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Saturday, April 03, 2021

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, April 2, 2020:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Apr. 2, 2021
* NYNY2104.02


- Birds mentioned
Progne spp. (CUBAN/CARIBBEAN/SINALOA/GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN)+
WESTERN TANAGER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

KING EIDER
HARLEQUIN DUCK
Chimney Swift
DOVEKIE
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Glaucous Gull
American Bittern
Snowy Egret
Rough-legged Hawk
Purple Martin
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Purple Finch
Common Redpoll
Red Crossbill
Pine Siskin
Chipping Sparrow
Louisiana Waterthrush
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER
Northern Parula
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER

- 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

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

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, April 2nd 2021 at 11pm. The highlights of today's tape are an as yet not specifically identified MARTIN at Prospect Park Lake, WESTERN TANAGER, DOVEKIE, KING EIDER and HARLEQUIN DUCK, BLACK-HEADED GULL, ORANGE-CROWNED and YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS, spring migrants and more.

Not an April Fool's joke but likely one of the year's highlights. Yesterday a MARTIN was spotted flying around Prospect Park Lake with Tree and other swallows. In close scrutiny then and today as the bird remained around the lake to sunset points to this being not a Purple Martin but either a GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN or one of the formerly Snowy Bellied complex now split into 3 species including CUBAN and CARIBBEAN MARTINS. Further analysis of photos and vocalizations will presumably provide the answer. The MARTIN was found this morning on the west side of the lake roosting in a tree with Tree Swallows and once it started feeding over the lake, usually at a low level, it did cover most of the lake but spent much of its time cruising the southwest corner of the lake. This area is just inside the park from Prospect Park Southwest where a prudent birder would begin a Saturday morning search.

A female WESTERN TANAGER in Manhattan's Carl Schurz Park was still present today as was the wintering ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER. The TANAGER is usually seen at the feeders just inside the park on the east side of East End Avenue just below East 86th Street while the warbler remains at the north end of the park along the border with Gracie Mansion.

A storm related occurrence of a DOVEKIE last Saturday at the north end of Georgica Cove and East Hampton ended with the bird swimming away down the cove. A young male KING EIDER was spotted off Robert Moses State Park field 2 last Saturday and today a female KING was reported with Common Eider by the jetties off Point Lookout Town Park with HARLEQUIN DUCKS also continuing there.

An adult BLACK-HEADED GULL was spotted at Coney Island Creek last Sunday and a GLAUCOUS GULL appeared again last Saturday at Flax Pond in Old Field north of Stony Brook. An ICELAND GULL was noted at Randall's Island Monday and Wednesday and on Central Park Reservoir Thursday and a few LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS included 3 at Jones Beach Tuesday.

An AMERICAN BITTERN continues along Dune Road and another was spotted in marshes at Oakwood Beach on Staten Island last Saturday.

A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was still around Captree Monday.

Lingering winter finches included a couple of COMMON REDPOLLS in Brooklyn's Green-wood Cemetery Wednesday. RED CROSSBILLS heard off Paumanok Trail by Jones Pond in Manorville last Saturday is a possible nesting area and some PINE SISKINS and PURPLE FINCHES currently moving through.

A YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was found at Connetquot River State Park in Great River yesterday and among other returning species this week have been SNOWY EGRET last Saturday, CHIMNEY SWIFT Monday, PURPLE MARTIN and BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER as of Saturday, CHIPPING SPARROW, LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH Tuesday and a NORTHERN PARULA found in Central Park Wednesday and still present today.

To phone in reports 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
...Read more

Monday, March 22, 2021

A New Cemetery Couple

At first I thought that Green-Wood Cemetery's resident pair of Red-tailed Hawks were exploring rentals on the opposite side of the cemetery from their usual digs. They seemed to be eyeing the large conifers behind Horace Greeley. That's where Bald Eagle "Rover" frequently dines. Then, about two weeks ago the red-tails began nest building at that spot.

There is a towering tuliptree nearby that the amorous couple has been using for their construction material. I got a few shots of one of the hawks snapping off a sizable branch for the nest. While watching with a couple of friends we noticed that one of the birds was banded! A blue band is on one leg, a silver on the other.
The blue one really stands out, so I'm pretty sure I would have noticed it before. This individual is also distinctive for its very dark, thick belly band. Also new to me. I checked Evan Rabeck's Flickr page to see if he had any photos of the cemetery nest builders. He has photos of a different pair perched side by side. Neither is banded.
It has been about a decade, but we have seen two pairs of Red-tailed Hawks nest in Green-Wood Cemetery. One year there were three nesting pairs in adjacent Prospect Park! I guess it is a sign that there is enough food to support a relatively large community of local raptors. If you'd like to check out the new nest, there is a really good view from the hill at the south-east side of the intersection of Oak and Hillock Avenues.


I look forward to seeing fledgling hawks perched on the head of Horace Greeley sometime in the near future.

Monday, March 15, 2021

A Classic NYC Birding Book

My birding mentor was an iconic Brooklyn character named Marty Sohmer. Since passed, he was well known and loved within the local birding community. In addition to teaching me great identification tips and relating timeless birding anecdotes (plus really corny jokes), he told me about a great book on birding around New York City called "Enjoying Birds Around New York City". Published in 1966, the authors were Robert Arbib, Jr., Olin Sewall Pettingill, Jr. and Sally Hoyt Spofford. All three were very important ornithologists and conservationists in their own rights.

