North American Birds

VOLUME 69 No1 2016

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 62 slightly low total (fde SA). Henslow's Sparrow continues to be nearly non-existent as a south - bound migrant; one welcome exception was at Jacob Riis Park, Queens, NY 24-25 Nov (PJL, m.ob.). Le Conte's Sparrows were again noted at multiple locations, with singles at Cape May 12 Oct (ph. Ben Jesup), Iroquois N.W.R. 22 Oct (ph. JP, Joe Mitchell), and Floyd Bennet Field 30 Nov (ph. Heydi Lopes, m.ob.). A Western Tanager showed nicely at Cape May 21-30 Nov (ph. Sam Galick, m.ob.). Way - ward Painted Buntings were reported at Cape May 8 Nov (Scott Hinkle) and at Rotterdam, Schenectady, NY 26-28 Nov (Jenny Murtaugh, Janice Lengvarsky). A female Black-headed Grosbeak at Heckscher S.P., Suffolk, NY made for an exhilarating if brief encounter 8 Oct (PJL). Pine Siskin and Purple Finch staged noticeable southbound fights, perhaps best exemplifed by daily maxima of ca. 3600 Pine Siskins at Robert Moses S.P., Suffolk, NY 25 Oct (SSM) and 518 Purple Finches at Hig - bee the same day (GD). Season totals of 1468 Purple Finches and 2375 Pine Siskins at Hig - bee were well above the ten-year average, with the Purple Finch aggregate representing a new seasonal high (GD). Notably, a few Evening Grosbeaks wandered farther s. and e. than usual, with reports including 2 at Inwood Hill Park in Manhattan 7 Nov (Nadir Souirgi), 3 at Queens, NY 10 Nov (AB), 2 on Staten Island, NY 11 Nov (Sean Sime), and a single at Cape May 20 Nov (TR). Common Redpolls were generally absent during Nov, but a few along the coast during were noteworthy and would be followed by a noticeable infux during win - ter. Singles traveled as far s. as Cape May 13 & 20 Nov (TR). Given the overall scarcity of red - polls, a Hoary Redpoll was a surprising fnd at Hawkins Point, St. Lawrence, NY 26 Nov (ph. Joan Collins). Both crossbills occurred in un - remarkable numbers, with reports almost fully confned to the n. half of New York (eBird). The only coastal reports consisted of a single White-winged Crossbill at Conference House Park, Staten Island, NY 7 Nov (Richard R. Veit) and 4 Red Crossbills near Mantoloking, Ocean, NJ 24 Nov (Tom Baxter). Observers (subregional compilers in boldface): Seth Ausubel (Long Island: ssausubel@nyc. rr.com), Andrew Baksh, Chris Bennett, Karen Bennett, Scott Barnes (Voice of New Jersey Audubon), Michael Bochnik (Lower Hudson Valley: bochnikm@cs.com), Jeff Bolsinger (St. Lawrence, NY: jbolsinger@yahoo.com), Joseph Brin (JBr; Syracuse, NY Rare Bird Alert), Mike Britt, Gary Chapin, Richard Crossley, Glen Da - vis Andrew P. Ednie (Birdline Delaware), Co- rey Finger, Doug Gochfeld, Anthony Gonzon (AGo), Andy Guthrie (AGu), Alec Humann, State was a Cassin's Kingbird at Floyd Ben- nett Field during Nov. While it was frst seen and photographed 15 Nov, news did not reach other birders until a few days later. An inten - sive search eventually resulted in the bird being found at a nearby community garden, where it continued through the season. As expected, Western Kingbirds were concentrated along the outer coastal plain, with 5 in New York 20 Sep–25 Oct (fde SA) and at least 7 in New Jer - sey 29 Aug–30 Nov (m.ob.). The only inland record came from Blairstown, Warren, NJ 18 Oct (Alan Boyd). A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher appeared at Sands Point Preserve 9-10 Nov (G. Quinn). Both a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Jeff Bouton, m.ob.) and a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (ph. DG, George L. Armistead, m.ob.) played hide-and-seek with hundreds of festival-going birders at Cape May 25-26 Oct. Cape May had a prior autumn record of Fork-tailed Flycatcher from 2001. Loggerhead Shrike largely remains a ghost in the Region, though there were two records this season: at