North American Birds

VOLUME 69 NO2 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.

Issue link: http://nab.aba.org/i/705084

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V O L U M E 6 9 ( 2 0 1 6 ) • N U M B E R 2 215 Hudson-Delaware then at North Branch Park 11 Jan (SG), both Somerset; and on the Ramapo River, Bergen 17 Jan (Jonathon Reader). Trumpeter Swans are widespread in n. New York even in a typically cold winter, but with the freezing of the Great Lakes and all the large lakes in New York, the situation is different. In n. New York, during the warmth of Dec, 41 were recorded on a run from the flooded mucklands to Sodus Point 7 Dec (RGS), but in Jan there was a high of just 6 at Sodus Bay 13 Jan (Joseph Wing), and in Feb, no birds were recorded in Genesee. Delaware has never had a Trumpeter Swan record, but New Jersey had 3 that wintered for the second year at Lake Assunpink, Monmouth 5 Dec–13 Feb (Bob Dodelson). Only 24 Eurasian Wigeons were re - ported in the Region this year. Two late Blue-winged Teal were found at Prime Hook N.W.R., Sussex, DE during the Cape Henlopen C.B.C. 4 Jan (BGP). Single Eurasian Teal were at Caven Point, Liberty S.P., Hudson, NJ 19 Jan (Sam Stuart), Centerport Pond, Suffolk, NY 5-16 Jan (Dave La Magna), and Brookville Park, Queens, NY 18-20 Feb (fide TWB). A Tufted Duck was at Hogs Hole, Ca - yuga Lake, Tompkins, NY 17-26 Jan and 21 Feb (Dave Nutter et al.). Thirteen King Eiders were reported, well below normal in both number of individuals and the size of the groups. Three were noted on the large lakes inland New York, 5 around Long Island, and 5 from New Jersey. The number of Common Eiders seen was nor - mal around the shorelines of New York and New Jersey and in Delaware. The highest count was 527 on the Barnegat C.B.C. 28 Dec (fide RR). Harlequin Ducks were also fairly com - mon. Highlights of their visits this winter were 3 at Niagara Falls S.P., Niagara, NY in Dec (Wil - lie D'Anna, JP) and 3 on the Niagara River at Buffalo, Erie, NY Jan − Feb (Peter Yoerg, JP, WW, Alec Humann); a high of 12 came from the Bar - negat C.B.C. 28 Dec (fide RR). For the first time in five years, a Harlequin Duck wintered in Delaware, at Indian River Inlet 17 Dec–15 Mar (Rob Schroeder). Six Barrow's Goldeneyes were reported, 4 on Long Island and one in New Jer - sey, a bit below average. A Pacific Loon was report - ed from Point Pleasant Beach, Manasquan Inlet, Ocean, NJ 7 Feb (fide SB). For a second year, large numbers of Red-necked Grebes were forced out of the frozen Great Lakes and southward, both inland and toward the coasts of New York, New Jersey, and Dela - ware in midwinter. Single Eared Grebes were at Horseshoe Cove in Sandy Hook, NJ 1-27 Dec (fide SB), at Evangola S.P. on Lake Erie, Erie, NY 22-23 Dec (WW, JP, Tim Unusual species included Pink-footed Goose, Tufted Duck, Pacific Loon, Thick-billed Murre, Mew Gull, Crested Caracara, Gyr - falcon, Couch's Kingbird, Cassin's Kingbird, Townsend's Solitaire, and Varied Thrush. Abbreviations: Barnegat (Barnegat Light, Ocean, NJ); Bombay Hook (Bombay Hook N.W.R., Kent, DE; Cape Henlopen (Cape Henlopen S.P., Sus - sex, DE); Cape May Point (Cape May Point S.P., Cape May, NJ); Floyd Bennett Field (Brooklyn, Kings, NY), Indian River Inlet (Sussex, DE); Mon - tauk (Montauk Point, Suffolk, NY); Sandy Hook (Sandy Hook N.W.R., Monmouth, NJ). WATERFOWL THROUGH RAILS Pink-footed Geese were reported at Riverhead, Suffolk, NY 1 Jan–14 Feb (Dave LaMagna; sec - ond year in a row there), on Allaire Rd., Mon- mouth, NJ 7 Dec–19 Jan (fide SG, m.ob.), on Wy- coff Mills Applegarth Rd., Middlesex, NJ 18-20 Dec (fide SG) and then on Twin Rivers at Quad Lake II, Mercer, NJ 21 Dec–3 Jan (fide SG), and on Rte. 206, Southhampton Twp., Burlington, NJ 1 Feb (TB). The number of Greater White- fronted Geese reported was about normal, with most reports in Dec before the big freeze later. Snow Geese arrived in normal numbers in Dec, but numbers fell as the winter continued. Those that remained in Delaware and New Jersey were forced to roost in Delaware Bay. Ross's Goose numbers were average; a rare blue morph was found and photographed on Cods Rd., Sus - sex, DE 2 Jan (FR). A Black Brant was reported near the Avalon Seawatch, Cape May, NJ 23 Jan (Yong Kong), and another was at Sandy Hook 16 Feb (TB). A Barnacle Goose returned to Bel - mont Lake S.P. and the St. Charles Cemetery, Suffolk, NY for its fifth straight year 10 Dec–16 Jan (Mike Cooper). In New Jersey, Barnacle Geese were reported at Ramsey G.C., Bergen for the third consecutive year 15-25 Dec (fide SG); along Wycoff Mills Applegarth Rd., Middletown 15 Dec–2 Jan (Steven L. Albert) and also at Etra Lake, Monmouth 13 Dec–2 Jan (Todd Frantz); at Duke Island Park, Bridgewater 25 Dec and Frank Rohrbacher Robert O. Paxton Shaibal S. Mitra Tom Reed –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– D ecember in the Hudson-Delaware re- gion was mild, with temperatures sev- eral degrees above normal and little rain or snow. During January, the temperatures fell precipitously to 3-5º F below normal; snow lev - els stayed about normal. The Great Lakes froze over, as they did last winter under similar me - teorological conditions. In February, tempera- tures plummeted even further. In the Niagara Frontier region of New York, Mike Morgante reported February's mean temperature was 10.9º F, a record-setting 15.4º below normal, making it "the coldest month on record since data collection started in 1871." Also very cold and snowy, New Jersey and Delaware were a tad warmer than that but still much colder than normal. By early January, large portions of the Great Lakes were frozen; by early February, all of the Great Lakes and the large lakes in New York were covered with ice. This resulted in the mass exodus of birds such as Redheads, White- winged Scoters, and Red-necked Grebes to the south and east. This year, unlike last, most of the fresh water and salt marshes in New Jersey and Delaware were frozen, driving geese and ducks either to the ocean or to the south of our Region. As expected after the historic Snowy Owl invasion last winter, fewer but still a good num - ber arrived in early December, with many remaining through the win - ter even as far south as Delaware. The number of half-hardy species recorded was well below average. Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, and Common Redpolls were present throughout the Region in low num - bers. Red Crossbills, White-winged Crossbills, and Evening Grosbeaks were no shows. Becoming an annual visitor to the Hudson-Delaware region in recent winters, a Pink-footed Goose spent six weeks at Riverhead, Suffolk County, New York 1 (here 11) January through 14 February 2015. Apparently the same bird spent the previous winter at this location. Photograph by Shai Mitra.

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