Friday, May 30, 2014

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, May 30, 2014:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* May. 30, 2014
* NYNY1405.30

- Birds mentioned
LEACH'S STORM-PETREL+
WHITE-FACED IBIS+
RUFF+
ATLANTIC PUFFIN+
BICKNELL'S THRUSH+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

NORTHERN FULMAR
Cory's Shearwater
Great Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Manx Shearwater
Wilson's Storm-Petrel
Red Knot
Red-necked Phalarope
RED PHALAROPE
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Gull-billed Tern
Black Tern
Roseate Tern
ARCTIC TERN
Royal Tern
Pomarine Jaeger
Parasitic Jaeger
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Black-billed Cuckoo
Common Nighthawk
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Acadian Flycatcher
Alder Flycatcher
Gray-cheeked Thrush
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
Mourning Warbler
LARK SPARROW
Lincoln's Sparrow
Blue Grosbeak

- Transcript

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form found at http://www.nybirds.org/NYSARC/goodreport.htm

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44(at)nybirds{dot}org.

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

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

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

Compiler: Tom Burke, Tony Lauro
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, May 30th 2014 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are WHITE-FACED IBIS, RUFF, pelagic trip results including NORTHERN FULMAR, LEACH'S STORM-PETREL, RED PHALAROPE and ATLANTIC PUFFIN; ARCTIC TERN, LARK SPARROW, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER and more.

An adult WHITE-FACED IBIS spotted Wednesday morning at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge was seen again there Thursday morning. Look for the WHITE-FACED in the marsh south of the former West Pond in the vicinity of the Osprey platform where it cycles in and out of the marsh with the Glossy Ibis. WHITE-FACED has become an annual visitor to the bay in recent years and in the past has also occurred in the north marsh and at both the East and Big John's Ponds. Two GULL-BILLED TERNS and various herons have also been around the south marsh with the expected shorebirds including some RED KNOTS also using the tidal flats there and when at the bay please insist at the visitors center that they fill the West Pond breach and restore the freshwater pond.

A female RUFF appeared at Plumb Beach in Brooklyn Thursday morning but has not been relocated since the initial sightings.

This season's first ARCTIC TERN was identified at Cupsogue County Park in Westhampton Dunes Thursday occurring on the flats with a gathering of Common and other terns. ARCTIC TERN has been so well documented at this location in recent years that NYSARC no longer reviews records of this species from that specific location.

Seawatching along the south shore of Long Island produced one MANX and two SOOTY SHEARWATERS off Shinnecock Inlet last Saturday afternoon and one CORY'S and 11 SOOTY SHEARWATERS off Robert Moses State Park Wednesday morning. While on Friday morning a watch off Moses lot 2 produced two CORY'S and 20 SOOTY SHEARWATERS, 4 WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS and a PARASITIC JAEGER. These however were only the tip of the iceberg as a private fishing boat last Sunday ventured out as far as the continental shelf south of Shinnecock and recorded 45 NORTHERN FULMARS, two MANX, one CORY'S, 14 GREAT and 383 SOOTY SHEARWATERS, one LEACH'S and 937 WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS, one RED and 6 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES, 3 POMARINE and 3 PARASITIC JAEGERS, 3 ATLANTIC PUFFINS and single BLACK and ROSEATE TERNS plus some nice cetaceans.

In the local parks the water drip at Riverside Park in northern Manhattan paid off this week with MOURNING WARBLER there Wednesday to Friday and a YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER first noted Tuesday at the drip and still singing near there on Thursday. To view the drip enter Riverside Park at 120th Street and Riverside Drive and go just south of the tennis courts.

A LARK SPARROW was found in Green-wood Cemetery Brooklyn last Saturday and a BLUE GROSBEAK was reported again in Prospect Park on Sunday.

This week the later appearing migrants featured a decent number of MOURNING WARBLERS and a good assortment of flycatchers including OLIVE-SIDED, ALDER, ACADIAN and YELLOW-BELLIED. Also noted were various thrushes including some GRAY-CHEEKED and a report or two of BICKNELL'S plus both cuckoos in better numbers than earlier.

A LINCOLN'S SPARROW was a Bryant Park highlight Wednesday and a COMMON NIGHTHAWK was roosting at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Saturday.

Three LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were at Robert Moses State Park this morning and an early ROYAL TERN appeared at Cupsogue last Monday.

With breeding season now upon us please remember to take extra care not to disturb nesting or territorial birds during this crucial period of their lives.

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
...Read more

Friday's Foto

The Green Heron is likely the only wading bird that nests in nearly all of New York City's parks. They usually select nest sites immediately adjacent to or within close proximity to water bodies. This bird is known to use tools, creating fishing lures from twigs, insects, bread crusts, feathers, earthworms and other objects, placing them on the water's surface to attract fish.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Brooklyn Shorebirding

With the northbound songbird migration winding down, I decided to spend some time focusing on shorebirds last weekend. Monday morning I spent an hour at Plum Beach, then headed to Floyd Bennett Field to see if any birds were at the rain puddles on the runways. I didn't find anything unusual, but it was a nice change of birding scenery.

Normally low-tide would be the best time to check for shorebirds at Plum Beach, but on Monday that would have been during prime human recreation time, so we thought we'd take a chance and take a look at dawn's high-tide activity. Surprisingly, there was actually quite a few birds present. It was probably the highest number of Sanderling I've ever seen there with a very conservative 1500 birds nervously feeding on horseshoe crab eggs. The next most common shorebird species mixed in with the Sanderlings was Semipalmated Sandpiper. Rounding out the long distance migrants fattening up on eggs were oystercatchers, Black-bellied Plover, Willet, Ruddy Turnstone, Dunlin, Least Sandpiper and a few Short-billed Dowitcher. It was nice getting to see the Dunlin in their colorful breeding plumage as overwintering birds here along the coast are about as grey and generic looking as it gets. Among the boisterous American Oystercatchers present was Heydi's longtime buddy "C6", but that's a story for another time.