Middletown, New Castle, DE 31 Aug (Ellen Sebastiani, Brian Henderson, m.ob.) and at Tuckahoe W.M.A., Atlantic, NJ 8 Oct+ (ph. Jim Austin-Cole, m.ob.). Cave Swallows were in short supply for a second straight fall, with reports restricted to New Jersey's s. coast. Included in these were 2 at Holgate, Ocean 12 Nov (Alyssa Della Fave), 2 at Avalon 15 Nov (SH et al.), and a very low to - tal of 10+ at Cape May 29 Oct–14 Nov (MO'B, RC, TR et al.). Single Northern Wheatears were noted near the e. shore of Lake Ontario at Henderson, Jefferson, NY 21-22 Sep (Tony Shrimpton, m.ob.) and along the Atlantic coast at Plumb Beach, Kings, NY 1-8 Oct (ph. Shane Blodgett, m.ob.). Both of these records fell within the bull's-eye of the species' expected window of occurrence in New York. For most migrant passerines, it was a sea - son for quality instead of quantity. Songbird migration was generally unremarkable, even at usual concentration points such as Cape May and Long Island. An exception was an intense coastal fight witnessed at various locations 25-26 Oct. Among the more abundant species were Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet, American Robin, and Yellow-rumped Warbler. A pair of western warblers put in notable, if passing, appearances at Cape May. A Black-throated Gray Warbler zipped past Higbee on the heels of a cold front 28 Aug (ph. TR et al.), and an Audubon's Warbler passed Cape May Point 7 Oct (ph. Tom Johnson). A strong warbler fight at Higbee included 2631 American Redstarts, 391 Northern Parulas, and 277 Black-and-white Warblers 15 Sep (GD et al.). At least 8 Lark Sparrows through coastal New York 7 Sep–1 Nov made an average or year birds, were banded at Cape May 29 Oct– 16 Nov (Katy Duffy et al.). Other banding to - tals included 27 at Frewsburg, Chautaqua, NY during Oct and Nov (Tom LeBlanc) and 13 at Wethersfeld, Wyoming, NY 11-24 Oct (David Junkin). Western hummingbirds continued to feature prominently. The season's headliner was a Calliope Hummingbird that graced a feeder in Holland Twp., Hunterdon, NJ 12-21 Nov (ph. Frank Sencher, Jr., m.ob.). As per recent norms, Rufous Hummingbird was recorded in all three states, though cumulative reports were down from the previous two autumns (eBird data). Hawkwatch totals for American Kestrel were near recent low averages, best exemplifed by the 4509 counted at Cape May (MR, TR), the ffth-lowest total in 38 years of monitoring. PASSERINES Vagrant fycatchers were legion. Say's Phoebe continues to become a more frequent, or at least more frequently detected, fall stray. Juve - niles were recorded at opposite ends of New York. The frst appeared at Hamlin, Monroe 5 Sep (ph. AG, m.ob.), followed by a second at Edgemere Landfll, Queens 5 Oct (ph. CF, m.ob.). As is often the case, both lingered for no more than a day. Birders on the coast will acknowledge that Ash-throated Flycatcher made a small comeback after two fall seasons of reduced reports. New Jersey had 3 singles, at Sandy Hook 19 Oct (ph. SB, LM), at Vil - las, Cape May 29 Oct (LZ, ph. MO'B, m.ob.), and at Higbee 2 Nov (ph. GD, Bob Dodelson, m.ob.). Capping off the reports was another documented on Staten Island, NY 9-10 Nov (Dave Eib, m.ob.). An imm. male Vermilion Flycatcher illuminated Cape May 14 Oct (ph. RC, Deborah Crossley, m.ob.). Interestingly, it appeared on a mild day with light se. winds, lacking an obvious weather event to serve as the basis of its arrival; it was likely enjoyed by well over 300 birders but was not seen sub - sequently. The state has but one other record, also from Cape May. A second for the Empire HUDSON-DELAWARE At Jones Beach, Long Island, New York, this Common Ground- Dove set a second state record 2 November 2014; it remained into the winter season, observed by many. Photograph by P. J. Lindsay.

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