North American Birds

VOLUME 70 NO1 2017

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/936087

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V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 7 ) • N U M B E R 1 27 H U D S O N - D E L AWA R E detected by nocturnal flight call in Cape May 21 Sep (MO), with an additional 2 detected in separate locations 15 Oct (Don Freiday, MO). More work is still needed to determine the timing and distribution of southbound migrants in the Region. A Varied Thrush was a phenomenal find at Cox Hall Creek W.M.A., Cape May 7 Nov (ph. Andy Jones, Michelle Leighty). What was presumably the same individual would be re-discovered in Dec. This furnished just the second record for Cape May. WARBLERS THROUGH FINCHES A remarkable movement of neotropical mi- grants at Higbee Dike on the morning of 14 Sep included a stunning 56,000+ total war - blers. This flight occurred as a cold front ap- proached the area and stalled during the over- night hours, with northerly winds presumably ushering birds toward Cape May, where they encountered precipitation and low visibility. Given that the vast majority of these were seen on the wing, many simply could not be identi - fied, but those that could be included 8,724 American Redstarts, 505 Black-and-white Warblers, and 479 Northern Parulas (Glen Davis, David La Puma, ML, TR). The follow - ing night and morning produced another sig- nificant movement that included even higher 7 between NYC and LI 1 Oct–15 Nov (fide eBird) and ca. 10 in Cape May 12 Sep–16 Nov (fide eBird), the species' best showing at the peninsula in several years. Inland records are always more noteworthy, with singles de - tected at Rancocas S.P., Burlington, NJ 1-5 Sep (David Larsen, m. ob.), Whippany, Morris, NJ 13-14 Sep (ph. Jonathan Klizas, m. ob.), and Newfield, Tompkins, NY 7 Sep (Lea Callan, m.ob.). The only Scissor-tailed Flycatcher of the season was noted at Brigantine on the seemingly late dates of 24-28 Nov (ph. Yong Kong, m. ob.). The first few Northern Shrikes appeared in upstate New York during the final third of Oct, with a number of reports through vari - ous inland portions of the Empire State by late-Nov. More notable was a single imm. de - tected at McAllister County Park, Suffolk, NY 8 Nov (Derek Rogers). Loggerhead Shrike went missing after singles turned up in DE and NJ the previous fall. One of the season's stars was the Bell's Vireo that took up residence at Cape May 11-15 Oct (Tait Johansson, m. ob.). It furnished the tenth record for NJ, and all but one have occurred at Cape May. Remarkable numbers of Cave Swallows appeared at Cape May in mid-Nov on the heels of the strong continental storm, with a state (and likely Re - gional) all-time high of 662 counted flying w. past Cape May 14 Nov (TJ et al.). Additional reports were logged in Cumberland and Salem along the New Jersey side of Delaware Bay, and on the Delaware side in New Castle (m. ob.). Farther north, the NYC area was home to a cluster of reports during the same period, with a max of 9 at Coney Island 14 Nov (Rob Jett et al.). A few were also found away from shorelines, such as one at Montezuma 15 Nov (Jessie Barry, CW). Single Northern Wheatears were noted at Plum I., Suffolk, NY on an expected date of 25 Sep (JS) and at Liberty S.P., Hudson, NJ on a fairly late date of 20 Oct (Simon Lane). There were 3 Townsend's Solitaires found during the second half of the season, the first dis - covered at John Thacher S.P., Albany, NY 18 Oct–8 Nov (Craig Thompson, m. ob.). The next was perhaps even less expected, a fly-by at Cape May 31 Oct (ph. AH, m. ob.), repre - senting just the second record for Cape May. The final individual was a one-day wonder at Paul Smith's College, Franklin, NY 7 Nov (Brian McAllister). A Bicknell's Thrush was diversity, including a single Golden-winged Warbler and 6 Connecticut Warblers, plus another 4045 American Redstarts. Otherwise, migration of songbirds, particularly neotropi - cal migrants, was fairly lackluster at most lo- cations. It was not a big season for warblers from the West, as both Black-throated Gray and Townsend's were left off the list. There was some compensation, however, in the form of an Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler that delighted observers at Sunken Meadow S.P., Suffolk, NY 22 Nov (SSM, PL). Remarkably, the subspecies has been detected at this site in three of the last four years, and will perhaps serve as motivation for birders to find more elsewhere in the future. "More interesting was that diversity in mid-Oct equaled or perhaps exceeded that in Sep. For ex - ample, at least 14 species of warblers were noted in Central Park on 10 & 12 Oct…Overall, at least 25 species occurred substantially later than their normal departure dates this fall." Those words from coastal NY compiler Seth Ausubel certainly rang true with birders throughout the Region, describing a theme that seems to be increasingly prominent. Some notably tar - dy warblers included single Tennessee War- blers at NYC 2 Nov (SM) and Cape May 15-16 Nov (ph., m. ob.), Wilson's Warbler at Jamaica Bay 14 Nov (Joseph DiCostanzo), and single Prairie Warblers at Central Park, NYC 5 Nov (Fritz Mueller) and Calverton Grasslands, Suf - folk, NY 25 Nov (Sy Schiff et al.). Henslow's Sparrow continues to be nearly non-existent as a southbound migrant but as in 2014, there was a single report again this season: one at Cape May 16 Nov (VE, m. ob.). SA An interesting Empidonax flycatcher discovered at Central Park, NYC 19 Nov, was quick- ly suspected to be a Pacific-slope/Cordilleran candidate. Continued observation by doz- ens of birders, review of photographs, and analysis of audio recordings led many to believe the bird was a Pacific-slope Flycatcher. Fortuitously, a fecal sample was secured and genetic analysis substantiated the identification of Pacific-slope. It remained through at least 24 Nov. This Painted Bunting at Prospect Park, Brooklyn, was enjoyed by birders and non-birders alike, and even featured in local and national media. It was the second ever found in Brooklyn. Photo by © Doug Gochfeld.

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