After about an hour we started walking back to the parking lot for the trip over to Floyd Bennett Field. Along the way we spotted a Long-tailed Duck bobbing in the water several yards from the shore. If we were still enveloped in winter's "Polar Vortex" this would not have been an unusual sighting. However, large flocks of this overwintering waterfowl departed in early spring for their breeding grounds along the west coast of Alaska across most of northern Canada and to the east coast of Labrador. Hopefully, this bird is healthy and just a procrastinator.

The puddles that remained on the runways at Floyd Bennett Field were mostly occupied by gulls, but there were a few Black-bellied Plovers and Semipalmated Plovers present.

Shorebird identification can be a daunting task, but not impossible. There are many field guides available that specialize in shorebirds, but one book that I've found to be helpful over the years is Jack Connor's "The Complete Birder". In the shorebird chapter he has some tables that are very useful for, at least, narrowing down the identification of a given species. Here is one example:

Six Convenient Questions for Sorting the Shorebirds

1. Is it one of the instantly recognizable shorebirds?

American Oystercatcher American Avocet Black-necked Stilt
Black Oystercatcher

2. Is it a plover?
Killdeer Semipalmated Black-bellied Plover
Mountain Plover Piping Plover Lesser Golden Plover
Wilson's Plover Snowy Plover

3. Is it one of the odd sandpipers?
Long-billed Curlew Hudsonian Godwit Red Phalarope
Whimbrel Marbled Godwit Red-necked Phalarope
Eskimo Curlew American Woodcock

4. Is it a peep?
Sanderling Baird's Sandpiper Western Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper Semipalmated Sandpiper Least Sandpiper

5. Is it a longlegs?
Willet Wandering Tattler Wilson's Phalarope
Upland Sandpiper Wilson's Snipe Solitary Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs Long-billed Dowitcher Stilt Sandpiper
Lesser Yellowlegs Short-billed Dowitcher

6. Is it a plump?
Red Knot Purple Sandpiper Pectoral Sandpiper
Ruddy Turnstone Surfbird Spotted Sandpiper
Black Turnstone Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Rock Sandpiper Dunlin

Here is the author's "peep" identification table:

Peep Identification Sequence

Feature Probable Identification Double-checks
1. Yellow legs? Or thin, pointed, slightly decurved bill? --> Least Sandpiper --> Small? Warm brown back?
2. Stubby bill, esp. thick at base? --> Semipalmated Sandpiper --> Grayish head and back? Little or no rufous? Bill shorter than head?
3. Long, attenuated and drooping bill? --> Western Sandpiper -->


Rufous on cap and shoulder?




4. Prominent wing flag? White-rumped Sandpiper -->



Bairds Sandpiper -->
Larger than semipal? white rump? bill slightly drooped? streaky flanks


Larger than semipal?
Upper mandible very straight? buffy breast and cheeks? thinner than white-rump?

I hope you find this helpful, now go out and locate some good shorebirds this weekend.

**********

Date: May 26, 2014
Locations: Floyd Bennett Field and Plum Beach
Species: 67

Long-tailed Duck (1.)
Ring-necked Pheasant (1.)
Double-crested Cormorant (12.)
Great Egret (1.)
Green Heron (2.)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (7.)
Osprey (6.)
Red-tailed Hawk (1.)
Clapper Rail (1.)

American Oystercatcher (3.)
Black-bellied Plover (4.)
Semipalmated Plover (3.)
Killdeer (2.)
Spotted Sandpiper (1.)
Willet (3.)
Ruddy Turnstone (20.)
Sanderling (approx. 1,500.)
Dunlin (7.)
Least Sandpiper (12.)
Semipalmated Sandpiper (approx. 800.)
Short-billed Dowitcher (5.)

Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull (4.)
Least Tern (2.)
Common Tern (2.)
Forster's Tern (3.)
Chimney Swift
Northern Flicker (3.)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (1.)
Willow Flycatcher (2.)
Great Crested Flycatcher (1.)
White-eyed Vireo (2.)
Red-eyed Vireo (2.)
American Crow (3.)
Tree Swallow (2.)
Barn Swallow (5.)
House Wren
Carolina Wren (1.)
Swainson's Thrush (1.)
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher (1.)
Cedar Waxwing (15.)
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart (2.)
Magnolia Warbler (2.)
Yellow Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler (1.)
Eastern Towhee (4.)
Field Sparrow (1.)
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark (2.)
Boat-tailed Grackle (2.)
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole

Other common species seen (or heard): Brant, Mute Swan (3.), Mallard (1.), Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird (4.), European Starling, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, House Sparrow

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Treehugger Tuesday

The following posting on wave generated energy just appeared in "Enviroment 360".

Why Wave Power Has Lagged Far Behind as Energy Source

Researchers have long contended that power from ocean waves could make a major contribution as a renewable energy source. But a host of challenges, including the difficulty of designing a device to capture the energy of waves, have stymied efforts to generate electricity from the sea.

by dave levitan

It’s not difficult to imagine what wind energy looks like — by this point we have all seen the towering turbines dotting the landscape. The same goes for solar power and the panels that are spreading across rooftops worldwide. But there is another form of renewable energy, available in huge quantities, that doesn’t really call to mind anything at all: What does wave power technology look like?

Wind and solar power have taken off in the past decade or two, as costs have come down rapidly and threats from climate change have made clear the need to transition away from fossil fuels. Meanwhile, numerous studies have concluded that wave power — and to a lesser extent, tidal power — could contribute massive amounts to the overall energy picture. But while the industry has made halting progress, experts agree that it remains decades behind other forms of renewables, with large amounts of money and research required for it to even begin to catch up.