One of the best features of this publication is the section titled "A Bird Watcher's Calendar". Each month has a few paragraphs which describe the seasonal event one should expect to observe. As a scientist Mr. Arbib shows a surprising sensitive and poetic nature to his descriptions. The March section begins, "Often the month of hope denied". There is a similar section, "Calendar for a Big List of Birds" which recommends weekly locations to maximize one's year list of birds. This book has been out of print for a very long time. Fortunately I stumbled on a copy while in a used bookstore in (of all places) Chatham, MA. It's in great condition and think I paid $15 for it. I've seen used copies available online.
The title page makes it clear that this book wins the award for longest title ever. Thirty-nine words!
This is not just a book about where to bird in New York City, but also how to bird: seasonal fluctuations, habitat preferences, family groupings, species field marks & vocalizations, behavior, etc. There is also a brief discussion on resources, such as binoculars and field guides.
The species accounts may be a little dated with regard to some of the currently accepted common names. Harrier is listed as "Marsh Hawk", kestrel is "Sparrow Hawk" and American Crow is "Common Crow", to name a few. For me, that is minor given the quality of the pen and ink illustrations that accompany the species accounts. They really are beautiful.
Finally, in a world of Google Earth satellite images in the palm of our hands, I find the 17 hand drawn maps in the book to go beyond simple navigation tools. To me they are art and make having this 55 year old publication on my bookshelf worth it. Are there other birding books with good information? Certainly, but much of the information contained within its 160 pages are, unbelievably, still relevant and useful. As a bonus, it is also filled with lovely illustrations, "historic" hand drawn maps of birding hot spots and a peek into birding around NYC nearly 60 years ago. It would make a nice addition to anyone's birding library.


Saturday, March 13, 2021

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, March 12, 2021:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Mar. 12, 2021
* NYNY2103.12


MEW GULL+
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (extralimital)+
WESTERN TANAGER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
KING EIDER
Common Eider
Red-necked Grebe
Common Gallinule
American Oystercatcher
Piping Plover
American Woodcock
Wilson’s Snipe
Willet
Razorbill
Black-legged Kittiwake
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Laughing Gull
Iceland Gull
American Bittern
Osprey
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
Eastern Phoebe
Common Redpoll
Red Crossbill
Pine Siskin
Vesper Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Pine Warbler

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
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, March 12, 2021 at 11:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are MEW GULL, WESTERN TANAGER, BLACK-HEADED GULL, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, KING EIDER, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, winter finches and spring arrivals and more.

The immature MEW GULL visiting both Bush Terminal Piers Park and Prospect Park lake in Brooklyn the past couple of weeks was last reported at the lake on Tuesday, while the immature BLACK-HEADED GULL continued around Bush Terminal Piers Park at least through Wednesday.

Of the two Manhattan WESTERN TANAGERS, only the one at Carl Schurz Park was reported this week, this bird often spotted near the feeders located just inside the park off East End Avenue slightly south of East 86th Street.

A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was photographed on Tuesday in a field along Sagg Main Street in Bridgehampton.

The drake KING EIDER at Great Kills Park on Staten Island was seen on the beach there today, while of two KING EIDERS noted recently at Jones Beach West End, the young male was photographed in a COMMON EIDER flock off the West End jetty Monday, and the immature male KING wintering at Shinnecock Inlet was still present last Sunday.

Also last Sunday single ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS were spotted along the Meadowbrook Parkway at Jones Beach West End and in Amityville, while highlights that same day at Montauk Point included 4 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES and 13 RAZORBILLS.

Also notable this week were a RED-NECKED GREBE seen again off Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx on Monday, the continuing COMMON GALLINULE at Mill Pond Park in Bellmore, an ICELAND GULL still around Randall’s Island Wednesday, and AMERICAN BITTERNS at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and along Dune Road. A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was still out at Cedar Point County Park in Northwest Harbor last Saturday.

Besides some lingering PINE SISKINS locally, lower numbers of COMMON REDPOLLS did include 10 in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery yesterday, and 4 RED CROSSBILLS were spotted out in Georgica today.

Also lingering as well have been a VESPER SPARROW out at the Calverton Grasslands and a couple of LINCOLN’S SPARROWS in Manhattan at Bryant Park and in Central Park.

Peak numbers of AMERICAN WOODCOCKS are now displaying in appropriate habitat, and some new recent arrivals, replacing our departing waterfowl, have included AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER, PIPING PLOVER, WILSON’S SNIPE and WILLET, LAUGHING GULL, OSPREY, and such early passerines as EASTERN PHOEBE and PINE WARBLER.

And, not to forget, the extralimital FERRUGINOUS HAWK was still up in the Orange County black dirt region Wednesday.

To phone in reports 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
...Read more

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Spring Ear Birding Prep

This year the first day of Spring in New York City will be Saturday, March 20th. As an ear birder I always like to take a few days and refresh my brain by listening to the Peterson "Birding by Ear" bird-song identification guides. Whether new to bird vocalizations or a longtime aficionado, spending even a little time with the recordings to prepare for the waves of northbound songbirds is really helpful. If identifying birds by their calls and songs frustrates you, then now is the best time to start studying. With the right tools it much easier than you think.

There are several sources available to help you learn how to identify birds by ear, but the best I've found is the Peterson Field Guides series of CDs. These discs are not just reference recordings, but well organized lessons that use groups of similar sounding species, repetition and mnemonics to help you quickly learn sounds. Here on the east coast of North America you should purchase "Birding by Ear: Eastern/Central", as well as, "More Birding by Ear Eastern and Central North America". There are discs available for the west coast, too. Unfortunately, I have been unable to locate digital downloads.

