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 366 N E W E N G L A N D 2 young was seen 26 Jul (T. Sackton et al.). In Massachusetts, 34 pairs of Peregrine Fal - cons fledged 54 chicks, a new record (fide T. French), while in New Hampshire, 12 pairs fledged 34 chicks (TV), the second highest- ever state total (fide TV), and Vermont set a record with 44 pairs fledging a minimum of 67 young (fide M. Fowle). A reminder of the continued spread of Fish Crows was the tally of 4 at Burlington, Chit - tenden, VT 7 Jun (TJM). Remarkable was a gathering of "hundreds" of Northern Rough- winged Swallows at Windor Locks Canal S.P., Hartford, CT 19 Jul (P. Desjardins), where concentrations of this magnitude are appar - ently an annual occurrence. An American Pip- it at North Truro, Barnstable, MA 12 Jun (BN) was unseasonable. Louisiana Waterthrush is arguably one of New England's earliest fall passerine migrants, as indicated by individu - als in Cumberland, ME at Portland 26 Jul (DL) and North Yarmouth 26 Jul (DL). A pair of Northern Parulas at Warwick, Franklin, MA 27 Jun (M. Lynch) possibly indicated breed - ing, which would be notable in a state where the species is state-listed. A Clay-colored Sparrow singing at the Wa - terboro Barrens Preserve, Shapleigh, York, ME 11 Jun through early Jul (DL) certainly could have had breeding on its mind. A survey of Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in South Dartmouth, Bristol, MA tallied 51 Saltmarsh Sparrows and 21 Seaside Sparrows 8 Jul (R. Buchbaum); this could be one of the highest summer counts of Seaside Sparrow ever tal - lied in the Bay State. A Western Meadowlark audiotaped and photographed at Charlotte, Chittenden 17 Jun–19 Jul (ph. TJM, m.ob.) will be a first for Vermont if accepted by the state records committee and provides one of very few recent Regional reports. A pair of Orchard Orioles nesting at Portland, Cumber - land, ME (DL) was pushing the n. boundary for nesting in New England. Subregional editors (boldface), contribu- tors (italics), and cited observers: Steve Arena, Jim Berry, Bird Observer of Eastern Mas - sachusetts (journal; B.O.), Brookline Bird Club, Lee Dunn, Rachel Farrell (Rhode Island), Margaret Fowle, Tom French, Tina Green, Greg Hanisek (Connecticut), Rick Heil, Derek Lo - vitch, Matt Malin, Frank Mantlik, Steve Mir- ick, Carolyn Mostello, Ted J. Murin, Blair Ni- kula, Simon Perkins, Chris Raithel, Marj Rines (Massachusetts), Jeremiah Trimble, Carol Trocki, Tony Vazzano (New Hampshire), Ver - mont Center for Ecostudies. n –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Wayne R. Petersen, P. O. Box 686, Hanson, Massachusetts 02341 (wpetersen@massaudubon.org) sachusetts and New Hampshire during the first several days in Jul (fide B.O., TV). In New Hampshire, a pair of Least Terns successfully fledged a young bird in Rockingham for the first time since the late 1950s (fide TV), and in Connecticut, 241 pairs fledged 27 young (fide GH). Always notable, Gull-billed Terns appeared as singles at Plum Island 16 Jun (D. Williams) and Harkness, New London, CT 20 Jun (J. Defrene). The Massachusetts pair count totals for Roseate Tern and Com - mon Tern were 1938 and 19,000, respectively (CM, M.N.H.E.S.P.). A single Sandwich Tern report came from Eastham, Barnstable, MA 10 Jul (ph. K. Schoppe). Five pairs of nesting Black Skimmers at Martha's Vineyard made one of the highest totals for New England in some years (CM, M.N.H.E.S.P.). Five Long- tailed Jaegers and 7 Common Murres passing Andrew's Point, Rockport, Essex, MA during a storm 2 Jun (RH) were quite likely high spring counts for Essex. OWLS THROUGH BLACKBIRDS Certainly one of the rarest birds of the season, a Burrowing Owl of the migratory subspecies hypugaea appeared at Bradley International Airport at Windsor Locks, CT 27-29 May but did not fully come to light until mid-Jun (ph. R. Tebbetts). Only the third record for Con - necticut, this report falls squarely within the period of most previous Regional appearanc - es. Three different