No commercial-scale wave power operations now exist, although a small-scale installation did operate off the coast of Portugal in 2008 and 2009. In February, U.S. corporate giant Lockheed Martin announced a joint venture to create the world’s biggest wave energy project, a 62.5-megawatt installation slated for the coast of Australia that would produce enough power for 10,000 homes. Scotland, surrounded by the rough waters of the Atlantic and the North Sea, has become a hotbed of wave-energy research and development, with the government last year approving a 40-megawatt wave energy installation in the Shetland Islands.

But a central challenge has proven to be the complexity of harnessing wave power, which has led to a host of designs, including writhing snake-like attenuators, bobbing buoys, even devices mounted discreetly on the ocean floor that work by exploiting differences in pressure as a wave passes by. Some devices generate the electricity on the spot and transmit it via undersea cables to shore, while others pass the mechanical energy of the wave along to land before turning it into electrical energy. Which of these drastically divergent concepts might emerge as a winner is far from clear.

“We may not have even invented the best device yet,” said Robert Thresher, a research fellow at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

From a technical point of view, operating in the ocean is far more difficult than on land; building offshore wind installations, for example, tends to be significantly more expensive than constructing wind farms onshore. Saltwater is a hostile environment for devices, and the waves themselves offer a challenge for energy harvesting as they not only roll past a device but also bob up and down or converge from all sides in confused seas. This provides enticing opportunities for energy capture, but a challenge for optimum design.

“I’d like to be optimistic, but I don’t think realistically I can be,” said George Hagerman, a research associate in the Virginia Tech University’s Advanced Research Institute and a contributor to the U.S. Department of Energy’s assessment of wave energy’s potential. “You’ve got all those cost issues of working in the ocean that offshore wind illustrates, and then you’ve got [an energy] conversion technology that really no one seems to have settled on a design that is robust, reliable, and efficient. With wind, you’re harnessing the energy as a function of the speed of the wind. In wave energy, you’ve not only got the height of the wave, but you’ve got the period of the wave, so it becomes a more complicated problem.”

A recurring theme among wave power experts is that wave energy is where wind energy was three decades ago. At that time, engineers had not settled on the optimal design for wind turbines, but decades of ensuing research have resulted in highly sophisticated turbine designs. With wave power, some research occurred after the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, but since then government and commercial research and development into wave power has paled compared to wind and solar energy.

As with any energy source, the fundamental roadblock toward more widespread deployment is cost. So far, the wave energy field is filled with small companies picking off small amounts of government funding where they can. It will likely require the participation of some large companies, such as GE or Siemens (both major manufacturers of wind turbines) before wave power really gets rolling, according to numerous experts. Those companies may be waiting for the technology to sort itself out before investing, a common dilemma in any nascent field.

In spite of the challenges inherent to the medium, the industry is progressing, albeit slowly. There are a few small wave farms and pilot projects in the water, including Pelamis Wave Power’s first-ever wave farm off the coast of Northern Portugal. That company has a few megawatt-scale wave farms planned, while others, like Ocean Power Technologies, continue to deploy test devices to improve buoy-based technology.

Australian company Carnegie Wave plans to commission a “commercial scale” installation near Perth later this year, using a fully submerged device that uses wave power to pump water to shore for conversion to electricity. And there are signs that big-company buy-in is starting, as evidenced by Lockheed Martin’s Australia project, which will use a buoy technology that generates electricity from the rising and falling of waves.

Another company, M3 Wave, plans to install a new device just off the Oregon coast this summer. M3 will be using a pressure-based device, sitting out of sight on the ocean floor. As a wave passes over it, air inside the device is pushed by pressure changes from one chamber to another, spinning a turbine to generate electricity.

So far, projects producing only a handful of megawatts have actually made it into the water, but experts say the industry needn’t settle on one device before substantial progress occurs.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if what we eventually find is there will be a device that we use in deeper water, and a device that we use nearer the shore,” said Belinda Batten, a professor at Oregon State University and the director of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center.

The process to refine those technologies is ongoing. The European Marine Energy Centre in Scotland’s Orkney Islands allows companies to connect their devices to existing infrastructure and cabling to test their electricity-generating capabilities and identify problems. Batten said her center based at Oregon State is in the permitting and approval process for a counterpart testing center that will enable companies to connect to the existing electricity grid for testing purposes.

The location of those two testing sites is no accident, as they are situated in maritime regions known for energetic waves. The Pacific Northwest and Alaska will likely have a monopoly on the U.S.’s first generation of wave projects, while in Europe the United Kingdom — Scotland in particular — is focusing heavily on wave energy development. The U.K. government says the country could potentially get as much as 75 percent of its energy needs from the waves and tides combined; the U.S. Department of Energy, meanwhile, estimates that wave power in the U.S. could generate as much 1,170 terawatt-hours per year, which is equivalent to more than one quarter of all U.S. electricity consumption.

Thresher of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory says that wave power’s first markets may well be in remote places like Alaska, where energy is expensive because of reliance on costly imported fuels like diesel. “There has been an interest in some of the island communities,” Thresher said.

With the industry starting to develop larger projects and continuing to test myriad devices in search of the best designs, does that mean wave power could finally be on its way, just as wind was 25 years ago?

Jason Busch, executive director of the Oregon Wave Energy Trust — a non-profit group dedicated to helping advance the industry — said that there are too many variables, such as the price of natural gas or eventual passage of a carbon tax, to apply the experience of wind or solar power to a different technology and time period.

“In my opinion the biggest issue is the failure to price carbon,” said Busch. “As long as we refuse to internalize the cost of greenhouse gases, then we’re playing on an unlevel playing field.”

In spite of the hurdles, though, he thinks that steady technical progress will lead to substantial amounts of grid-connected wave power by 2035. “In the course of 10 years we have gone from having zero wave energy technologies that are even remotely viable to having several in the water, and on the cusp of commercial viability,” Busch said. “We’re making some really good progress.”
...Read more

Monday, May 26, 2014

Upcoming Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of May 31, 2014 to June 1, 2014:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Introduction to Birdwatching
Saturdays, 12 – 1 p.m.
Free
Explore the Park's natural areas and learn how to look for amazing birds.

