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 372 H U D S O N - D E L AWA R E in the Hempstead saltmarshes, Nassau, NY (JZ). The aerial survey of colonial waterbirds in New Jersey found 69 Gull-billed Terns in 11 colonies (CD). Caspian Tern nests on Little Galloo numbered 2084, 14% below the 2014 record level (IM). About 930 Roseate Tern chicks were banded on Great Gull (JDiC), but former ancillary colonies on Long Island are gone. Great Gull held about two thirds of the 15,331 Common Tern pairs censused on Long Island (JDiC, KJ). Inland, a record 1552 nests were found on the Saint Lawrence River between Lake Ontario and Massena, all but 77 on the New York side (Lee Harper). New Jersey's aerial census showed 2841 individu - als in 37 colonies (CD). Fewer Arctic Terns came ashore in Jun at Cupsogue County Park, Suffolk, NY than in recent summers, but more were elsewhere: Jamesport, on Peconic Bay, Suffolk, NY 4 Jul (DG), and, remarkably on Cayuga Lake 1-6 Jun (MI, Ken McDermott, Tom Schulenberg). Forster's Terns reached their ne. breeding limit again at Hempstead, Nassau, NY (405 ads., JZ). The New Jer - sey aerial census found 3481 individuals in 75 colonies (CD). The volatile Long Island population of Least Terns was 2268 pairs at 59 active sites, below the ten-year average of 2624 and well below the 3669 counted in 2008 (KJ). Flooding reduced productivity (JZ). New Jersey censused 839 ads. at 19 sites (CD). Delaware had five nesting pairs at Hen - lopen but fledged no chicks (MBa). Black Skimmers founded two new colo - nies: Edgemere, Queens, NY (Corey Finger) and Belmar-Shark River Inlet, Monmouth, NJ (TP). The new Edgemere colony may have drawn birds from Breezy Point, which was down to 290 birds on 13 Jul (Sean Sime, DG). The other great New York colony, Nick - erson Beach, Nassau, reached 600 birds at season's end (JZ). As before, the mega-colony at Longport, Atlantic produced 90% of the 1518 chicks fledged in New Jersey (TP). Black Skimmers did not nest in Delaware once again, although loafers at Prime Hook topped out at 200 on 13 Jun (TS). ing, such as Amish farms in ne. Oneida, NY (Dave Cesari). But numbers were down in their Jefferson strongold, with only five pairs at Ashland Flats W.M.A. and Fort Drum to - gether (JBo). The glory days of the 1970s for Ruffs are long past. A fading black male frequented Prime Hook N.W.R. 23-29 Jun (John Hoyt, SG et al.), and another visited Bombay Hook 19-24 Jul (Steve Collins et al.). Wilson's Phal - aropes appeared coastally only in Delaware, where 4-6 visited Prime Hook 25 Jun (AK, Vince Gambal, Sharon Lynn). Inland Mont - ezuma had 2 on 2 Jun (Andy Guthrie) and another 26-29 Jul (Dave Kennedy, DN et al.). A bright female Red Phalarope, by far the least common phalarope ashore, delighted crowds at a drying rain pool at Jones Beach 10-25 Jul (BA, ph. KF, ph. Steve Walter, m.ob.) A simi - lar bird, distinctively lacking the left foot, had been at Plum Island, MA up to 8 Jul. The only onshore Red-necked Phalarope was at Mont - ezuma 28 Jul (DN). A Laughing Gull visited Lake Ontario at Greece, Monroe, NY 2 Jun (Jim Barry). The New Jersey aerial census showed 36,645 in - dividuals. The colony of about 2000 pairs near JFK airport is no longer being culled (DR), but none were detected breeding far - ther e. on Long Island. The Franklin's Gull found at Plum Beach, Brooklyn, in May made its final appearance 2 Jun (ph DG). A subad. Sabine's Gull at Breezy Point, Queens, NY 18 Jun (Sean Sime, ph. DG) constituted a county first and one of relatively few Regional re - cords for this species. Six Gull-billed Terns marked their n. limit in two years and continues the recent pattern of increasing northerly records in the East. Eleven American Oystercatchers at Hen Island, Westchester, NY 6 Jun (Andrew Farn - sworth), where they first nested last year, confirmed this species' expansion into w. Long Island Sound. Twelve known pairs in Delaware fledged 4 chicks, more than in re - cent years (MBa). An American Avocet on the Hudson at Piermont, Rockland, NY 13 Jun (Evan Mark) was the third there in four years. Evidently some follow the river en route from w. breeding sites to their fall concentration in Delaware. The maximum there was 413 on 26 Jul at Bombay Hook (AK, TS). Four in Buffalo Harbor 14 Jul (JP) were above average for a Great Lakes stopover. Upland Sandpip - ers held on at their handful of regular sites, all in upstate New York except the Bluechip horse farm, Ulster, NY and the Lakehurst Na - val Air Station, Ocean, NJ. They did best at airfields and on farms that tolerate late mow - SA A survey for Black Rails at 258 points in New Jersey found only 12 at 10 locations, 7 along lower Delaware Bay, 4 around Tuckahoe/Great Egg Harbor, and one in Barnegat Bay (David Mizrahi, New Jersey Audubon). This is well below the 24 at 15 sites in a smaller survey in 1988 (Kerlinger, P., and C. Sutton. 1989. Black Rail in New Jersey. Records of New Jersey Birds 15: 2). Anecdotal evidence points to far higher numbers ear- lier in the century, n. to Tom's River and Philadelphia. New York's only consistent site, an unditched salt marsh at Oak Beach, Suffolk, is probably now inactive. SA For the first time since 1984, a pair of Piping Plovers nested on Lake Ontario in New York. A nest discovered 28 Jun at Lakeside S.P., Jefferson (Elizabeth Truzkowski, GL, Diana Whiting, Michael Weaver) was subsequently flooded. The birds re-nested and fledged one chick (IM). At Sandy Pond, Oswego, NY one Piping Plover was present 2 & 9 Jun (BP), and a pair in late Jul (Wayne Fidler, Mary Magistro). Two of these birds had been banded in Michigan in 2014. The N.Y.D.E.C. census found 291 pairs of Piping Plovers, more than in the past three years but below the ten-year state average of 375 and far below the historic maximum of 457 in 2007 (KJ). Piping Plovers recovered in New Jersey to 108 pairs, mostly where actively protected, such as Sandy Hook and Holgate. This was 17% above last year's dismal figure but still below the long-term average (118 pairs). Delaware's remnant population at Henlopen held steady at six pairs and 7 fledges (MBa). Over the past twenty years, Clay-colored Sparrows have established themselves as regular breeders in small numbers across the entire Lake Ontario plain of New York east to the Saint Lawrence River valley and south to the Finger Lakes. This singing male was photographed 14 June 2015 at Fort Edward, Washington County, New York. Photograph by Scott Stoner.

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