• Deborah Allen and Robert DeCandido PhD

American Golden Plover - First Time Seen in Manhattan [Special Issue] - Oct 2020

Updated: Oct 20


American Golden Plover, Randall's Island (Manhattan/New York County), 11 Oct 2020

Deborah Allen


14 October 2020


Bird Notes: Rain will be with us Friday (8:30am walk cancelled), BUT ending by 5am on Saturday morning. It has been our experience in Central Park, whenever there is rain overnight combined with a wind from the northwest, there are a lot of migrants to be found the next morning. That is our forecast = birds Saturday morning. You have been warned. And just in case you missed it, an American Golden Plover was found on Randall's Island (upper Manhattan) on Friday, 9 October by Gloria Hong - and continuing through Friday, 16 October at least. It was the first record (ever) for Manhattan. Regionally, this is a shorebird that nests in short grass areas well to our north that has been declining during the last century (see Historical Notes below). Finally, we are seeing lots of Pine Siskins (to be profiled in an upcoming issue of this Newsletter) in Central Park, and this past week we found our first owl of the season, a Barred Owl (Friday 9 October). We are expecting a big Owl year...and we will profile NYC owls in an upcoming Newsletter.


In this week's Historical Notes we include a number of historical (and more recent) articles about the American Golden Plover in the NYC-LI-tristate area. We present (a) the 1843 status of this shorebird on Long Island by J. P. Giraud; (b) brief info from 1907 about the Golden Plover in Brooklyn and Long Island; in (c) Ludlow Griscom in 1923 presents what was known about the occurrence of this bird in the tri-state area; (d) members of the Bronx County Bird Club in a 1924 describe an encounter with the rare American Golden Plover in that borough; (e) Charles Urner (1928) writes briefly about the great flight of Golden Plovers in autumn 1928 in New Jersey, and also the late 19th century abundance of this bird there; (f) the 1998 status of the American Golden Plover throughout New York State; (g) the 2019 status of this plover in the Bronx and NYC; (h) comments on the current 2020 status of the American Golden Plover on Long Island by A. Wilson; and finally (i) comments by Shaibel Mitra PhD on the status of this shorebird during fall migration on coastal Rhode Island and Long Island.


If you are not familiar with the American Golden Plover here is a description by Deborah Allen: https://tinyurl.com/y34p3odx

Palm Warbler (above), Central Park (Pinetum) on 10 October 2020 by Deborah Allen.

Barred Owl in Central Park (Loch, North End) on 9 Oct. 2020 by Deborah Allen

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Bird Walks for mid-October

All Walks @ $10/person - All walks in Central Park

Directions to All Meeting Locations can be found here


1. Friday, 16 October at 8:30am - Conservatory Garden at 105th street and 5th Avenue. Walk down the front (main) steps and straight ahead by 150 feet to the area between the men's room (on the right/north) and ladies' room (left/south) $10


2. Saturday, 17 October at 7:30am and again at 9:30am - Boathouse Cafe; 74th street/ East Drive $10


3. Sunday, 18 October at 7:30am and again at 9:30am - Boathouse Cafe; 74th street/ East Drive $10


4. Monday, 19 October at 8:30am - Strawberry Fields (Imagine Mosaic) at 72nd St. and Central Park West $10


If you do the 7:30am walk you can do the second (9:30am walk) for free. You get two for one. Weekend walks will continue through August and into December. Monday walks at 8:30am begin on Labor Day, 7 September and will continue through the end of October. Friday morning walks start 25 September and through October at least. What are you waiting for?


Call (718-828-8262) or Email us with questions: rdcny@earthlink.net

Black-capped Chickadee at Wildflower Meadow, Central Park on 9 Oct. by Deborah Allen


The fine print: Our walks on weekends meet at 7:30/9:30am at the Boathouse Restaurant (approx. 74th street and the East Drive). Please note: the Boathouse is not one of the buildings that surround the nearby Model Boat Pond - people make this mistake all the time! Fridays we meet at Conservatory Garden; Mondays at Strawberry Fields - check the "Meeting Points" page of this web site for exact meeting location.