Pop-Up Audubon
Saturdays and Sundays, April 5 – October 19, 12 – 5 p.m. / November – December, 12 – 4 p.m.
Free
The Prospect Park Alliance presents Pop-Up Audubon, now in its second season, which invites families to directly engage with nature through outdoor learning in locations around the Park.

Sunday, June 1, 2014
Morning Bird Walk: Local Nesters
Sunday, June 1, 8 a.m.
Free
Meet the amazing local birds raising families in Prospect Park on this expert-guided walk. Start your Sunday morning surrounded by nature!

Pop-Up Audubon
Saturdays and Sundays, April 5 – October 19, 12 – 5 p.m. / November – December, 12 – 4 p.m.
Free
The Prospect Park Alliance presents Pop-Up Audubon, now in its second season, which invites families to directly engage with nature through outdoor learning in locations around the Park.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways
Leader: Mike Yuan
Focus: coastal breeding birds, late migrants, shorebirds
Car fee: $12.00
Registrar: Dennis Hrehowsik, email deepseagangster@gmail.com
Registration Period: May 20th - May 29th Mar 4 - Mar 13

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Wallkill River NWR and Environs
Leader: Diana Teta
Registrar: Karen Asakawa – avocet501@gmail.com or 347-306-0690
Registration opens: Monday May 19
Ride: $40

**********

Littoral Society
Saturday, May 31, 2014
10 AM – 1 PM
Horseshoe Crabs and Shorebirds
Guide: Don Riepe, American Littoral Society
Meet at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center and carpool to the Broad Channel beach site to see the annual mating ritual of the horseshoe crab and the shorebirds that feed on eggs of the crabs. This program is free and in partnership with NYC Audubon and Gateway National Recreation Area. For questions and rsvp, email: NEChapter@littoralsociety.org or call (718)474-0896.

Sunday, June 1, 2014
Time: 1 PM - 5 PM
Community Marsh Planting Day in Jamaica Bay!
Open Call for Volunteers! Please join us for a community-led planting and restoration day on Ruler's Bar and Blackwall marsh islands in Jamaica Bay. For the second year, we are teaming up with the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers to organize a day of planting plugs of spartina alterniflora (marsh grass), repairing fencing and clearing debris as part of our Marsh Restoration Initiative, the first-ever community led marsh restoration project in a National Park.

Limited number of spots available. Advance registration required, along with completion of waiver forms. Click here to register.

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, May 31, 2014, 7:00am – 8:30am
The Birds of Woodlawn Cemetery
Guides: Tod Winston, Joseph McManus, Woodlawn Conservancy Docent With the Woodlawn Conservancy Meet at the Jerome Avenue entrance of Woodlawn Cemetery. Join us for a morning bird walk and tour of beautiful Woodlawn Cemetery: Tod Winston and Joseph Mcmanus will look for spring migrants and year-round residents on the expansive, wooded cemetery grounds, while a Woodlawn Conservancy docent shares fascinating stories about Woodlawn’s history and the interesting mixture of individuals interred there. Limited to 15. To register, call the Woodlawn Conservancy at 718-920-1469. Adult admission $15; Seniors, students, and NYC Audubon members $10 (payment at time of walk).
Free admission for children under 6.

Saturday, May 31, 2014, 8:00am – 9:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walk (spring)
Guide: NYC Audubon, Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy With the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy Meet at Van Cortlandt Nature Center. The history of birding and Van Cortlandt Park are inseparable. Influential birders such as Roger Tory Peterson and Allan D. Cruickshank got their starts on Van Cortlandt’s ecologically diverse grounds. These walks celebrate the tradition set forth by these great ornithologists. Participants will look for various species of residents and migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics.
For more information, please call 212-691-7483. No registration necessary. No limit. Free.

Saturday, May 31, 2014, 10am – 1pm
NYC Audubon Horsehoe Crabs and Shorebirds
Guide: Don Riepe with Gateway National Recreation Area Meet at the the Jamaica Bay NWR Visitor Center to see the annual mating ritual of the prehistoric horseshoe crab, along with red knots, sanderlings, and ruddy turnstones. Hike along the beach and marshland edges to see fiddler crabs, egrets, and othe wildlife. Bring lunch and binoculars.
To register, contact Don Riepe at 718-474-0896 or donriepe@gmail.com. Limited to 25. Free

Sunday, June 1, 2014, 1pm – 5pm
Community Saltmarsh Grass Planting
With American Littoral Society, Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers Join us for a community-led planting and restoration day on Ruler’s Bar and Blackwall marsh islands in Jamaica Bay. For the second year, we are teaming up with the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers to organize a day of planting plugs of Spartina alterniflora (saltmarsh grass), repairing fencing, and clearing debris as part of our Marsh Restoration Initiative, the first-ever community led marsh restoration project in a National Park.
Please contact the American Littoral Society at 718-474-0896 to register for the event. NYC Audubon is providing transportation from Manhattan; to reserve a seat please RSVP to volunteer@nycaudubon.org. Limited to 40

Sunday, June 1, 2014, 6pm – 9pm

Sunset EcoCruise to the Harbor Heron Islands: Jamaica Bay
Guide: Gabriel Willow With New York Water Taxi Meet at South Street Seaport's Pier 16. We're excited about this summer's ecocruises; we’ve expanded our explorations of the City's island rookeries to three different locations! Depending on which weekend you choose, cruises may visit the fascinating Brother Islands, the large egret and cormorant colonies on Hoffman and Swinburne Islands, or the great expanses of Jamaica Bay. Whichever your destination, you'll experience the wonders of New York's famous harbor at sunset and see some of the three thousand herons, egrets, and ibis nesting on these urban island treasures.
To learn about specific cruise dates and register, visit New York Water Taxi online or by phone at 212-742-1969. Limited to 140. Pricing varies by destination.

