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Saturday, November 24, 2018

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, November 23, 2018:

* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Nov. 23, 2018
* NYNY1811.23

- Birds mentioned
Lesser Black-backed Gull
American Bittern
Short-eared Owl
Purple Finch
Common Redpoll
Pine Siskin
Grasshopper Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow
Orange-crowned Warbler
Northern Parula
Cape May Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler

- 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

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

Transcriber: Ben Cacace


(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, November 23rd 2018 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are BLACK-HEADED GULL, SANDHILL CRANE, NORTHERN SHRIKE, EURASIAN WIGEON, "Black" BRANT, MARBLED GODWIT, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, DICKCISSEL and winter finches including RED CROSSBILL and EVENING GROSBEAK.

Certainly the weather this week had an impact on the numbers and quality of rare birds encountered locally.

An adult BLACK-HEADED GULL, presumed to be a returning winter resident, was spotted Monday morning around the southwest portion of Conscience Bay north of Setauket. Unfortunately lack of public access makes viewing parts of the bay rather difficult.

Six SANDHILL CRANES were spotted Sunday heading west past the Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch at the Butler Sanctuary in Bedford these presumably part of the influx noted moving into Westchester County late last week.

An immature NORTHERN SHRIKE was spotted last Saturday morning at the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center in Brooklyn, this possibly the bird seen 6 days earlier at Fort Tilden and so may be continuing in the area. A EURASIAN WIGEON seen again at the Salt Marsh Nature Center last weekend was just one of four noted this week. The others, all drakes, including one at Blydenburgh County Park in Smithtown last Sunday, one again Wednesday on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and another on Avon Lake in Amityville today. Another interesting waterfowl was a "Black" BRANT seen again at Fort Tilden Thursday. This bird sometimes also on the adjacent Riis Park golf course.

Of the 3 or 4 MARBLED GODWITS recently seen on the bar off the Jones Beach West End Coast Guard Station at least one was still continuing there today.

A SHORT-EARED OWL paying a surprise visit to Randall's Island yesterday reminds us that as our wintering owls begin moving into the area we should all remember to exercise caution around these vulnerable visitors as continued harassment has all too often caused needless stress on these wonderful birds.

Some LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS continue in the area including 3 Tuesday at both Jones Beach West End and Robert Moses State Park with another at Bush Terminal Piers Park in Brooklyn Thursday.

A AMERICAN BITTERN was photographed in Prospect Park Wednesday.

The anticipation of winter finches this season continues to build and PURPLE FINCHES and PINE SISKINS have already arrived and continue to move through with small numbers of EVENING GROSBEAKS and RED CROSSBILLS joining the movement. Recent GROSBEAKS included one at a Wading River feeder Saturday, a flyover at Jones Beach West End Sunday and one at the north end of Central Park Monday. Jones Beach West End seems to so far have been the best place to see RED CROSSBILLS with up to 14 visiting the pines near the turnaround on Wednesday that same day finding 2 at Floyd Bennett Field. The very few COMMON REDPOLLS reported have been flyovers these including 2 at Fort Tilden Thursday morning but their numbers are quickly building up north of us.

A LAPLAND LONGSPUR appeared with Snow Buntings and Horned Larks at Smith Point County Park Wednesday morning and single DICKCISSEL reports featured heard birds at Jones Beach West End Sunday and at Conference House Park on Staten Island Monday. A GRASSHOPPER SPARROW was at Playland Park in Rye last weekend.

Joining several ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS lately have been such late warblers as 2 OVENBIRDS in Union Square Park Wednesday with a CAPE MAY there the day before, 2 NORTHERN PARULAS at Jones Beach West End last weekend and BLACK-THROATED BLUE in Central Park.

Recent influxes have included SNOW GEESE and AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS.

To phone in reports on Long Island call Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 or call Tom Burke at (914) 967-4922.

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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