North American Birds

VOLUME 69 NO3 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/778845

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 362 on 6 Apr (Frank Gallo). It's easy to overlook abundant birds, but Green-winged Teal can stage in impressive numbers in many parts of the Region, such as 550 on the Lemon Fair River, Addison, VT 7 Apr (TM, Larry Haugh). Five or 6 Eurasian Teal were in Connecticut, 4 in Massachusetts, and 2 in Maine. A Ring- necked Duck x Lesser Scaup hybrid in early Apr in Exeter was a New Hampshire first (fide EM). Six reports of Tufted Duck included 3 in Massachusetts, 2 in Connecticut, and one in Rhode Island. A Pacific Loon in nearly full breeding plumage at Block Island 10 Mar (MR) was remarkable. The rest were confined to Massa - chusetts, including one molting into breeding plumage 24 May at Manomet (ph. Ian Davies et al.) and up to 2 that accounted for multiple sightings around the tip of Cape Cod from mid-Mar through mid-May (Blair Nikula, m.ob.). A 20 May trip to Stellwagen Bank, Barnstable, MA found 2 Northern Fulmars, a Great Shearwater, and 2 Sooty Shearwaters (Liam Waters). The Red-billed Tropicbird returned 16 May to Seal Island N.W.R., Knox, ME, for the eleventh consecutive year (Keenan Yakola). The Brown Booby diaspora contin - ued, with three sightings, presumably of the same individual, from whalewatching boats se. of Gloucester 16-17 May (ph. M. Wood) and off Provincetown 30 May (ph. S. Landry). American White Pelicans, big and flashy, are ideal for tracking. Two found at Hammonas - set 29 May (Mickey Komara) had Connecticut birders out and looking the next day, when the westbound birds were seen over Milford Point, Stratford Point, and Sherwood Island S.P., Westport (TG et al.) The migration schedules of secretive spe - cies can be difficult to determine. Single American Bitterns found 12 Apr at two non- breeding Connecticut sites in Fairfield offered evidence of a flight day (Aidan Kiley, Elsbeth Johnson). Cattle Egret, in decline Region - wide, produced two reports in Rhode Island and one each in Connecticut, Maine, and New Hampshire. The northernmost Yellow- crowned Night-Heron was on Monhegan 14- 23 May (Eleanor Goldberg, ph. Bill Blauvelt, m.ob.). White-faced Ibis reports remain on the rise. Rhode Island had singles 18-21 Apr at Portsmouth (Christine Sidler et al.) and 23 May at Jamestown (Gabe Cohen-Glinik). Connecticut's singles were at East Lyme 15-16 Apr (ph. Tom Murphy, Russ Smiley), at West - brook and Clinton 10-30 May (Chris Loscalzo et al.), and at Milford Point 31 May (FM). Two at Scarborough Marsh, Cumberland, ME ar - rived 25 Apr and continued into May (DHi, ph. m.ob.). Massachusetts's now-annual bird arrived early 6 Apr in Essex (Phillip Brown) May arrived. Record-early dates were almost non-existent. New Hampshire had a record- setting Mourning Warbler on 6 May, but this was clearly an exception, because the average deviation from the expected arrival date for the Granite State's other 25 species of regular spring migrant warblers was -0.36 days (New Hampshire Bird Records), in other words, close to the historical average. Abbreviations: Lake Champlain (Vermont side of Lake Champlain); Hammonasset (Hammonassett Beach S.P., Madison, New Haven, CT); Manomet (Manomet Center for Conservation Studies, Plymouth, Plymouth, MA.); Monhegan (Monhegan Island, Lincoln, ME); Nantucket (Nantucket Island, MA); Plum Island (Newburyport, Newbury, Row - ley, Ipswich, including Parker River N.W.R., Essex, MA). WATERFOWL THROUGH SHOREBIRDS A Black-bellied Whistling Duck, a species now ardently sought throughout the Region, made a one-day appearance 23 May in Har - wich, Barnstable, MA (Herb Raffielle, ph. m.ob.). Vermont's second Pink-footed Goose was present 6-8 Apr at Middlebury, Addison (ph. Ron Payne, ph. IW et al.). Greater White- fronted Geese have been downgraded from a major rarity in the Region. Widespread re - ports this year included a record-tying 5 in New Hampshire; Connecticut's 8 included 4 together at a park on the Connecticut River in Glastonbury, Hartford 28 Mar (Bill Asteria - des); and Massachusetts had 6, Vermont 3. A Ross's Goose made a quick stop on the Uni - versity of Massachusetts campus in Amherst, Hampshire, where it was present 1 Apr and was still nearby 2 Apr (ph. Jacob Drucker, ph. Larry Therrien et al.). Vermont had records of single Ross's 28 Mar at Ferrisburgh, Addison (Jim Mead) and 8 Apr at Middlesex, Washing - ton (Calvin Borgmann). Tundra Swans con- tinue to do little more than nick the Region, as their main passage remains to the w. of us. The only reports were 2 near Ferrisburgh, VT 17-31 Mar (Jim Mead, IW, ph. Ron Payne et al.) and 6 that flew over the home of a vet - eran observer 17 Mar in Stratford, Fairfield, CT (ph. FM). Connecticut's 8 Eurasian Wigeons com - prised the top state total and included one inland at Rocky Hill on 4-5 Apr that was the first for Hartford since 1997 (Bill Asteriades). Northern Shoveler has shown a steady in - crease over the past decade. New Hampshire provides a nice gauge, with 30 records from multiple locations this year compared to just 54 over the period 1950–1980 (EM). In Con - necticut, Milford Point, New Haven held 26 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– SPRING –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Greg Hanisek A ll the recent talk about early springs and extraordinary arrival dates was put aside at the beginning of spring 2015, which seemed in the grip of a never- ending winter. At the Region's southern ter - minus, Connecticut's lakes were still frozen at the end of March, and some remained so into early April. In Boston, 7.4 cm (2.9 in.) of snow that fell on 15 March pushed the win - ter's accumulation to 275.8 cm (108.6 in.), a record. Harbors froze, and a U. S. Coast Guard cutter got stuck breaking ice in Bos - ton harbor. In New Hampshire, Eric Master- son said the brutal winter cast a shadow over the entire season, "leaving its mark even as the landscape blossomed. Spring cleaners at - tending to Eastern Bluebird houses reported grim scenes from multiple locations across the state." Masterson also noted: "Winter also laid claim to the majority of Carolina Wrens in Rockingham County." April warmed up but proved largely un - eventful, and May was even less eventful, with one of the poorest migrations in memory. The month was very dry and lacking in weather systems associated with migration events. In Massachusetts, Paul Champlin wrote on 24 May on MassBird, "It doesn't seem the south coast has had a decent day of migrants." In Maine, Ralph Eldridge on Machias Seal Island noted that "migration continues to be the non-event of the year." The bland weather was especially prevalent later in May, though parts of Massachusetts did note good flights on 9, 17, and 19 May. One of the Bay State's best flight days was an early one, 5 May, and in Connecticut a number of typically late April arrivals were tardy but filled in quickly as New England

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