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Saturday, December 07, 2013

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, December 5, 2013:

* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Dec 06, 2013
* NYNY1312.06

- Birds Mentioned:

(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Eurasian Wigeon
Harlequin Duck
Red-throated Loon
Red-necked Grebe
Cory's Shearwater
Great Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Manx Shearwater
Northern Gannet
Golden Eagle
Piping Plover
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Black-legged Kittiwake
Barn Owl
Red-headed Woodpecker
Orange-crowned Warbler
Clay-colored Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Lapland Longspur

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form found at

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc1 AT .

If electronic submission is not possible, hardcopy reports and photos or sketches are welcome. Hardcopy documentation should be mailed to:

Gary Chapin - Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
125 Pine Springs Drive
Ticonderoga, NY 12883

~ Transcript ~

Hotline: New York City Area Rare Bird Alert
Weekly Recording: (212) 979-3070

To report sightings call:
Tom Burke (212) 372-1483 (weekdays)
Tony Lauro (631) 734-4126 (Long Island)

Compilers: Tom Burke, Tony Lauro
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
Transcriber/Editor: Karen Fung


Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, December 6th, at 6:00pm. The highlights of today's tape are Pelagic Trip, featuring GREAT SKUA, NORTHERN FULMAR, RED PHALAROPE and more; the SNOWY OWL irruption; PACIFIC LOON, NORTHERN SHRIKE, WESTERN KINGBIRD, TUNDRA SWAN, KING EIDER, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, GLAUCOUS GULL and more.

The SNOWY OWL irruption continues, with possibly unprecedented numbers of mostly immature bird occurring mainly along the South Shore of Long Island, with multiples present at such locations as Jones Beach West End, and Dune Road west of Shinnecock Inlet. Snowies have also been seen regularly in inland counties and away from the coastal shore at sites like Floyd Bennett Field; however, the birds at Jones Beach West End for instance have been subjected to continued harassment, and we can only ask again that people observe owls from a comfortable distance and do not disturb them. Some owls inland have already been found to be emaciated and have even died from starvation, indicating the great stress for survival that they are already under, so please keep your distance and do not add to their stress.

A pelagic trip on a private fishing boat on flat seas last Monday got out to the continental shelf and enjoyed great views of a couple of GREAT SKUAS along with 14 NORTHERN FULMARS, 6 CORY'S SHEARWATERS, 13 GREAT SHEARWATERS, and 2 each of SOOTY SHEARWATERS and MANX SHEARWATERS, 65 NORTHERN GANNETS, 4 RED PHALAROPES, 2 RAZORBILLS, 24 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES, 1 ICELAND GULL, and 5 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS.

A PACIFIC LOON was reported Sunday in Huntington Bay off Hobart's Beach on Eaton's Neck. Seen briefly, the bird flew off and has not been relocated. [Addition from the Transcriber: There was a late report this afternoon of a PACIFIC LOON, seen on Plum Island while scoping Common and Red-throated Loons for a loon count].

A NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen frequently at Jones Beach West End field 2 from last Friday at least to Tuesday, often teeing up on trees and bushes around the parking lot, but also wandering off to locations such as the fisherman's parking lot west of the Coast Guard Station, or trees to the northwest or southwest of lot 2.

A WESTERN KINGBIRD was seen again Monday on the North Fork in Cutchogue, just north of Oregon Road and east of Cox's Lane. Also out east, two TUNDRA SWANS appeared on Hook Pond last Friday and were still there at least to Tuesday.

Five GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were on a traditional field on the north side of Further Lane in East Hampton Wednesday, and another was spotted Sunday at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, where a GOLDEN EAGLE was a flyover on Saturday.

An immature GLAUCOUS GULL and a young male HARLEQUIN DUCK were at Shinnecock Inlet last Friday, and a careful scan through the large scoter and eider flock below the bluffs at the Camp Hero overlook at Montauk Point State Park last Saturday produced a young male and two female KING EIDERS.

An immature BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE was on the North Fork at Southold Town Beach on November 28th.

A LARK SPARROW was still around the berm, just east of the cricket field at Floyd Bennett Field on Thursday, and CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS were noted at Hendrix Creek in Brooklyn last Friday and in East Hampton Sunday.

Single LAPLAND LONGSPURS were at Van Cortlandt Park to [last] Saturday and at Floyd Bennett Field [last] Saturday.

Male and female EURASIAN WIGEON are occasionally being seen on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, where BARN OWL can still be seen in a box across Big John's Pond from the bird blind.

A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was still around Turtle Cove at Pelham Bay Park Sunday, and another was at Caumsett State Park Saturday, with a third now at Croton Point Park in Westchester County.

A few RED-NECKED GREBES as well as ICELAND GULL and LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL continue to be seen, and late was a PIPING PLOVER reported from Point Lookout Town Beach Tuesday.

And thinking of the upcoming Christmas Counts, now is the time to start staking out some lingering land birds, like the ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER at Mecox last Saturday [and another at Floyd Bennett Field on Sunday].

To phone in reports on Long Island, call Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126, or weekdays call Tom Burke at (212) 372-1483.

This service is sponsored by the Linnaean Society of New York and the National Audubon Society. Thank you for calling.


~ End Transcript ~

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