Below is a list of the tracks on which I recommend you concentrate. Obviously, there are many more common species in our area which you could add as you feel needed.

The colorful wood-warblers are the most important songbirds to learn. Once you've purchased the discs, use iTunes (or similar software) to import the following tracks:

Name Album Disc # Track #
Sing-songers Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 1 4
Warbling Songsters Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 2 6
Wood Warblers & a Warbling Wren Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 1
Warblers: Buzzy More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 2 1
Warblers: Simple More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 2 2
Warblers: Two-Parted More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 2 3
Warblers: Complex More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 2 4
Empidonax Flycatchers More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 1 4

Note that I included the empidonax flycatchers on the list as they are notoriously difficult to separate visually, but have very distinctive vocalizations.

The woodland thrushes are also incredible songsters, so I recommend the following tracks:

Name Album Disc # Track #
Thrushes Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 2
Thrushes More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 1 7


One family of bird vocalizations that I tend to neglect are the shorebirds. More often than not, during spring migration a group of calling shorebirds passing overhead are noted only as "flock of unidentified peeps". While their calls and songs may not be nearly as melodic as the wood-warblers, they are each unique and easily identifiable if you take a few minutes each day to study the recommended "Birding by Ear" tracks.

Name Album Disc # Track #
Shorebirds: Pairs More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 1
Shorebirds: Plovers More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 2
Shorebirds: Whistlers More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 3
Shorebirds: Peepers More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 4
Shorebirds: Other More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 5

In case you were wondering, I don't make any money promoting the Peterson Field Guide series. I have just found that their systematic approach to learning bird-song to be the best available. Our local populations of birds, as well as, overwintering species have already begun to sing, so don't procrastinate. If you spend even just 20 minutes a day listening during your commute, by the time all the warblers begin streaming through NYC I guarantee you'll be able to find some birds with your eyes closed.

Green-Wood Cemetery Birding Map

In an attempt to make navigating Green-Wood Cemetery a little bit easier, I modified the existing official map that is available on the cemetery's website. Using 1855 and 1901 maps, which shows the names of the various landforms, i.e. ridges, hills and valley, I overlaid these landmarks on the current map. My reasoning was that most birders haven't a clue what the names of the roads are in places like Central Park and Prospect Park, but they do know the geographic labels.

The file is very large (9686 × 13200 pixels) so if you have access to a large format printer, it should look very good. Download the full-sized map here.


Saturday, March 06, 2021

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, March 5, 2021:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Mar. 5, 2021
* NYNY2103.05


- Birds mentioned
PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
MEW GULL+
FERRUGINOUS HAWK+ (Orange County)
WESTERN TANAGER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

EURASIAN WIGEON
KING EIDER
Red-necked Grebe
Common Gallinule
SANDHILL CRANE
American Woodcock
Black-legged Kittiwake
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Iceland Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
American Bittern
Great Egret
Black Vulture
Red-shouldered Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
Tree Swallow
Common Redpoll
Pine Siskin

- 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

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

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, March 5th 2021 at 11pm. The highlights of today's tape are MEW GULL, PINK-FOOTED GOOSE, SANDHILL CRANE, WESTERN TANAGER, EURASIAN WIGEON, KING EIDER, BLACK-HEADED GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER and more.

The immature MEW GULL visiting Brooklyn since late January did go missing for much of this past week being seen once back at Bush Terminal Piers Park last Sunday before reappearing again on Prospect Park Lake yesterday. More regular during this week was the immature BLACK-HEADED GULL spotted as recently as yesterday and today both on Prospect Park Lake and at Bush Terminal Piers Park the latter location also hosting a drake EURASIAN WIGEON all week. An adult BLACK-HEADED GULL also made a reappearance at Randall's Island last Sunday.

A PINK-FOOTED GOOSE first spotted back in late January out in Northport but unobserved since then is apparently still in the area as it was spotted with Canada Geese last Monday along Norwood Road in Northport just east of the Fuch's Pond Preserve. It has remained unknown as to where this flock roosts overnight.

A belated report from Thursday February 25th featured a SANDHILL CRANE flying west over Tobay Sanctuary.

Both Manhattan WESTERN TANAGERS were present this week. The one at Carl Schurz Park regularly visits feeders setup in the park just east of East End Avenue a little south of East 86th Street while the one downtown in the Chelsea area continues to be more elusive finding food where available between West 22nd and West 23rd Streets just east of 10th Avenue.

A drake KING EIDER was still present today at Great Kills Park on Staten Island and the female KING was still off Archery Road at Floyd Bennett Field last Sunday.

A BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE was spotted near a feeding whale off Robert Moses State Park last Saturday that day also finding a GLAUCOUS GULL still present at Cedar Beach in Mount Sinai. An ICELAND GULL was noted at Randall's Island as recently as yesterday with another still in the Brooklyn area last Sunday.

A RED-NECKED GREBE was spotted off Pelham Bay Park Monday, a COMMON GALLINULE remains at Mill Pond Park in Bellmore and AMERICAN BITTERNS continue along Dune Road west of Shinnecock Inlet.

This week ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was noted at several locations along the Jones Island strip from Zach's Bay east to Oak Beach as well as out at the Calverton Grassland.

A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER continues along the Paumanok Trail near Jones Pond in Manorville this site on the west side of Schultz Road.

Some COMMON REDPOLLS remain in the area including about 20 seen last Saturday in Brooklyn at the Cemetery of the Evergreens west of Forest Park and PINE SISKINS are also now moving back through our area.