persistently calling Chuck- will's-widows were heard in Massachusetts during the season (B.O.), and another calling since May was at Wakefield, Washington, RI until 13 Jun (H. Leeson, A. Dollar). The un - confirmed nesting of this species in New Eng- land continues to offer "low-hanging fruit" for nest-searching birders. In New Hampshire, where intensive Eastern Whip-poor-will monitoring has taken place for a number of years, recent forest management efforts at Hopkinton and in the Ossipee Pine Barrens, Merrimack area have shown an uptick in the number of pairs, from 8-11 pairs to 17 pairs this season (fide P. Hunt), clearly suggesting that useful management information is being obtained for future efforts to protect this de - clining species. A Red-headed Woodpecker at Milan, Coos, NH 3 Jun (ph. T. Levesque) was quite far n. for this uncommon species. Solid data on the nesting problems facing the beleaguered American Kestrel can be hard to obtain. Although only 19 out of 35 occu - pied boxes successfully fledged 68 young in Connecticut this year, this information is very valuable. Kudos to Tom Sayers for his continuing good work in growing regional kestrel populations! Merlins successfully nested on Nantucket this season; a pair with pairs (fide M.N.H.E.S.P.), followed by Maine with 62 pairs (fide M.N.H.E.S.P), and New Hampshire with a new high of eight pairs that fledged 12 young (fide M.N.H.E.S.P). Despite these seemingly optimistic figures, predation by a variety of critters continues to be a prob - lem for these birds, so overall productivity is not as high as it should be. An American Avo - cet graced Rockingham, NH 7-26 Jul (K. Wilm- arth, SM), and another visited Plum Island, MA 25-31 Jul (T. Walker, m.ob.). American Oystercatcher numbers included 180 pairs in Massachusetts (fide M.N.H.E.S.P), 52 pairs in Connecticut (fide GH), and 14 pairs in Rhode Island (fide RF). Though not totally complete, these figures suggest a high degree of stabil - ity within the New England population. A re- port of 3 Upland Sandpipers at East Hartford, Hartford, CT 8 Jun (FM et al.) at a site that is slated for development—but currently occu - pied by breeders—represents an increasingly sad story for this and other nesting grassland bird species in s. New England. Amazing can only describe 3 Long-billed Curlews at South Monomoy Island, Barnstable, MA 28- 31 Jul (ph. R. Finer, Karl Reinhold). This is a very rare visitor to this Region and one of only a handful of reports in recent years. Less unusual, but nonetheless seasonably notable was a Hudsonian Godwit at Rockingham, NH 7 Jun (L. Medlock). Most other shorebird re - ports were typical, although 2 Stilt Sandpip- ers at Plum Island 17 Jun (D. Weaver) were unusually early, and single Ruffs at Plum Bank Marsh, Old Saybrook, Middlesex, CT 29-30 Jun (A. Ogren, FM) and Plum Island, MA 2-3 Jul (B.O.) were noteworthy. A Red Phalarope at Plum Island, MA 29 Jun–8 Jul (T. Wetmore) was definitely unexpected. A count of 50 Black-legged Kittiwakes at Provincetown 16 Jul (BN) was probably a sea - sonal response to the glut of sand lance inhab- iting the waters around outer Cape Cod this early summer. Also unseasonable were Black- headed Gulls at Manomet, Plymouth, MA 21 Jun (J. Trimble) and Wellfleet, Barnstable, MA 27 Jul (J. Gamble). At least 4 Little Gulls were reported in Maine (DL) and Massachusetts (fide B.O.). At Plymouth Beach, Plymouth, MA, the Laughing Gull colony that now supports approximately 775 pairs poses an increasing conflict with what for years has been a major Common Tern colony (CM, M.N.H.E.S.P.). A tally of 105 Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Cha - tham, Barnstable, MA 20 Jun (J. Trimble) is an unseasonably high count for this increasingly volatile species. Inexplicable was a Bridled Tern at Nantucket and nearby Tuckernuck Island 11 Jul (m.ob., ph. LD); it was present for at least several days thereafter. At least 7-8 Royal Terns made appearances between Mas -

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