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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V O L U M E 6 9 ( 2 0 1 6 ) • N U M B E R S 3 / 4 365 N E W E N G L A N D Island for only the second time when a nest with 2 juvs. was photographed in midsummer at Charlestown, Washington (fide RF, ph. CR). Two Black Vultures were also seen well n. at West Haven, Rutland, VT 18 Jul (TJM et al.). A Swallow-tailed Kite at Nantucket 1-3 Jul (R. Stevenson, ph. LD, m.ob.) was the only re - port of the season. Apart from the now annual nesting of two pairs of Mississippi Kites at Newmarket, Rockingham, NH, the only other report was a single at Falmouth, Barnstable, MA 22 Jun (MM). Bald Eagle numbers con - tinue to soar, with over 50 nesting pairs docu- mented in Massachusetts this season (fide M.N.H.E.S.P.) and New Hampshire claiming 23 successful pairs fledging 43 young (fide TV), twice as many as in 2010. A Black Rail calling in a marsh since May at Westerly, Washington, RI was still detected 1-10 Jun (G. Williams et al.). At Wellfleet, Barnstable, MA, a tally of 5 ad. and 6 young Clapper Rails 1 Jul (S. Broker) was very un - usual in a state where this species is only rare- ly confirmed as a breeder despite its annual presence. No fewer than 15 Sandhill Cranes were collectively reported in in the Region ex - cept in Rhode Island; Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire all have breeding pairs. This is certainly one of the great nesting suc - cess stories in New England in recent years. Piping Plovers had a banner season, with both Rhode Island and Connecticut host - ing record-high totals. In the Ocean State, 99 pairs fledged 154 young (fide RF), while Connecticut hosted 62 pairs that fledged 112 young for the second highest-ever total (fide GH). Massachusetts led the pack with 662 wagen Bank and nearby Provincetown offer some sense: 1700 Cory's Shearwaters off Prov - incetown 29 Jun and 3325 there 16 Jul (BN), and 5000 at Stellwagen Bank 18 Jul (BN). Other species were also building up during this period, with 3000 Great Shearwaters at Stellwagen Bank 18 Jul (BN) and 1100 Sooty Shearwaters at Provincetown 29 Jun (BN). Almost expected in the waters s. of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket in recent years, a White-faced Storm-Petrel s. of the Vineyard was beautifully documented in mid-Jun (S. Whiting, A. Keith, ph. L. McDowell), and 2 Band-rumped Storm-Petrels were recorded at Hydrographer Canyon 18 Jul (B.B.C.). In addition to the tubenose extravaganza, what was certainly the same Brown Booby was re - corded twice at Provincetown, 30 Jun (ph. S. Landry) and 3 Jul (J. Young). The Red-billed Tropicbird that has frequented Seal Island N.W.R. in Maine for 11 years was again pres - ent throughout the summer (DL, m.ob.). A count of 7 Least Bitterns at Great Mead - ows N.W.R., Concord, Middlesex, MA 7 Jul (SA) furnished the season's high count. In Rhode Island, an annual early summer nest - ing survey produced 150 Great Egrets, 127 Snowy Egrets, 2 Little Blue Herons, and 287 pairs of Black-crowned Night-Herons (fide CR). At Dyer Island, RI, 225 pairs of Glossy Ibis made a particularly notable total (CR). At Kettle Island, Manchester, Essex, MA, where survey efforts only tallied individuals this year, 145 Great Egrets, 127 Snowy Egrets, 10 Little Blue Herons, and a mere 27 Black- crowned Night-Herons were counted, 22 May (SAP, JB). Notable also were 2 apparent Snowy Egret x Tricolored Heron hy - brids, presumably for the second year in a row, at Scar - borough Marsh, Cumberland, ME throughout the period (m.ob., DL). As many as 15 Yellow-crowned Night-Her - ons were recorded at Plum Island in Jul (fide B.O.), an unprecedented total for mid - summer. A White-faced Ibis was also counted among 222 Glossies at Kettle Island (SAP, JB, ph. R. Schain); this is the colony where this spe - cies was confirmed nesting for the first time several years ago. A White-faced Ibis was also noted at Rockingham, NH 5 Jul (SM), and 2 were at Falmouth, Cumberland, ME 9 Jun (ph. DL, m.ob.). Black Vultures were con - firmed nesting in Rhode of Common Eiders in the Region was reflect - ed by seasonal survey totals of approximately 435 nests and 264 ducklings in Boston Har - bor (CT et al.), which is probably the largest colony in the Bay State. At the same time, 4 eider ducklings at Avery Point, Groton, New London, CT 14 Jun (TG) may have represented the first confirmed Connecticut nesting if they were actually hatched in the Nutmeg State. A tally of 60 Common Mergansers at William - stown, Berkshire, MA 10 Jul (C. Jones) un- doubtedly involved multiple broods of young to account for such a high summer count in w. Massachusetts. Nine juv. Common Mer - gansers at East Haddam, Middlesex, CT 19 Jul (H. Golet) were at an unusual location for this species. A Ruffed Grouse at Mashpee, Barn - stable, MA 3 Jun (MM) is referenced simply as a reminder of how scarce this species has become in many areas of e. Massachusetts, es - pecially on Cape Cod. Pacific Loons made early summer cameos at Rockingham, NH 3 Jun (SM) and Bruns - wick, Cumberland, ME 30 Jun (G. Smith, ph. DL); both were ads. in breeding plumage, so it seems plausible that the same bird was in - volved in these reports. Common Loons made headlines in Connecticut when a pair raised 2 young at Norfolk, Litchfield, CT (B. Gridley, D. Heck, m.ob.) for a first state nesting since the 1800s. In Massachusetts, 45 confirmed pairs of Common Loons were indicative of the trend in this species in the Bay State. This summer also saw a unique "loon hacking" project in Middleboro, Plymouth, MA that will hopefully someday re-establish this iconic species as a nesting bird in that part of the state (LA, MK). In New Hampshire, 2015 witnessed a record number of nesting loons (fide TV), and in Ver - mont, 55 successful nests fledged 84 chicks (LoonWatch, fide VCE). One of the most impressive seabird shows off the Massachusetts coast began in this sea - son and continued into Aug; this report of- fers just a preview. An unidentified albatross tantalizingly distant sitting on water on the e. edge of Stellwagen Bank 12 Jul (P. Crosson et al.) was suspected of being a Yellow-nosed Albatross, but it was not until Aug that this species was definitively photographed in the same area. A Black-capped Petrel was at At - lantis Canyon 11 Jul (ph. A. Wilson, m.ob.). Close on its heels, a Fea's Petrel was beau - tifully documented several km ne. of Truro, Barnstable, MA, practically within sight of land (ph. S. Surner et al.)! This provided only the second state record. As the quantity of sand lance (Ammodytes sp.) increased during the season, both whales and seabirds responded in remarkable numbers. As an indication, the number of Cory's Shearwaters tallied at Stell - This Crested Caracara joined a growing and remarkable trend of wide-ranging vagrants when it flew over Chatham, Massachusetts on 5 April 2015. Photograph by Paulina Zuckerman.

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