AMERICAN WOODCOCKS are now displaying locally and also noted recently have been arriving GREAT EGRET, some northbound BLACK VULTURES and RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS and more TREE SWALLOW and the extralimital FERRUGINOUS HAWK in the Orange County Black Dirt area was still present Thursday.

To phone in reports 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
...Read more

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Signs of Spring in Green-Wood Cemetery

Our goals during this past Sunday's "Birding in Peace" walk was to look for signs of Spring, as well as, my favorite early migrant: American Woodcock. Most people think of the Eastern Phoebe as the earliest migrant in our area, but woodcocks frequently begin passing through in late-February.

As the snow retreats and bare patches of ground soften, Common Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) emerge. A great spot to look for these blooms is the open grass at Twilight Dell, along Central Avenue. They didn't disappoint this week and I expect that for this coming weekend's tour there will be a lot more poking their nodding blooms up through the soil.


Across the intersection from Twilight Dell is a new tree for me - Cherry Birch (Betula lenta). I never really noticed this native species before, but the low, dangling catkins caught my attention for the first time last winter. Birch beer can be made from this tree's sap. Maybe that could be another product for the Green-Wood Cemetery store! If you'd like to find this tree it is just off the south-west intersection of Central Avenue and Pine Avenue.
Turkish Filbert or Hazel (Corylus colurna), which are fairly common throughout the cemetery, are now covered with their long catkins. The nuts are edible, but apparently smaller, harder and more difficult to harvest than the Common Hazel, so probably best left for squirrels to dine on.
Witch-hazel is blooming throughout the cemetery. Not really a Spring bloom or even a sign of Spring. This example at Winter Walk is a cultivar: Jalena witch-hazel (Hamamelis × intermedia 'Jelena'). I've seen witch-hazel blooming in Brooklyn in the middle of Winter, when the Spring thaw is a distant dream. Always a nice splash of color on an otherwise drab landscape, though.
As the group circled the edge of Sylvan Water I spotted something moving under a white pine. I ducked down to get a better look and saw a Cooper's Hawk among a pile of white, downy feathers. Approaching slowly, the raptor spooked & flew off, dropping her prey at the base of a cherry tree: a female Wood Duck. It was the first time I'd been so close to this tiny waterfowl and was immediately struck by the beautiful, iridescent speculum.

The Cooper's Hawk had only flown a short distance, perching in an elm tree above the grave of Do-Hum-Me. By the robust size of this raptor, I assumed it was a female. She patiently waited for us to leave the area before swooping down to reclaim her breakfast. I learned from a friend later on that there was an unhappy male Wood Duck paddling around the Sylvan Water.
Finally, as we were looping back to the start of the walk I heard the low, twittering sounds of a woodcock's wings. I wheeled around in time to spot this odd, chubby little bird flying towards the leaf litter near the steep ridge below Cliff Path. Knowing where this cryptically plumed bird landed only gets you halfway there...actually finding it is a challenge. How quickly did you spot it in the photo? The American Woodcock's migration is just beginning, so if one is patient, knows where to look for them and can tell the difference between a plump bird and a pine cone, you may actually get to see one. Aldo Leopold wrote a great essay about their amazing breeding display. Read it online here.


Saturday, February 20, 2021

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, February 19, 2012:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Feb. 19, 2021
* NYNY2102.19


- Birds Mentioned

MEW GULL+
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (extralimital)+
SPOTTED TOWHEE+
WESTERN TANAGER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

KING EIDER
HARLEQUIN DUCK
Red-necked Grebe
Common Gallinule
Semipalmated Plover
COMMON MURRE
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Iceland Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
American Bittern
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Rough-legged Hawk
Peregrine Falcon
Common Redpoll
Red Crossbill
LAPLAND LONGSPUR
Vesper Sparrow
LECONTE’S SPARROW
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT

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
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, February 19, 2021 at 10:00 PM.

The highlights of today’s tape are SPOTTED TOWHEE, MEW GULL, LECONTE’S SPARROW, WESTERN TANAGER, COMMON MURRE, KING EIDER and HARLEQUIN DUCK, BLACK-HEADED and GLAUCOUS GULLS, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, winter finches, extralimital FERRUGINOUS HAWK and more.

The SPOTTED TOWHEE at Baldwin Harbor Park has been seen several times this past week at least through Wednesday, presumably coming more into the open due to the snow covered grounds. Look especially along the paved bike and walking path that bisects the wooded area east of Grand Avenue and the first of two large parking lots. There is an entrance to this path from the northwest corner of the second large parking lot, which is farther down Grand Avenue.

The immature MEW GULL in Brooklyn has been visiting Prospect Park Lake on likely a daily basis, including around 2:00 PM this afternoon, where it roosts on frozen portions of the lake and bathes in open water when available. This European form, referred to as Common Gull, is usually best viewed from the south side of the lake. The immature BLACK-HEADED GULL has also been spotted visiting the lake several days this week, including today.

A nice and unexpected find this week was a LECONTE’S SPARROW spotted briefly a few times Tuesday morning as it elusively skulked its way around the outer dunes at Breezy Point, finally providing enough to confirm the identification.

The female WESTERN TANAGER wintering in Carl Schurz Park in Manhattan was still visiting feeders there yesterday, these feeders located just inside the park off East End Avenue just below East 86th Street.

A COMMON MURRE spotted just offshore at Robert Moses State Park last Sunday was found deceased on shore Monday, being devoured by a PEREGRINE FALCON.

