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.

Issue link: http://nab.aba.org/i/605532

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 486 on the New York side of Lake Champlain. The frst was in 1966 at the same site (Bill Krueger). Six Gull-billed Terns were on territory in Hempstead, Suffolk, NY, their n. limit (JZ). Cas- pian Tern nests on Little Galloo, the Region's only colony, increased 32% from last year to a record 2436 (IM), recovering from type-E botu- lism (JBo). Two Royal Terns off Hen Island 7 Jun were only a second Westchester, NY record (An- drew Farnsworth). The usual dozen or so post- breeding Sandwich Terns were scattered widely on the New Jersey outer beaches, with one more unusual up the Delaware River at Reed's Beach, Cape May 8 Jul (TR). Two reached Long Island at Mecox, Suffolk 6 Jul (HMcG) and Nickerson Beach, Nassau 8 Jul (Brendan Fogarty). Arctic Terns were less reliable on Long Island beaches than in the previous two summers, with only three Jun records, all at Cupsogue (TWB, SSM, John Gluth et al.). Fledgling Forster's Terns being fed at Sunken Meadow S.P. in late Jul (K&SF) extend this species' breeding range ne. into Suffolk, NY. The Hempstead, Nassau, NY population has grown to 434 individuals (JZ). New Jersey's 984 individual Least Terns in 21 colonies, already a bit below normal, had poor productivity because of avian and mammalian predation too late in the season for re-nesting. The only productive colony was at Longport, Atlantic (TP). Delaware had 19 breeding pairs; one chick hatched, but none fedged (MBa). An ad. Sooty Tern surprised kayaking birders at the s. end of Island Beach S.P., Ocean, NJ 3 Jul (Sam Galick, Alyssa Della Fave). An ad. Black Skimmer at Lake Neatahwanta, Fulton, Oswego 30-31 Jul (ph. John Germain) was the second Oneida Lake area record, the frst being an imm. entrained by Hurricane Isa- bel in Sep 2003. New York's principal skimmer colony at Nickerson Beach, Nassau contained 583 ads. in mid-Jun (JZ). The other skimmer colony, at Breezy Point, Queens, contained few- er birds than usual (only 45 on 26 Jun; Kent Van Vuren). The state once had 10 colonies, and the present concentration in two is risky. New Jersey's breeding population holds ap- proximately steady at 2165 ads. in 10 colonies, but 80% of them are concentrated vulnerably at Longport, Atlantic (TP). Skimmers did not breed in Delaware this season (MBa). A South Polar Skua 48 km off Cape May 30 Jun (ph. TR, MC, Megan Crewe, Mike Fritz) constitutes the second documented Cape May record, following one seen from the Coral Ave. dune crossing 1 Nov 2012 (MO'B), though the species is annual well offshore, spring through fall. DOVES THROUGH THRUSHES Eurasian Collared-Doves have still not prolifer- ated in the Region or surrounding areas. Only Act on 9 Dec 2014. An ad. Baird's Sandpiper, a plumage rarely reported in the Region, visited Jones Beach, Suffolk, NY 26 Jul (KF), following one last summer. A female Ruff at Tonawanda 28 Jul (Alec Humann, ph. WD'A) made the third Buffalo area summer record. A Ruff was at Bombay Hook 28-29 Jun (Karen Bennett, ph. Taj Schottland), and another was along Fowler Beach Rd., Sussex, DE 20 Jul (Alan Kneidel, Taj Schottland). Short-billed Dowitchers, among the earliest fall migrants, had built to 3000 already at Bombay Hook 10 Jul (Bob Rufe). Long-billed Dowitchers usually move a little later, so 7 ads. at Brig 12 Jul and 12 there 20 Jul (Pete Bacinski) were typical counts. Wilson's Phalaropes have bred in New York, so early Jun records bear watching. The singles found at Montezuma 6 Jun (JMcG), Shirley, Suf- folk 5-8 Jun (JLeC, Mike Coooper), and Buffalo 17 Jun (BM) seemed to be migrants, as were 2 at Broadkill Marsh, Sussex, DE 18 Jun (Sharon Lynn) and another at Milford Neck W.A., Sussex, DE the same day (CB). Fall migrants tend to be coastal, so singles at Montezuma 6 Jul (JMcG, Livia Santana) and again there 18 Jul (TL, DJN) and 2 at Tonawanda 24 Jul (Pat Martin) deserve mention. Red-necked Phalarope counts were above average. Late migrants were at