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Sunday, June 1, 2014, 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Old Mill Road
Meet behind St Andrew’s Church, at the end of Old Mill Road. Participants will be enveloped in scenic old woodlands as we visit the historic remains of Ketchum’s Mill. We will continue onto the red trail where will visit a swamp forest dominated by iconic tree species like red maple, sweetgum, and pin oak.
For more information e-mail Will Lenihan at wleni5584@gmail.com or call 518-645-0220.

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Bird Walk at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.
NYC Audubon experts lead the way as we marvel at quirky but logical bird behavior and delicate feathers in exquisite patterns. Bring binoculars if you have them and wear sturdy…
Free!

Birding: Hawk Watch at Parking Lot, Queens
11:00 a.m.
New York City is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife. Our Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in New York City. We offer birding programs…
Free!

Pop-Up Audubon: Wonderful Warblers at Binnen Bridge (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
The Prospect Park Alliance presents Pop-Up Audubon, now in its second season, which invites families to directly engage with nature through outdoor learning in locations around the Park.
Free!

Introduction to Bird Watching at Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Join the Alliance to learn about the 250 species of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Free!

Sunday, June 1, 2014
Pop-Up Audubon: Incredible Invertebrates at Entrance to the Ravine, downhill from the Picnic House (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
The Prospect Park Alliance presents Pop-Up Audubon, now in its second season, which invites families to directly engage with nature through outdoor learning in locations around the Park.
Free!
...Read more

Friday, May 23, 2014

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, May 23, 2014:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* May 23, 2014
* NYNY1405.23

- Birds Mentioned

WHITE-FACED IBIS+
MISSISSIPPI KITE+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Red-necked Grebe
Sooty Shearwater
Wilson’s Storm Petrel
LEAST BITTERN
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Cattle Egret
Glossy Ibis
White-rumped Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Glaucous Gull
Gull-billed Tern
Roseate Tern
Black Skimmer
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Black-billed Cuckoo
Red-headed Woodpecker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Acadian Flycatcher
Alder Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird X Western Kingbird hybrid
Philadelphia Vireo
Gray-Cheeked Thrush
Bicknell’s Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Tennessee Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Kentucky Warbler
Mourning Warbler
Hooded Warbler
Summer Tanager
Saltmarsh Sparrow
Seaside Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Blue Grosbeak

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form found at http://www.nybirds.org/NYSARC/goodreport.htm

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44nybirdsorg

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

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

Compiler: Tom Burke, Tony Lauro
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]
Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, May 23 at 5:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are MISSISSIPPI KITE, WHITE-FACED IBIS, LEAST BITTERN, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE and numerous spring migrants.

An interesting, if inconsistent week, with some decent migration sprinkled with a few nice rarities.

Very early last Saturday two MISSISSIPPI KITES were reported over Saw Mill Creek Marsh in northwestern Staten Island. This was followed by a subadult flying over Big John’s Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Saturday mid-day; a quickly placed call enabled a group of birders on the West Pond to pick the bird up as it crossed over Cross Bay Boulevard and turned north, ultimately disappearing towards Spring Creek. On Tuesday another was noted in north central Staten Island, and on Wednesday a very briefly seen raptor moving over the Rye Nature Center in Westchester was also probably a Mississippi Kite, so be on the alert for them.

A WHITE-FACED IBIS found Friday the 9th was still being seen with GLOSSY IBIS at least to Tuesday in Captree Marsh on the north side of Captree Island, just west of the Robert Moses Causeway and before you enter the private community there. If there, please park off the road near the information sign and do not block the roadway. Other birds there have included a STILT SANDPIPER to Saturday and LITTLE BLUE HERON.

Not on last week’s tape, a RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was photographed off Battery Park in southern Manhattan back on May 10th.

A LEAST BITTERN was seen a couple of times as it flushed at Plum Beach in Brooklyn last Saturday, when a Red-Necked Grebe was also still offshore there.

A very interesting flycatcher spotted in Northville on Long Island’s north fork last Saturday superficially resembled a Cassin’s Kingbird, but has been judged to be an apparent EASTERN KINGBIRD X WESTERN KINGBIRD hybrid.

An excellent variety of land birds this week, many arriving with Wednesday’s decent flight, featured over 2 dozen species of warblers, including a respectable number of MOURNING WARBLERS detected at numerous locations, and KENTUCKY WARBLER in Forest Park Sunday and Central Park Wednesday. Others included TENNESSEE and BAY-BREASTED WARBLERS in good numbers and fewer CAPE MAY and HOODED WARBLERS.

A female BLUE GROSBEAK visited Prospect Park’s Butterfly Meadow today.

SUMMER TANAGERS occurred in Central Park at the Ramble and at the north end during the week, with singles also at Valley Stream State Park Sunday, Greenwood Cemetery Monday, Sunken Meadow State Park Tuesday and Wednesday, Forest Park Wednesday, and the Belmont Lake State Park corridor at Marcy Avenue today, with two at Willbowbrook Park on Staten Island on Wednesday.

The recent influx of Thrushes provided decent numbers of GRAY-CHEEKEDS, and BICKNELL’S THRUSHES have also been reported, this interesting bird probably more closely resembles HERMIT THRUSH than Gray-Cheeked, so knowing the song and hearing it sing are very helpful towards identification.

Other reports from the parks this week have included PHILADELPHIA VIREO, very unusual here in spring, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, and all five eastern Empidonax flycatchers, including YELLOW-BELLIED, ALDER, and ACADIAN, hopefully all singing, plus both YELLOW-BILLED and BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS and LINCOLN’S SPARROW.

A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was on the east side of the Great Lawn in Central Park Tuesday.

SOOTY SHEARWATERS have occurred off Robert Moses State Park Field 2 yesterday and today, with WILSON’S STORM PETREL also there today, and their numbers should be on the increase. Ocean watching does seem to get better the further east you go on Long Island’s south shore.