Last Monday, the female KING EIDER was seen again off Floyd Bennett Field’s Archery Road and a drake KING was spotted in flight off Montauk Point. Besides the HARLEQUIN DUCKS present around Jones Inlet, two drake HARLEQUINS were also off Orient Point on Monday.

An immature GLAUCOUS GULL visited Cedar Beach on Long Island’s north shore at Mt. Sinai Tuesday, and an ICELAND GULL was noted out at Breezy Point Tuesday, perhaps the one also occurring along the Brooklyn waterfront.

Among various lingering non-passerines of interest this week were a RED-NECKED GREBE off Brooklyn, the COMMON GALLINULE at Mill Pond Park in Bellmore, 5 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS at Jones Beach West End Sunday, AMERICAN BITTERNS at Tobay and along Dune Road, an adult YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON at Randall’s Island, and a few ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS, including, on Wednesday, 1 at Tobay, 2 along Dune Road at Shinnecock, and 3 around the Calverton grasslands north of Riverhead. Here it should also be mentioned that the FERRUGINOUS HAWK continues in the Orange County black dirt region.

Single LAPLAND LONGPURS were noted at Robert Moses State Park Saturday, at Jones Beach West End Sunday, and at Nickerson Beach on Tuesday.

A VESPER SPARROW continues at the Calverton grasslands, and a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT appeared at Floyd Bennett Field last Saturday.

Among various appearances of COMMON REDPOLLS in our area this week were 12 at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery Sunday and over 25 at Plumb Beach Wednesday, while some RED CROSSBILLS Wednesday included sightings of 9 at Jones Beach West End, 4 at Tobay and around 40 at Robert Moses State Park Field 2.

To phone in reports 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
...Read more

Saturday, January 16, 2021

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, January 15, 2021:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Jan. 15, 2021
* NYNY2101.15


- Birds Mentioned

SPOTTED TOWHEE+
WESTERN TANAGER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Canada Goose
Blue-winged Teal
EURASIAN WIGEON
KING EIDER
HARLEQUIN DUCK
Common Goldeneye
BARROW’S GOLDENEYE
Red-necked Grebe
Common Gallinule
DOVEKIE
Razorbill
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Iceland Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
Black Skimmer
American Bittern
COMMON REDPOLL
RED CROSSBILL
Tennessee Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler

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
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, January
15, 2021 at 10:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are SPOTTED TOWHEE, WESTERN TANAGER, DOVEKIE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, EURASIAN WIGEON, HARLEQUIN DUCK, KING EIDER and BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, BLACK-HEADED GULL, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE and GLAUCOUS GULL, RED CROSSBILL, COMMON REDPOLL and more.

The female SPOTTED TOWHEE, continuing in Baldwin Harbor Park through today, remains quite elusive and is more often heard than seen; it is still frequenting the large thicket area east of the ballfields and first main parking lot accessed from Grand Avenue, this thicket also bordered by a second parking lot on its south side and bisected by a paved walking path. The TOWHEE seems to appear randomly anywhere along the thicket edges, and listening for its harsh calls, infrequently given, can pay off.

The two Manhattan WESTERN TANAGERS have both become more difficult to find as they wander farther afield to find food. The one at Carl Schurz Park at East End Avenue and 86th Street was seen yesterday, while the Chelsea individual, noted at least to Tuesday, has recently ranged a little north of its usual haunts along West 22nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Along the Atlantic coast this week’s weather has produced a small incursion of DOVEKIES, with 2 off Montauk Point Tuesday and 3 more Thursday, 1 flying ashore at Robert Moses State Park Tuesday followed by 3 offshore there today, 1 swimming in Fort Pond Bay in Montauk yesterday, and 3 off Jones Beach West End as well as 1 at Shinnecock Inlet today. Good numbers of RAZORBILLS have also been noted, including 160 off Montauk Point and 65 off Jones Beach yesterday, followed today by counts of 56 at Moses Park and 42 at Jones Beach West End.

A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE again at Randall’s Island Tuesday is likely the one paying a very welcome visit to Central Park yesterday and today, appearing at several sites with a flock of CANADA GEESE, including on the Lake, the Reservoir, the Pool and the North Meadow. One WHITE-FRONTED Tuesday in Dix Hills increased to 3 Wednesday near the intersection of Melrose Road and Wolf Hill Road, with one also at Tung Ting Pond in Centerport Wednesday.

EURASIAN WIGEON this week were present all week on Mill Pond off Lake Avenue in Oyster Bay and on Fresh Pond in Fort Salonga, with one also on West Lake in Patchogue Tuesday.

Three HARLEQUIN DUCKS continue around the Jones Inlet jetties on either the Point Lookout or Jones Beach side, with 2 also at Shinnecock Inlet recently and a drake at Orient Point Sunday.

A young male KING EIDER continues at Shinnecock Inlet, and a drake BARROW’S GOLDENEYE remains with the COMMON GOLDENEYE flock off Crab Meadow Beach in Fort Salonga.

A BLACK-HEADED GULL continues to visit Jones Beach West End, with another spotted in Sheepshead Bay Saturday, and eight BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES appeared off Montauk Point yesterday.

Both ICELAND and GLAUCOUS GULLS have been noted along the Brooklyn waterfront this week, and 2 ICELANDS visited Central Park Reservoir Wednesday.

One or 2 RED-NECKED GREBES remain in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn, and 3 were on Fort Pond Bay Thursday.

