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Friday, January 03, 2014

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, January 3, 2014:

* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

* January 3, 2014
* NYNY1401.03

- Birds Mentioned:


(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Cackling Goose
Eurasian Wigeon
Harlequin Duck
Red-necked Grebe
American Bittern
Black Vulture
Bald Eagle
Piping Plover
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Glaucous Gull
Red-headed Woodpecker
Common Raven
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Lark Sparrow
Lapland Longspur
Rusty Blackbird
Boat-tailed Grackle

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: Gail Benson


Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, January 3rd at 7:00 pm. The highlights of todays tape are: GYRFALCON, PACIFIC LOON, WESTERN GREBE, BLACK GUILLEMOT, DOVEKIE, TUNDRA SWAN, ROSSS GOOSE, BARROWS GOLDENEYE, KING EIDER, BLACK-HEADED GULL, NORTHERN SHRIKE, and of course SNOWY OWLS plus more.

A GRAY GYRFALCON, based on recent reports, has been ranging along the Jones strip from Cedar Beach Marina west to Gilgo. Certainly it was seen nicely Wednesday off the Cedar Beach Marina. The first sighting also took place back on December 12th.

Two other very noteworthy reports featured PACIFIC LOON seen for a short while at Jones Inlet off the Jones Beach West End Coast Guard Station on Wednesday morning, and a Western Grebe Wednesday afternoon, which flew off to the northwest shortly after being spotted off Sea Cliff from the intersection of the Boulevard and Cliff Way. This is the former Black Guillemot site. What may have been the same BLACK GUILLEMOT was reported Tuesday off Sands Point. This followed another sighting of a BLACK GUILLEMOT last Sunday off the restaurant at Montauk Point. BARROWS GOLDENEYE has also been noted in the Sands Point area.

Last Saturday the Southern Nassau Christmas Count recorded 131 species highlighted by CACKLING GOOSE, 3 EURASIAN WIGEONS between Five Towns and Massapequa Preserve, 6 HARLEQUIN DUCKS at Point Lookout, 2 AMERICAN BITTERNS, RED-NECKED GREBE, 3 BALD EAGLES, a late PIPING PLOVER at Point Lookout, an immature BLACK-HEADED GULL at Bay Park, GLAUCOUS and LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS, 11 RAZORBILLS, a DOVEKIE off Tobay, 3 BARN and 7 SNOWY OWLS, 2 COMMON RAVENS, 12 LAPLAND LONGSPURS with 11 at Jones Beach West End, 2 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, and 64 BOAT-TAILED GRACKLES.

The Smithtown Count on Friday, December 27 netted 105 species including EURASIAN WIGEON, RED-NECKED GREBE, ICELAND GULL, 5 RAZORBILLS, COOMMON RAVEN, and 73 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS.

Numerous other notable species present recently include such waterfowl as the 2 TUNDRA SWANS continuing on Hook Pond in East Hampton and a ROSSs GOOSE present through Sunday at the Deep Hollow Ranch in Montauk, but missed thereafter.

Recent KING EIDER sightings include a younger male Tuesday through today with Scoters off Fort Tilden, and a female recently off the western end of the beaches at Bayville, where BARROWS GOLDENEYE should also be looked for. Five KING EIDERS, 3 females and 2 immature males, were together Wednesday off the eastern jetty at Shinnecock Inlet, joining a mixed Scoter flock there. An adult BLACK-HEADED GULL was at Sagg Pond last weekend. Scattered GLAUCOUS GULLS have included one at Coney Island Creek, joined by a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL this week, one at Jones Beach Field 6 Tuesday, and one regularly seen at Shinnecock Inlet, where an ICELAND GULL is also hanging out. Other ICELAND GULLS have been spotted at Wolfes Pond Park on Staten Island Wednesday and separate sightings Thursday, at Southards Pond in Babylon and Stony Brook Mill Pond.

SNOWY OWLS remain in evidence at numerous locations including very reliably at sites like Jones Beach and Floyd Bennett Field. Efforts to enjoy them without disturbing them have been relatively successful in some locations, but unfortunately not so in others.

BALD EAGLES have also been noted at numerous sites along the Hudson River recently.

The Jones Beach West End NORTHERN SHRIKE, continuing its elusive habits, was seen nicely around the swale in front of the Jones Beach West End Lot 2 Pavilion on Wednesday. Another NORTHERN SHRIKE was found last Sunday along East Lake Drive in Montauk. Decent numbers of RAZORBILLS and a large concentration of sea ducks continue off Montauk Point, and a number of RED-NECKED GREBES have been seen recently. A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was still in Green Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn Wednesday, and noteworthy were a BLACK VULTURE over Hood Pond Wednesday, a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT on Staten Island Saturday and a LARK SPARROW recently along Narrow River Road in Orient.

Now Id like to deeply thank Karen Fung for her years of transcribing the RBA onto the internet, something she has done admirably well but can no longer do due to time commitments. Fortunately Ben Cacace remains one of our transcribers and Karens replacement will be Gail Benson.

To phone in reports on Long Island, call Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126, or during the day except Sunday 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.


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