Also of note, a GLAUCOUS GULL was at Smith Point Park in Shirley Monday, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were at Breezy Point and the Rockaways last Saturday, two GULL-BILLED TERNS were at Nickerson Beach Tuesday, and a CATTLE EGRET was at Croton Point yesterday. Four WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, 2 ROSEATE TERNS, BLACK SKIMMER, TRICOLORED HERON and SEASIDE and SALTMARSH SPARROWS were among the birds at Cupsogue County Park and adjacent Pike’s Beach in Westhampton Dunes last Sunday. And if visiting locations such as Connotquot State Park to view the nesting YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS, please do not use tapes on such scarce local breeders and keep disturbances to an absolute minimum.

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
...Read more

Friday's Foto

This Osprey is possible the most intimidating guard one could post to watch for scofflaws at this Brooklyn park. Prior to the banning of the pesticide DDT, populations of this raptor declined so precipitously that they were listed as endangered in New York and other states. They have since rebounded and are now more favorably listed as "Special Concern". Like owls, the Osprey is the only other raptor whose outer toe is reversible, allowing them to hold their prey with two toes facing forward and two facing back.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Dawn Birding at the Marsh

Below is an edit of a piece that I just posted on the New York State birding forum:

I decided to take a break from searching for migrating songbirds in the wooded areas of Prospect Park and Green-Wood Cemetery. Instead, on Saturday morning Heydi Lopes and I headed down to the water's edge. We ended up birding at Brooklyn's Plum Beach from 5am until about 8am. Low-tide was at 4:35am and we had hoped to find some shorebirds on one of Brooklyn's few remaining mudflats. We were also looking for wading birds, rails and marsh sparrows within the small marsh that lies between the dunes to the south and parkway to the north. It was a pretty good morning with one nice surprise.

With only moonlight illuminating the beach when we first arrived, it was difficult to identify most of the birds within a fairly decent sized flock of shorebirds roosting close to shore. As the sky lightened we eventually figured out that they were mostly Sanderling, Least Sandpiper and Semipalmated Sandpiper. There was also a single Ruddy Turnstone in the mix. A few Black-bellied Plover were much farther from the shore, as were the ubiquitous oystercatchers and a couple of Willets.

This east-west peninsula on the north side of Jamaica Bay runs from Sheepshead Bay to Plum Channel. The eastern terminus gives birders access to the remnant marsh habitat here. Along our walk towards the rising sun we encountered a couple of hundred overturned horseshoe crabs having just made their annual pilgrimage to this beach to spawn. We spent probably 30 minutes flipping them back over so they could make their way back to the water and to also protect them from hungry, opportunistic gulls that would peck open their soft, vulnerable underside. I'm not sure how or why they always end up this way here. A ranger told me that strong outgoing tides could possible be to blame. Horseshoe crab populations are in steep decline and their eggs are an important food source for migrating shorebirds. If you ever see them struggling to right themselves, please lend a hand. They may look scary, but are quite harmless. Just lift them from either side of their shell and turn them back over.

The most obvious change at the marsh side of Plum Beach since my last visit 2 weeks earlier was the sound of lots of quarreling Clapper Rails. These chicken-like marsh birds are more often heard than seen as their scurry around under the cover of spartina grass, but on Saturday we spotted several walking around the edges of the mud and occasionally chasing each other. Another marsh bird we encountered here was Seaside Sparrow. Their wispy song is often described as a distant Red-winged Blackbird. Saltmarsh Sparrow is another marsh specialist that is usually only found in Brooklyn here or along Gerritsen Creek. I cupped me ears trying to tease out the weak, "whisper" song of this pretty sparrow with an orange-yellow face. We never heard one. A Little Blue Heron was seen mostly at the far west side of the marsh. Several terns circled the area and a large flock of Black Skimmers flew in and settled down on the beach at around 6am.

The morning's extreme low-tide drained the marsh down to the point where we were able to walk down into the muddy bowl at the center. At one point Heydi inadvertently flushed up a tiny wading bird that flew out in front of me. I shouted to her, "Least Bittern!" This Brooklyn rarity then quickly dropped down into the grass near the north side of the marsh. Our friends Keir and Tom, who had arrived about an hour after us, were making their way down the beach, and texted me almost immediately after I tweeted out news of the bittern. We waited for them before attempting to refind this tiny heron. Cautiously approaching the far side of the marsh to check the edges of one channel, we still managed to flush the bird again and it flew deeper into the marsh. I felt really bad for stressing the bird and we didn't pursue it again, instead we scanned with our scopes from the opposite side of the marsh. Not surprisingly, this small, secretive bird had vanished into the grass. This was only the third time that I'd seen a Least Bittern in Brooklyn in 22 years. The first one I found perched, uncharacteristically, in a cherry tree in Prospect Park. The date was April 4, 2004. Here's a photo of the bird taken by my friend Steve:



*********

Location: Plum Beach
Date: May 17, 2014
Species: 47

Brant
Common Loon
Double-crested Cormorant
Least Bittern
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Little Blue Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Clapper Rail
American Oystercatcher
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Killdeer
Willet
Ruddy Turnstone
Sanderling
Least Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Laughing Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Least Tern
Common Tern
Forster's Tern
Black Skimmer (approx. 200)
Chimney Swift
Eastern Kingbird
Warbling Vireo
Fish Crow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Marsh Wren
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Yellow Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Seaside Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Boat-tailed Grackle

Other common species seen (or heard):
Mute Swan, Mallard, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Rock Pigeon, European Starling, House Sparrow
...Read more

Green-Wood Red-tailed Hawk Update

I went into Green-Wood Cemetery the other day to check in on the nesting Red-tailed Hawks. It is around the time when we should be seeing signs of hatchlings.