Also, a BLACK SKIMMER was at Coney Island Creek Tuesday, single female BLUE-WINGED TEAL and adult COMMON GALLINULE remain on Mill Pond in Baldwin, and AMERICAN BITTERN continues along Dune Road.

A few COMMON REDPOLLS continue to pop up at various locations, and RED CROSSBILLS today included 14 at Jones Beach West End and 11 at Heckscher State Park.

A couple of TENNESSEE WARBLERS were seen this week, and Carl Schurz Park has been hosting an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER.

To phone in reports 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
...Read more

Saturday, January 02, 2021

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, January 1, 2021:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Jan. 1, 2021
* NYNY2101.01


- Birds mentioned
WESTERN TANAGER+
LECONTE'S SPARROW+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Eurasian Wigeon
Redhead
KING EIDER
Common Eider
Harlequin Duck
BARROW'S GOLDENEYE
Red-necked Grebe
Clapper Rail
Semipalmated Plover
Wilson's Snipe
Spotted Sandpiper
DOVEKIE
Razorbill
Black-legged Kittiwake
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Iceland Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
Bald Eagle
Rough-legged Hawk
Snowy Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Common Raven
House Wren
Eastern Bluebird
Common Redpoll
RED CROSSBILL
Pine Siskin
Chipping Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
Common Yellowthroat

- 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

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

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, January 1st 2021 at 10pm. The highlights of today's tape are LECONTE'S SPARROW, WESTERN TANAGER, DOVEKIE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, KING EIDER, BLACK-HEADED GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, RED CROSSBILL, Christmas Count results and more.

A very elusive LE CONTE'S SPARROW, found back on December 19th at Wolfe's Pond Park on Staten Island, was reported a few times this week through yesterday along the shore of the park or in the adjacent overgrown area at Seguine Point just south of the park.

More cooperative have been Manhattan's two WESTERN TANAGERS, both still present today, one in the Chelsea section along West 22nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues, usually closer to 10th, and one in or near Carl Schurz Park east of East End Avenue near 86th Street.

Always a treat to see a few DOVEKIES continue to appear along the south shore of Long Island but unfortunately 3 of these were found deceased, two last Sunday at Jones Beach West End and at Montauk and one today at Napeague while flying birds were noted Monday at West End and Montauk. Some offshore RAZORBILLS especially off Montauk also included two off Playland Park in Rye yesterday.

A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE appearing in Central Park's Reservoir last Sunday morning is presumably the same one visiting Randall's Island all week. Another was again on Tung Ting Pond in Eastport Monday and the Ryebrook individual appeared on Playland Lake Monday. Drake BARROW'S GOLDENEYES were noted off Cow Meadow Beach in Fort Salonga Sunday and at Cedar Point in Gardiners Bay off Northwest Harbor last Saturday while females were reported at Goldsmith's Inlet in Southold Saturday and at Orient Beach State Park today. Decent numbers recently of KING EIDER included sightings this week at Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier 4, Fort Tilden, Great Kills Park on Staten Island, Jones Beach West End and Shinnecock Inlet. EURASIAN WIGEON was reported on Mill Pond in Oyster Bay today.

Six BLACK-HEADED GULLS noted this week involved singles at Breezy Point Sunday, Veteran's Memorial Pier in Brooklyn Monday, Randall's Island Thursday and today, Jones Beach West End Tuesday to today, Setauket Harbor Monday and at Ditch Plains in Montauk Wednesday. Mature GLAUCOUS GULLS occurred in the Jones Beach area Wednesday, at Playland Park during the week and at Ditch Plains to Wednesday while 4 ICELAND GULLS noted included one on Prospect Park today and a BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE was spotted off Montauk Point Tuesday.

A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was spotted in Orient Saturday with Tuesday reports from Southold and Yaphank. The YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was still at Ketcham's Creek in Amityville Monday and among the winter finches RED CROSSBILLS have easily been the most predominate lately with groups of 30 to 40 for example frequenting Jones Beach West End and COMMON REDPOLLS also continue.

The Bronx-Westchester Christmas Count last Sunday recorded 120 species including two COMMON EIDER, new for the count, 3 REDHEAD, 2 RED-NECKED GREBES, 2 CLAPPER RAILS, a third record for SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, WILSON'S SNIPE, ICELAND GULL, SNOWY and NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS, EASTERN BLUEBIRD, 70 PINE SISKINS and 4 CHIPPING and 2 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS while count week birds featured GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, GLAUCOUS GULL and a first record of SPOTTED SANDPIPER.

The Smithtown Count Sunday netted 110 species including 36 COMMON EIDERS, 6 BALD EAGLES, GLAUCOUS GULL, 7 NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS, 10 COMMON RAVENS and HOUSE WREN.

Quogue-Watermill, December 20th had 113 species with HARLEQUIN DUCKS, SNOWY OWL and NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT and RED CROSSBILLS.

To phone in reports, call Tom Burke at (914) 967-4922 and Happy New Year.