Our home phone is 718-828-8262...and Deborah's cell is: 347-703-5554. Email is (rdcny@earthlink.net). If you are lost and trying to get to the bird walk, call Deborah's cell phone...but remember on weekends there will be 2-3 other people calling who are also lost - please be patient. If in doubt about whether a walk will take place or not the morning of the walk: check the main landing page of this web site as well as the "Schedule" page - if the walk is cancelled, information will be posted there by 6am the day of the walk, and usually by 11pm the night before. If still confused and as a last resort, call us at home - if no one answers it means we left for the bird walk. We end all our Central Park walks (except Fridays) near the Boathouse at about noon; you can get a cup of coffee and a muffin there (around $6 total) - though the Boathouse is closed right now and will re-open in April 2021 according to the owners. Walks last about 3 hrs (less if hot or rainy), and you can leave at anytime - we won't be offended. If you need directions/help to your next destination, just ask someone on the walk - we aim to please.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet at Turtle Pond, Central Park on 10 October 2020 by Deborah Allen


Here is what we saw last week (brief highlights)

Friday, 9 October 2020 (Conservatory Garden at 8:30am): Any morning with the discovery of an owl in Central Park (this one a Barred Owl) is a good one - photo above. The owl remained perched at eye-level...Add to this 11 warbler species including Nashville (thank You Enrico) and Tennessee = a good morning.


Deborah's List of Birds for Friday, 9 October: https://tinyurl.com/y2mw4msq


Sat-Sunday, 10-11 October 2020 (Boathouse Restaurant at 7:30am and again at 9:30am): Please note: the bathrooms at the Boathouse are NOT open. However, we do pass two other sets of bathrooms on the walk. Saturday, 10 October: 14 warbler species today - but it is getting late. Our best species were Cape May (several) and Tennessee. A Blue-grey Gnatcatcher was good (and late), and the small flock of five Pine Siskins foretold of an invasion of these nomadic finches about to happen in the northeastern USA. On 11 October (Sunday) we had 13 warbler species including a late Blue-winged Warbler. However, Andrea Hessell MD's discovery of a male Hooded Warbler up the hill from the Boathouse was the best best best sighting all morning. Most impressive was the big flock of Pine Siskins at the Pinetum that came down to perch nearby in low pine trees as I played their calls on my tape. More on these birds in a week - we should have many flocks in the coming few weeks.


Deborah's List of Birds for Saturday, 10 October: https://tinyurl.com/yyp66w2w

Deborah's List of Birds for Sunday, 11 October: https://tinyurl.com/y4pcqgrq


Finally, Monday, 12 October was a total wash-out. It rained heavily all day so we had a chance to stay home and catch up on work. Thank Goodness..


Deborah's List of Birds for Monday, 12 October: Rain! No Bird Walk.

American Golden Plover and Canada Goose at Randall's Island

(Manhattan/New York County), 11 Oct 2020 by Deborah Allen

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HISTORICAL NOTEs


GOLDEN PLOVER (Charadrius dominicus) - 1843

This bird is closely allied to the Golden Plover, [C. pluviais] of Europe. The latter is, however, superior in size as well as having the feathers on the sides of the body under the wings, [the axillars] white, whereas those feathers in our species are gray, and in the European species which I have had an opportunity of examining, the golden tints appear more numerous, and of a richer color.

The American Golden Plover arrives on Long Island in the latter part of April, and soon passes on to the northern regions, where it is said to breed. In the early part of September, on its return from its natal abode, it frequents the Hempstead Plains, Shinnecock Hills, and Montauk, where it feeds on a variety of insects abounding in such places, Grasshoppers seem to be its favorite fare, and when berries can be obtained, they also contribute to its support.