N. Mon- tezuma 2 Jun (Ken Burdick), Montezuma 6-7 Jun (JMcG), Cape May 8 Jun (Tom Johnson), and Brig 14 Jun (Mason Sieges). A returnee was inland at Tonawanda 20-24 Jul (Joe Mitchell, Richard Salembier, Celeste Morien, Pat Martin). One at Hamlin Beach 21 Jun (Ken Burdick, Thomas Riley) was either coming or going. An ad. Laughing Gull visited Hamlin Beach 1 Jun (AG, Rich Guthrie, JMcG, Livia Santana, Drew Weber), a nearly annual event some- where on the Great Lakes. A few frst-year Little Gulls, hatched perhaps not far away, loafed again among the summering subad. Bonaparte's Gulls at Fort Niagara in early Jun. An ad. or near-ad. was observed off e. Long Island from the Orient Point ferry 25 Jul (SSM). A Black- headed Gull was unseasonable at Hamlin Beach 31 Jul (AG). Lesser Black-backed Gulls sum- mer increasingly on the Great Lakes; the maxi- mum was 10 at Hamlin Beach 7 Jul (AG). A Glaucous Gull spent weeks in Jun at Brig (Pete Bacinski). A Great Black-backed Gull chick on Garden Island, just se. of Valcour Island, in Lake Champlain off Peru, Clinton (Jim Cava- nagh, ph. Caitlin Wold) constituted this largely maritime species' second documented breeding season, with only seven pairs. The New Jersey total was only 92 pairs, down from 108 last year, the worst ever. Productivity at 1.38 per pair, however, makes recovery narrowly pos- sible (TP). The Delaware population, concen- trated at Henlopen, has recovered to six pairs that produced 7 chicks (MBa). A Wilson's Plo- ver, a former breeder but now very rare, visited Stone Harbor Point, Cape May, NJ 20 Jun (TP). American Oystercatchers continue to diver- sify their nesting habitat. The New York Har- bor Herons survey found 47 pairs on harbor islands (SE). Delaware had 11 nesting pairs, but no young fedged (MBa). American Avocet reports were numerous. An ad. arrived early at Port Ontario, Oswego, NY 2 Jul (Pat Burns). Dunkirk Harbor, Erie, NY, now a regular site, had multiple records peaking at a remarkable 5 on 8 Jul (Gale VerHague). One turned up at Summerville, Monroe 14 Jul (BM, Jim & Alison Healy). Another at Croton Point on the Hudson the same day (Chris Letts, Larry Trachtenburg) made the ffth Westchester, NY record; what was likely the same bird appeared downstream on the Hudson at Piermont, Rockland, NY 15 Jul (Evan Mark) and then at Fort Washington, Manhattan, late the same day (James Knox). An above-average 5 were around New York City and Long Island 28-30 Jul (AB, David La Magna, SSM, JLeC). In n. New Jersey, 2 visited the Morgan Ave. fats, South Amboy, Middlesex 14 Jul (Tom Ostrand). Upland Sandpipers barely hang on. Tillman Road W.M.A. remains the only known nesting site in the Buffalo area. The fairgrounds near Seneca Falls are the only location in the Fin- ger Lakes area. Amish farms with less intensive cultivation provide some habitat in Oneida, NY (MP, DW). The southernmost breeding sites appear to be Blue Chip Farm, Ulster, NY and Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Station, Ocean, NJ. One at the Atlantic City airport, Atlantic, NJ 20 Jun (Lester Block) was an early migrant or possibly a nester. Shorebird migration was underway as usual at the end of Jun, but it was at times diffcult to separate newly arrived migrants from non- breeding individuals that had never left the area. Four Greater Yellowlegs and 2 Pectoral Sandpipers at Montezuma 27 Jun (DN) and 4 Lesser Yellowlegs the same day at Cape May (m.ob.) seemed fresh arrivals. In welcome news, the subspecies rufa of Red Knot was list- ed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Hudson-delaware sa A N.Y.D.E.C. survey of 94 historic or potential Black Tern nesting sites in New York found 192 pairs at 11 locations. The number of sites is down 61%, from 28 when surveys began in 1989. Four actively managed wetland complexes contained 80% of the breeding pairs: Perch River; Upper and Lower Lakes W.M.A., St. Lawrence; and Tonawanda. The number of breeding pairs is down 18% since 1989. The peak was 294 pairs in 1991 (IM).

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