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Friday, December 09, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, December 9, 2016:

* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Dec. 9, 2016
* NYNY1612.09

- Birds mentioned
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Red-necked Grebe
Rough-legged Hawk
Black-legged Kittiwake
Snowy Owl
Long-eared Owl
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Lapland Longspur
Orange-crowned Warbler
Pine Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Lincoln's Sparrow
Baltimore Oriole
Red Crossbill

Other taxa mentioned:
Selasphorus hummingbird
Empidonax flycatcher

- Transcript

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 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


Greetings. This is the NYS Rare Bird alert for Friday, December 9th 2016.

The highlights of today's tape include PACIFIC LOON, CAVE SWALLOW, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, WESTERN TANAGER, and a very unseasonal Empidonax flycatcher.

An Empidonax flycatcher found and photographed at Inwood Hill Park on Dec 8 was seen again this morning. Its identity has not been confirmed, but debate has centered on Yellow-bellied and "Western" Flycatchers, the latter comprising the sibling taxa, Pacific-slope and Cordilleran. Field impressions of shape and posture could help to determine the ID, as would additional photos and any information about vocalizations.

This season's run of ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS continued this week. The individual at Lido West Park persisted at least through Dec 4, and another Ash-throated was found at Marine Park, Brooklyn on Dec 5 and was seen to at least Dec 7. In the vicinity of the former was a late BALTIMORE ORIOLE, and of the latter were an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER and a very late BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, both seen at least through Dec 6.

On eastern Long Island, a basic plumaged PACIFIC LOON flew east past Camp Hero bluffs in Montauk on Dec 4, and a RED-NECKED GREBE, originally found Nov 23, continued on nearby Fort Pond to at least Dec 4. A dark morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was found hovering over the sand islands north of Cupsogue County Park Dec 4, and a Selasphorus hummingbird was still coming to a private Aquebogue feeder on Dec 5, now apparently accompanied by a second, unidentified hummingbird.

A CAVE SWALLOW at Point Lookout Fireman's Park was discovered Dec 3, spending some time along sandy path south of ball field during the day but not reported again afterwards.

The WESTERN TANAGER at City Hall Park was still present as of Dec 8, and the YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT there was still present at least to Dec 3. The Trinity Church Chat was present to at least Dec 4. Other seasonally unusual birds included a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER at Randall's Island, found Nov 28 and seen again Dec 4, as well as a late LINCOLN'S SPARROW at the much scarified Bryant Park Dec 3.

Highlights among the more regular winter species reported this week included a first-year BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE photographed from the base of the ferry terminal at Staten Island Dec 3, flying toward Bayonne, NJ; reports of SNOWY and LONG-EARED OWL; at least 2 LAPLAND LONGSPURS continuing with the Horned Lark flocks at Jones Beach West End, last reported Dec 2; and another flock of four RED CROSSBILLS, suggestive of at least a minor irruption this season. This flock flew into the pines at Midland Beach on Staten Island at the terminus of Father Capodanno Blvd on 7 Dec. In this same area were a DICKCISSEL and a PINE WARBLER.

The compilers for this week's RBA were Shaibal Mitra and Patricia Lindsay.

Tom Burke has returned from his trip to the Southern Ocean and would appreciate reports for next week. To phone in reports on weekdays call Tom Burke at (212) 372-1483.

- End transcript

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