I have occasionally shot it along the shores and about the ponds on the low, wet meadows; but in general it prefers high, dry lands unencumbered with woods. The Hempstead Plains are well-adapted to its habits, and during some seasons it is quite abundant on this miniature prairie. It is better known to our gunners by the name of “Frost Bird,” so called from being more plentiful during the early frosts in autumn at which season it is generally in fine condition, and exceedingly well flavored. Commanding a high price in the New York markets, it is eagerly sought after by the gunners, and not requiring the fatigue and exposure attending the shooting of shore birds, it affords much amusement to sportsmen.

On the ground, the Golden Plover displays a great deal of activity, and when observed, often runs with considerable rapidity before taking wing. It is less timid than the Black-bellied Plover, and is easily decoyed by imitating its peculiar mellow note. I have often observed it, when passing in a different direction from that in which I was lying, check its course, wheel round, and present an easy mark.

Its stay with us, as before mentioned, is very short, and as the season advances it returns southward. It associates in flocks, and when migrating, moves off in a regular manner.

J.P. Giraud., Long Island 1843

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Golden Plover. Charadrius dominicus. 1907. Fairly common transient visitant. August 29 (Quogue and Rockaway) to Oct. 30 (Rockaway). The young of this species and the Black-bellied Plover, both called "Frost Birds" on Long Island formerly occurred in great abundance after the first northeast storm of early September. A local name is "Greenback."

William C Braislin, M. D.

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GOLDEN PLOVER (Charadrius dominicus). 1923. In Giraud's day [see first Historical Article above from 1843] this famous game bird was a common transient both in spring and fall on Long Island. By 1882, when Mr. Dutcher started his notes, it had greatly decreased. He obtained only two spring records, and in the fall recorded several "flights" which took place with high on-shore winds. Such "flights" occurred in 1886, 1887, 1888, 1889, and 1893. In these cases good sized flocks were noted. In recent years "flights" have been reported, but if the lucky observer sees half a dozen birds he calls it a "flight," or if several observers record a single individual apiece during early September, a "flight" is said to have occurred. While it is probable that a few individuals are noted annually on eastern Long Island, the "flights" of former days are a thing of the past, never to come again. At the western end of Long Island the Golden Plover is now an exceedingly rare bird, and it is casual anywhere inland.

To distinguish the Golden Plover from the Black-bellied by plumage characters is not easy ordinarily, as the former is generally very wild and shy. The Golden Plover lacks the conspicuous black axillars and the conspicuously whitish tail of its relative. The call note, however, is absolutely diagnostic, a harsh "queedle" with the accent on the first syllable, utterly lacking the mournful, musical quality so characteristic of the Black-bellied. I well remember collecting a Plover one October evening which I knew had to be a Golden Plover by its call as it came in, though I had never heard it before, and it was so dark that I had to strike a match to find the bird on the mud-flat where it had fallen.

LONG ISLAND. Formerly regular in spring, numerous in fall. Now a rare bird, a few scattering individuals noted annually: April 7, 1882 and May 10, 1885 are the last spring records. In the fall from August 1 to November 12.

ORIENT. Rare and irregular in autumn; August 23, 1903 to November 1, 1906.

MASTIC. Rare and irregular in fall.

LONG BEACH. Two birds September 22, 1919, one found dead (R. Fiedmann); also August 12, 1917; September 27, 1917; October 26, 1916 (au Bicknell).

New York State. No record, old or recent, in our area.

New Jersey. Reported by Thurber as a rare transient at Morristown in 1886. Mr. Urner informed me that "during the middle and late 1890's Golden-backs were by no means rare on the local salt meadows (Newark Bay marshes). They were taken more frequently than "Bull-heads," and usually were secured most readily over decoys set on freshly burned meadow. The last birds I saw taken were about 1904 in the fall." On November 6, 1921 Mr. W. deW. Miller saw a Golden Plover on a golf course near Plainfield. On September 17, 1922 Mr. Urner found two birds on an extensive area of burned meadow south of Newark; these birds were approached within 30 yards, and watched on the ground for over ten minutes.


