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 368 H U D S O N - D E L AWA R E RGS) and of Black Tern at Twin Cedars En- vironmental Area, Livingston, NY 8 Apr (Art Kirsch) were very surprising. An ad. Arctic Tern was photographed inshore at Moriches 30 May (Derek Rogers, Mike Scheibel), and a flock of 5 was photographed near Wilmington Canyon on the 25 May pelagic trip. Although this species is known to occur regularly in the Region, thorough documentation for all reports is still desired, both because of diffi - culties in identification and to elucidate the details of its occurrence inland, inshore, and offshore. A single Roseate Tern at Cape May 25-27 May (Paul Grabe, Glen Davis et al.) was the only report s. of Long Island. DOVES THROUGH SPARROWS A White-winged Dove was found at Sandy Hook 16 May by Susan Treesh, David Larsen, and Mike Blasenheim, and another was found at Cape May on 22 May by Tom Reed. Just four days later, the same observer, along with Christina Davis and Tom Johnson, found an - other White-winged Dove during a helicopter survey of the marshes near West Wildwood, Cape May, NJ. White-winged Doves were also recorded in Delaware, at Slaughter Beach 23- 24 May (Howard Patterson, David Sandler, and Kurt Schwartz, ph.) and at a residence w. of Camden, Kent 29 May (Brian McCaffrey). One of the most remarkable records of the season involved a Burrowing Owl photo - graphed at Bombay Hook 17 Apr by Chandler Weigand. The bird was seen by others that day but not thereafter. In the wake of multiple records from near - by states and several recent reports from se. New York, Empire State birders finally en - joyed a fully documented Crested Caracara. Discovered by Curt McDermott at Montgom - ery, Orange 10 Apr, it remained for several days and was individually identifiable in that are noteworthy even on Long Island. As has been the pattern in recent springs going back to 2010, a bright, alternate-plum - aged Bar-tailed Godwit was found at Brigan- tine, this year on 26 Apr (Mason Sieges); it was last noted 5 May (Brendan Fogarty). These re - peated visits by what is presumably the same returning individual recall a similar series of records from the nearby Longport, Atlantic, NJ area from 1972-1982 and tend to dull the novelty, at least in local perception, of what remains a genuinely very rare species. In this regard, a drab-plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit at Jamaica Bay 16 May (PJL, SSM et al.) was a great surprise and the first for New York since 2004. This bird fed on seldom-exposed flats s. of the erstwhile West Pond during an ex - ceptionally low tide, then appeared to search the area for a place to roost before flying off to the east. One can't help but wonder whether it might have remained longer had an attractive freshwater feature been present nearby. Two South Polar Skuas were further high - lights of the 25 May trip to Wilmington Can- yon (DGo, m.ob.). Single Franklin's Gulls vis- ited Ontario Beach, Monroe, NY 7 May (Ethan Gyllenhaal, Greg Lawrence) and Plum Beach, Kings, NY 24-31 May (Deborah Allen, m.ob.). Extremely rare coastally, a Mew Gull of the w. subspecies brachyrhynchus continued from winter at Gravesend Bay, Kings, NY and was last seen 22 Mar (Andrew Baksh). Thayer's Gull is also especially rare coastally in the Re - gion, so a first-cycle bird at the Morgan Av- enue mudflats of Raritan Bay, Middlesex, NJ 11 Apr (Tom Smith) is noteworthy. An ad. Thayer's Gull at Spruce Run Reservoir, Hunt - erdon 30 Mar (Frank Sencher, Jr., m.ob.) was barely inland, whereas 2 along the Lake On - tario Plain, NY were less remarkable. Given the long, cold winter, the arrivals of Caspian Tern at Braddock Bay 31 Mar (fide RAPTORS THROUGH TERNS Four Swainson's Hawks at Braddock Bay were highlights of the hawkwatching season: 2 on 10 Apr, one each on 13 Apr and 4 May (fide Robert G. Spahn). New Jersey hosted 4 Swal - low-tailed Kites: singles at Cape May 11 Apr (Brian Quindlen et al.), 25 Apr (Cindy Shulz et al.), and 7 May (Michael O'Brien, Louise Zemaitis), and one at Sandy Hook 5 May (Frank Sencher, Jr., Tom Boyle). The north - ernmost Mississippi Kite, and the only one in New York, was at Sterling Forest, Orange 16 May (John Gluth et al.). A Purple Gallinule found on a garbage can on Long Beach Island, Ocean, NJ 16 May (Erika Hershey, ph.) gives a good illustration of how rarity is in many ways a function of perception. This species has been known as a vagrant in our Region for centuries and has accumulated numerous records overall—and yet remains less familiar to many active birders than are many species that can't boast one record for every ten gallinules that have occurred. There were no reports of Black-necked Stilt n. of Brigantine, and the only American Avocets n. of Brigantine were one at Raritan Bay Water - front Park, Middlesex, NJ 22 Apr (Jason Den- esevitch), plus two notable records of migrants in w. New York. Five avocets at Onondaga Lake 20 Apr (fide Dave Wheeler, Matt Perry) were both early and many, and these were followed the next day by an astounding new state max of 17 passing Hamlin Beach (Andy Guthrie). In this connection, it is worth noting 5 Western Willets at Salmon Creek, Monroe, NY 6 May (Dave Tetlow et al.)—a highly unusual occur - rence not just for upstate New York, but also for the spring season, when singles and duos Found on the surprising date of 24 July 2015, this molting Swallow-tailed Kite frequented Gordon's Pond, near Cape Henlopen, Delaware. Photograph by Chris Stanger. Subadult Sabine's Gulls are thought to summer mostly at sea. This bird at Breezy Point, Queens, New York 18 June 2015 constituted a first for the county and probably the second June record for the Hudson-Delaware region. Regional records have occurred chiefly in fall, a few in spring. Photograph by Doug Gochfeld.

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