- End transcript
...Read more

Saturday, December 26, 2020

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, December 25, 2020:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Dec. 25, 2020
* NYNY2012.25


- Birds Mentioned

MEW GULL+
WESTERN TANAGER+
PAINTED BUNTING+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Greater White-fronted Goose
BARNACLE GOOSE
KING EIDER
Common Eider
Harlequin Duck
BARROW’S GOLDENEYE
Red-necked Grebe
Purple Sandpiper
DOVEKIE
Razorbill
Black-legged Kittiwake
Bonaparte’s Gull
Iceland Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Rough-legged Hawk
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Eastern Phoebe
WESTERN KINGBIRD
House Wren
SEDGE WREN
Veery
Wood Thrush
Evening Grosbeak
Common Redpoll
Red Crossbill
LAPLAND LONGSPUR
Grasshopper Sparrow
LECONTE’S SPARROW
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
Baltimore Oriole
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Orange-crowned Warbler


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
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, December 25, 2020 at 9 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are MEW GULL, LECONTE’S SPARROW, PAINTED BUNTING, DOVEKIE, SEDGE WREN, WESTERN TANAGER, WESTERN KINGBIRD, BARNACLE GOOSE, KING EIDER, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, GLAUCOUS GULL, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, winter finches, Christmas Count results and more.

The immature MEW GULL was seen last Saturday at Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier 4 but has not been reported since last weekend, when it became a first record for the Brooklyn Christmas Bird Count.

A LECONTE’S SPARROW was found last Sunday at Croton Point Park, a Westchester County first, and was seen wonderfully well atop the landfill on Sunday and Monday before disappearing Tuesday morning, while another was also noted last Saturday on the Staten Island Christmas Bird Count and reported again Wednesday.

A female type PAINTED BUNTING found last Friday on the road to Culloden Point stayed for the Montauk Christmas Bird Count Saturday but has not been seen since.

Several recent sightings of DOVEKIE off Eastern Long Island included singles at Montauk Point Saturday and Wednesday and off Camp Hero Thursday, at Shinnecock Inlet Saturday and Thursday and nearby Tiana Beach Thursday, and, most unusual, one captured in heavy brush and released into the water today at Cove Hollow in Georgica.

Major Christmas Bird Count highlights were a SEDGE WREN on the Captree Count Sunday and a WESTERN KINGBIRD flying by the Montauk Downs Golf Course Saturday.

The two Manhattan WESTERN TANAGERS were still present Thursday, one along West 22nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues and one at Carl Schurz Park at East 86th Street, east of East End Avenue.

Two BARNACLE GEESE continue in the Water Mill area, usually off Deerfield Road but yesterday along David White’s Lane southwest of there.

A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE has been visiting Randall’s Island from Sunday at least to yesterday.

A young male KING EIDER and an ICELAND GULL continue around Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier 4, and two KINGS were off Fort Tilden Wednesday.

A GLAUCOUS GULL was at Cedar Beach Marina Sunday, with another at Playland Park in Rye today, and a BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE was on the beach at Smith Point County Park today.

A LAPLAND LONGSPUR visited Croton Point Park Wednesday, a GRASSHOPPER SPARROW also there last Sunday, and a YELLOW-BREASED CHAT was still at Ketcham’s Creek in Amityville Wednesday. Good numbers of RED CROSSBILLS were at Jones Beach West End late in the week.

The Brooklyn Christmas Bird Count Saturday recorded a very nice 137 species, highlights including new records of MEW GULL and VEERY as well as 5 KING EIDERS, 2 ICELAND GULLS, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, 7 COMMON REDPOLLS, 7 RED CROSSBILLS and OVENBIRD.

Among Montauk’s 129 species Saturday were 2 HARLEQUIN DUCKS, a drake BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, 6 RED-NECKED GREBES, DOVEKIE, 19 BALD EAGLES, 15 NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS, WESTERN KINGBIRD, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, WOOD THRUSH, EVENING GROSBEAK and PAINTED BUNTING.

Captree’s 128 species Sunday included 3 KING EIDERS, ICELAND and GLAUCOUS GULLS, over 4,000 BONAPARTE’S GULLS, SEDGE WREN and 83 RED CROSSBILLS.

Queens netted 125 species Sunday with OSPREY, HOUSE WREN, 33 COMMON REDPOLLS, BALTIMORE ORIOLE and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH.

Greenwich - Stamford, including parts of Westchester County, netted 113 species Sunday, including 6 COMMON EIDER, 3 RAZORBILLS, GLAUCOUS GULL and 3 EASTERN PHOEBES.

The Northern Nassau Christmas Bird Count Saturday recorded 107 species with COMMON EIDER, ICELAND GULL, COMMON REDPOLL, and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, while ROCKLAND among its 82 species Sunday recorded 2 PURPLE SANDPIPERS and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK.

To phone in reports 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
...Read more

Friday, December 18, 2020

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for Thursday, December 17, 2020:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Dec. 17, 2020
* NYNY2012.17


- Birds Mentioned

THICK-BILLED MURRE+
MEW GULL+
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER+
WESTERN TANAGER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
BARNACLE GOOSE
EURASIAN WIGEON
KING EIDER
HARLEQUIN DUCK
BARROW’S GOLDENEYE
Red-necked Grebe
EARED GREBE
Razorbill
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
Royal Tern
WESTERN KINGBIRD
Common Redpoll
RED CROSSBILL
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
Baltimore Oriole
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Tennessee Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Northern Parula

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
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 9 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are MEW GULL, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, WESTERN TANAGER, WESTERN KINGBIRD, BARNACLE and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, EURASIAN WIGEON, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, KING EIDER and HARLEQUIN DUCK, BLACK-HEADED and GLAUCOUS GULLS, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, THICK-BILLED MURRE, EARED GREBE, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, RED CROSSBILL and more.