This year's nest is in a pine tree at the opposite side of "The Flats" from the previous year's. Also, "Junior" has a new, as-yet-to-be-given-a-name mate. I was excited at the prospect of a new hawk generation. My optimism turned to disappointment when I found an empty nest. Earlier, as I walked across the cemetery towards the nest, I spotted a pair of adult red-tails soaring together over Central Ridge. It seemed too early in the breeding season for the pair to be out hunting together and I got a bad feeling about the sighting. I sat on the hillside opposite the nest tree for over 30 minutes hoping that, perhaps, the parents felt it was safe enough to leave their offspring for just a short period of time. In the past I have observed the parents leaving the nest for 10 or 15 minute intervals, but at this early date 30 minutes could only be a bad sign. I won't speculate why they might not have been successful as there are lots of reasons. Maybe next year.

On my walk to the nest I had had a very funny experience. There has been at least one immature Red-tailed Hawk (a "Brown-tailed) hanging around the cemetery and I crossed paths with what looked like a small male hawk near DeWitt Clinton's statue. The hawk was standing in the grass on the hillside above the monument. There were several nearby robins making nonstop alarm calls. At first I thought that the young raptor had just caught a robin as its head was down, its bill busy with some unseen prey. Then it jerked its head up and tossed a piece of wood into the air. The hawk ran over to where it landed and jabbed it with its razor-sharp talons. Grabbing what looked like a chunk of bark, the hawk repeated the move, throwing it into the air, then running over to retrieve it. This play went on for a few minutes until it got a little too close to me for comfort and the red-tail flew off, toy held firmly in its talons. Here's a series of shots I took of the action:






...Read more

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Treehugger Tuesday

The following article was just posted in "Wildlife News:"

$200 to reduce albatross deaths by 95%
Posted by: Kevin Heath

A $200 device that can be fitted to trawlers has been demonstrated to reduce albatross by-catch deaths by 95% and scientists are now calling for the devices to be made mandatory. The bird scarring lines also reduce by-catch deaths of other birds by between 73% and 95% during the winter months.

A research paper published in Animal Conservation show how successful a simple bird-scaring line attached to trawlers can be to prevent birds from becoming entangled in nets and cables. The study used data collected from trawl fisheries in the South African deep-water hake trawl fishery.

In 2004, 9300 birds died in the fishery including 7,200 albatrosses. The researchers then studied the by-catch of trawlers fitted with the single deterrent of bird-scaring lines during the years 2006 – 2010. If the fitting of bird-scarring lines were mandatory the research estimated that 990 sea birds would have been killed with 83 albatrosses killed.

The bird-scarring lines were particularly effective with albatrosses – in by-catch of unfitted trawlers albatrosses made up the majority if killed sea birds while in trawlers fitted with the line the percentage of by-catch being albatrosses’ dropped to 22%.

Albatrosses are the most threatened group of birds on earth, with fishery-related deaths being the biggest threat to this group. Due to the many months they spend at sea at a time, Albatrosses produce few off-spring, meaning that these deaths have a disproportionately damaging impact on the global population.

The sea birds are most at risk during the winter when nets are being set and bait being laid.

Paper reference: Maree, B. A., Wanless, R. M., Fairweather, T. P., Sullivan, B. J. and Yates, O. (2014), Significant reductions in mortality of threatened seabirds in a South African trawl fishery. Animal Conservation. doi: 10.1111/acv.12126
...Read more

Monday, May 19, 2014

Upcoming Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of May 24, 2014 to May 25, 2014:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Introduction to Birdwatching
Saturdays, through June 28, 12 – 1 p.m.
Free
Explore the Park's natural areas and learn how to look for amazing birds.


**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Doodletown and Sterling Forest
Leader: Tom Preston
Focus: migration peak and early breeding birds
Car Fee: $35.00
Registrar: JoAnn Preston, email (preferred) jocrochet@verizon.net or call 1-718-344-8420 before 9PM
Registration Period: May 13th - May 22nd
Note: group limited to 16 participants

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday May 24, 2014; rain date May 25
Doodletown and Mine Road
Leader: Paul Keim
Registrar: Anne Lazarus – amlazarus@earthlink.net or 212-673-9059
Registration opens: Monday May 12
Ride: $30

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, May 24, 2014, 8:00am – 9:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walk (spring)
Guide: NYC Audubon, Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy With the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy Meet at Van Cortlandt Nature Center. The history of birding and Van Cortlandt Park are inseparable. Influential birders such as Roger Tory Peterson and Allan D. Cruickshank got their starts on Van Cortlandt’s ecologically diverse grounds. These walks celebrate the tradition set forth by these great ornithologists. Participants will look for various species of residents and migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics. For more information, please call 212-691-7483. No registration necessary. No limit. Free.

Sunday, May 25, 2014, 10am – 11am
Birding for Families
Sundays, March 2 - May 25, 10-11am Guides: NYC Audubon Offered by the Central Park Conservancy Meet at the Dana Discovery Center (inside the Park at 110th Street between Lenox and Fifth Avenues). Bring the kids and visit one of New York City’s richest bird habitats. Learn as a family how to spot and identify our feathered neighbors in their natural surroundings. Binoculars can be borrowed from the Visitor Center. For weather cancellation information, call 212-860-1370. Limited to 20. Age 5 and up.
Free. Click here to learn more and to register

**********

North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Lenore Figueroa: 718-343-1391

Walks are for beginners and experienced birders alike. Weather permitting, walks start at 9:30 a.m. unless indicated otherwise. If in doubt, call the trip leader. Please note: all phone numbers are code 516 unless otherwise shown. In most cases, your contacts are the trip leaders.
The early winter walks are leaderless. For questions, contact Wendy Murbach at 546-6303.
For directions, click sitefinder view.
We encourage carpooling where feasable.

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Sunday, May 25, 2014, 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
High Rock Park
Meet in the Nevada Avenue parking lot at High Rock Park. Participants will experience the legacy of biodiversity left behind by the Wisconsin Glacier 12,000 years ago. The diverse glacial soil of High Rock Park Supports an even more diverse array of native wildflowers. We will search for these species and visit scenic Stump Pond along the way.
For more information e-mail Will Lenihan at wleni5584@gmail.com or call 518-645-0220.

