Maher), and 2-3 White-faced Ibis frequented Scarborough Marsh throughout the period (fde LB), with singles reported at Hammonasset S.P. 20 Jun–early Jul (J. Gondek) and Guilford in early Jul (P. Wolter). KITES THROUGH CRANES Evidence of the continued expansion of Missis- sippi Kites into New England included seven re- ports, several with accompanying photographs, in Massachusetts 6-15 Jun (Bird Observer). At least one young was raised at Newmarket, Straf- ford, NH, the northernmost nesting site in the world. In Connecticut, an elusive pair was in- termittently observed throughout Jun and Jul at Simsbury, Hartford, where the species has Sedge Wren has been virtually unknown as a breeding bird in Connecticut since the 1970s, so the discovery of a pair feeding young 21 June 2014 at Shelton in Fairfeld County was a welcome surprise. Photograph by Frank Mantlik.

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