Scanning through Gull flocks along the Brooklyn waterfront continues to be productive -searches for last week’s first winter MEW GULL produced a strongly marked adult MEW GULL Wednesday, the bird first spotted at Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier 4 and then presumably the same bird a little later up at Bush Terminal Piers Park. And today, likely the immature from the prior week was noted again at Army Terminal Pier 4, this site also hosting an immature male KING EIDER since Tuesday and a continuing ICELAND GULL.

An ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER visited Jones Beach West End last Sunday, this also the last day the one in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery was seen. Sunday also provided a sighting of a WESTERN KINGBIRD in Green-Wood, but this individual quickly disappeared.

The WESTERN TANAGER continuing in Manhattan’s Chelsea section along West 22nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues through today was joined by another in Manhattan as of Tuesday up at Carl Schurz Park at East 86th Street, east of East End Avenue, this site also providing one or two BALTIMORE ORIOLES. As a note, another WESTERN TANAGER was seen back on December 6th near Big Reed Pond out in Montauk.

Two BARNACLE GEESE were still visiting fields along Deerfield Avenue in Water Mill last Saturday, when a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was also noted there. Another GREATER WHITE-FRONTED was still around Tung Ting Pond in Eastport last Sunday, and one still visits the Bowman Avenue Pond in Rye Brook, though often not for long.

Single drake EURASIAN WIGEON were noted Saturday at Grant Park in Hewlett and Wednesday on Mill Pond in Oyster Bay.

One or two drake BARROW’S GOLDENEYES were present Sunday off Crab Meadow Beach in Northport, and along with a few KING EIDERS remaining in the Fort Tilden - Riis Park area were three off Robert Moses State Park Wednesday.

A HARLEQUIN DUCK was spotted Wednesday flying by Montauk Point, that same day providing roughly a dozen BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES, strong numbers of RAZORBILLS, and among them a reported THICK-BILLED MURRE.

An adult BLACK-HEADED GULL, presumably a returning bird, was around Setauket harbor as of Monday, a GLAUCOUS GULL was spotted on the bay side of Cupsogue County Park last Saturday, and two ICELAND GULLS were in the East River off Austin Nichols House last Saturday.

Some LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS included one on Prospect Park Lake Sunday, and a ROYAL TERN was still at Breezy Point Sunday.

An EARED GREBE remained on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge at least to Sunday, when a RED-NECKED GREBE was still on Meadow Lake at Flushing Meadow - Corona Park. Other RED-NECKED GREBES continue off Brooklyn.

A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was present Monday and Tuesday at Ketcham’s Creek Freshwater Wetland in Amityville.

Small numbers of COMMON REDPOLLS continue to appear locally, while scattered RED CROSSBILLS peaked with forty at Jones Beach West End Tuesday, down to nine Wednesday.

With Christmas Counts starting this weekend, please call in Count results, which hopefully may contain a few of our lingering WARBLERS, including OVENBIRD, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, TENNESSEE, ORANGE-CROWNED, NASHVILLE or even NORTHERN PARULA.

To phone in reports 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
...Read more

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

121st Annual Christmas Bird Count

Below is the information for the 2020-2021 Christmas Bird Count for NYC and surrounding area. Please note the following:

COVID-19 NOTE:

National Audubon has directed CBC compilers to wait until November 15, 2020 to make a decision as to whether they will hold or cancel their count(s). Therefore, any CBC listed below is TENTATIVE until November 15th, at which time participants should check back to see whether it will be held or not.


From National Audubon to CBC compilers, September 21, 2020:

Due to the COVID19 outbreak, this year’s Christmas Bird Count will require a few changes if your count is to take place at all. The two options for Christmas Bird Count compilers are as follows:


Option 1: Run a COVID-19 safe and socially distanced CBC, if local rules allow. [Must wait until November 15 at the earliest to choose this option in order to better understand status of COVID outbreak in your region during the CBC.]


Option 2: If option 1 is not possible, cancel this season’s CBC for your location. [Can choose this option now if you wish.]


If you choose option 1, below are the guidelines that we urge you to follow:

1. Wait until November 15 at the earliest to confirm CBC will take place, if local regulations allow.

2. Cancel all in-person compilation gatherings.

3. Social distancing and/or masking are required at all times in the field.

4. Carpooling may only occur within existing familiar or social “pod” groups.

5. Activities must comply with all current state and municipal COVID-19 guidelines.


If you feel it is not safe to move forward with your CBC and choose option 2, please know that Audubon fully supports your decision to cancel. The safety of our compilers and community scientists will always be our top priority.

Count
Code
Count Name
Contact
Email
Phone
Saturday, December 19, 2020
NYBR
Brooklyn
Bobbi Manian
roberta.manian@gmail.com
NYNN
North Nassau
Jennifer Wilson Pines
jwpines@gmail.com
516-767-3454
Sunday, December 20, 2020
NYQU
Queens County
Corey Finger
10000birdsblogger@gmail.com
Monday, December 21, 2020
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Saturday, December 26, 2020
Sunday, December 27, 2020
NYBW
Bronx-Westchester Region
Michael Bochnik
BochnikM@cs.com
914-953-7409
NYCS
Central Suffolk County L.I.
Eileen Schwinn
beachmed@optonline.net
Monday, December 28, 2020
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Thursday, December 31, 2020
Friday, January 1, 2021
Saturday, January 2, 2021
NYSN
Southern Nassau County L.I.
Pat Lindsay &
Shai Mitra
pjlindsay@optonline.net

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Green-Wood Cemetery Birding Walks

I am happy to report that my "Birding in Peace" early morning walks in Green-Wood Cemetery have finally returned! Check out the official events page on Green-Wood Cemetery's website here.

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