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Sterling Forest Minitrip
Leader: Arie Gilbert 917-693-7178
Note: Mini Trips break after lunch +/-

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Bird Walk at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.
NYC Audubon experts lead the way as we marvel at quirky but logical bird behavior and delicate feathers in exquisite patterns. Bring binoculars if you have them and wear sturdy…
Free!

Summer on the Hudson: Nature Walks at West 79th Street and Riverside Drive (in Riverside Park), Manhattan
9:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
May 24th’s walk will start at the 79th Street Boat Basin and will explore the trees and birds along the river to the gardens at West 91st Street.
Free!

Pop-Up Audubon: Wonderful Warblers at Binnen Bridge (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
The Prospect Park Alliance presents Pop-Up Audubon, now in its second season, which invites families to directly engage with nature through outdoor learning in locations around the Park.
Free!

Introduction to Bird Watching at Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Join the Alliance to learn about the 250 species of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Free!

Sunday, May 25, 2014
Birding: Hawk Watch at High Rock Park, Staten Island
9:00 a.m.
New York City is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife. Our Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in New York City. We offer birding programs…
Free!

Freshkills Park Birding Hike at Eltingville Transit Center (in Freshkills Park), Staten Island
10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Join us as we search for the birds of Freshkills Park along the site's wetlands, creeks and meadows with naturalists from the Staten Island Museum.
Free!

Pop-Up Audubon: Wonderful Warblers at Binnen Bridge (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
The Prospect Park Alliance presents Pop-Up Audubon, now in its second season, which invites families to directly engage with nature through outdoor learning in locations around the Park.
Free!
...Read more

Friday, May 16, 2014

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, May 16, 2014:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
*May 16, 2014
* NYNY1405.16

- Birds Mentioned

WHITE-FACED IBIS+
MISSISSIPPI KITE+
BLACK-NECKED STILT+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

“Black” Brant
MANX SHEARWATER
Glossy Ibis
Virginia Rail
Sora
Common Gallinule
Stilt Sandpiper
WILSON’S PLOVER
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE
Gull-billed Tern
Roseate Tern
Black Skimmer
Parasitic Jaeger
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Black-billed Cuckoo
Red-headed Woodpecker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Acadian Flycatcher
Alder Flycatcher
Orange-crowned Warbler
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER
KENTUCKY WARBLER
Mourning Warbler
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
SUMMER TANAGER
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW
Savannah Sparrow
GRASSHOPPER SPARROW
Saltmarsh Sparrow

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form found at http://www.nybirds.org/NYSARC/goodreport.htm

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44nybirdsorg

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

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

Compiler: Tom Burke, Tony Lauro
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]
Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, May 16 at 6:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are MISSISSIPPI KITE, WILSON’S PLOVER, BLACK-NECKED STILT, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, MANX SHEARWATER, PROTHONOTARY and KENTUCKY WARBLERS, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, SUMMER TANAGER, and CLAY-COLORED and GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS and more.

An immature MISSISSIPPI KITE spotted and recognizably photographed over Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn last Saturday morning was perhaps the same bird spotted there Sunday morning and possibly over Forest Park, Queens early Sunday, but would not have been the adult reported from Montauk Point on Monday. Without large concentrations of cicadas this year, the Kites will be back to their normal regimen and could reappear anywhere.

A WHITE-FACED IBIS was found with GLOSSY IBIS today in Captree Marsh on the north side of Captree Island, a private island west of the Robert Moses Causeway. A STILT SANDPIPER was also noted there. Also on Friday a RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was seen along the shore at Old Inlet on Fire Island, with one also later at Cupsogue County Park in Westhampton Dunes. Sea-watching Friday morning produced decent general movement on the ocean plus a MANX SHEARWATER and two PARASITIC JAEGERS off Robert Moses State Park, with additional single Parasitics also off Smith Point County Park and at Captree.

The BLACK-NECKED STILT recently residing on Goethels Bridge Pond in northwestern Staten Island was still being recorded at least to Sunday, and the WILSON’S PLOVER was reported again from Cupsogue County Park last Saturday.

Five GULL-BILLED TERNS along with arriving BLACK SKIMMERS were at Nickerson Beach west of Point Lookout last Saturday, and three Gull-billeds were at Jones Beach West End Sunday and Monday.

To finalize the non-passerines, RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were spotted at Kissena Park, Queens Monday and at Jones Beach West End Tuesday, a “BLACK” BRANT was seen and photographed with some “ATLANTIC” BRANT at Marshlands Conservancy in Rye Wednesday and Thursday, but not relocated Friday, and numbers of both CUCKOOS are slowly increasing.

With a variety of passerines present this week, perhaps most unusual among them was an influx of GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS last Saturday; single birds were seen at Inwood Hill Park in Manhattan, at Jones Beach West End, and at Playland Park in Rye, with two reported from Van Cortland Park in the Bronx—all were with migrating SAVANNAH SPARROWS and none were relocated the following day. Also interesting were two CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS in Central Park on Monday.

Most regional parks enjoyed a good variety of land birds this week, at least until the weather messed things up again. Among the Warblers, MOURNING began showing up last weekend, and a KENTUCKY was in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn Monday, that same day finding a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT and a PROTHONOTARY WARBLER in Central Park, where the ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER lingered to Sunday, these among the 35 species of warblers enjoyed in our region, including several specialties already on territory.

A SUMMER TANAGER was seen in Central Park through last weekend, with other singles at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Saturday, in Forest Park near the waterhole last weekend, at Alley Pond Park Saturday, and at Uplands Park Preserve in Cold Spring Harbor, Tuesday.

Various Flycatchers have also been reported recently, these including OLIVE-SIDED, ACADIAN, ALDER, and YELLOW-BELLIED. Other arrivals have included VIRGINIA RAIL, SORA, COMMON GALLINULE, ROSEATE TERN, and SALTMARSH SPARROW.

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
...Read more

Exploring urban nature, birds, birdwatching, birding, hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, hawks, raptors, wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, environment, binoculars, spotting scope