Ludlow Griscom, American Museum of Natural History

American Golden Plover at Randall's Island (Manhattan/New York County),

9 Oct 2020 by Deborah Allen

Black Skimmer and Golden Plover in Bronx County [1924]. On 14 September 1924, we noted a Black Skimmer flying north, off Hunt Point. Approaching us from the direction of "Hell-Gate," it hovered for a moment, and alighted on a mud-flat, not thirty yards distant, in company with a large number of Gulls. After taking wing, it flew by, and we were at once impressed by the remarkably long slender wings, the forked-tail, the sharply contrasting black and white coloration and the low, easy flight over the water. None of us had ever seen the species before in life, but we were able to name it before referring to a text-book. Moreover, this is not a bird likely to be confused with any other North American species. Our friend, Mr. J. T. Nichols, informs us that a "northward invasion" was underway, this summer, the birds being recorded more freely in Long Island waters, than since 1898, when another such movement took place. He attributed the birds' presence "inland" to the storms which had been sweeping the coastline.


On the same date the writers met with a couple of Golden Plovers, on a nearby stretch of burned meadow. They were approached within seven or eight yards and were watched on the ground for over a quarter of an hour. A decidedly yellowish tinge covered the top of the head and the middle of the back. The call-note was heard at regular intervals. When the birds finally flew, we were careful to note the gray axillars which at once distinguish this species from the Black-bellied Plover. It is perhaps only proper to add that the writers have been long familiar with the Black-bellied Plover in life.


J. and R. KUERZI and P. KESSLER, New York City.

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Pluvialis dominica dominica. Golden Plover [Autumn 1928]. The Newark Meadows [NJ] still stand preeminent as a resting and feeding grounds for the Golden Plover in this region. Its regular occurrence there, and rarity elsewhere indicate not only favorable food conditions, but the probability that this stretch of marsh has been an established stopping point with the species for centuries. Hunters still live in Elizabeth who recall the days when "Goldenbacks" were gathered here by the bushel basket for market. The 1928 flight established a new high record following the bad slump in numbers a few years back. The records were from August 31 to October 28 with a maximum of 93 on September 30.

Charles A. Urner, Elizabeth, N.J.

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American Goldfinch [hatch-year] at the compost area (north end) of Central Park,

11 October 2020 by Deborah Allen


American Golden Plover (Plupialis dominica). 1998

Range: Nearctic, breeding across northern Alaska and arctic Canada east to northern Baffn Island and south to northwestern British Columbia, northern Ontario, and southern Baffn Island. Winters on the pampas of temperate South America.


Status: Uncommon to fairly common fall migrant throughout the state, much less numerous in spring in most areas, with the occasional exception of the L. Ontario area; decidedly rare downstate in spring.


Occurrence: Historically, it was an abundant migrant in northeastern North America, particularly in the fall, when gunners took thousands from NY's coastal meadows and fields. By the 1890s it had become quite rare, and only in the past five decades has it been seen in healthy numbers in the Northeast. It prefers short grass areas to the mudflats favored by its close relative, the Black-bellied Plover. Plowed fields, airports, golf courses, salt meadows, and dry dredge-spoil areas are most attractive to fall migrants, which sometimes number in the hundreds, particularly after strong winds from the east and southeast, in typical stopover locations such as the eastern end of LI or on the Great Lakes Plain.


Coastal maxima: Spring: 9 JBWR 23 Apr 1957; 6 Sagaponack, Suffolk co. 17 May 1948. Fall: both Suffolk co.: 300 Sagaponack 16 sep 1973; 200 East Hampton 16 Sep 1944 (after a hurricane). Inland maxima: Spring: all Monroe Co.: 210 L. Ontario shore 1 May 1954; 100 Braddock Bay 21 Apr 1954. Fall: 500 Batavia, Genesee co. 11 Oct 1970; 500 Hamptonburgh, Orange Co. 17 Oct 1970; 360 Syracuse Airport, Onondaga Co. 15 Oct 1964. Extreme dates: 21 Mar and 9 Jun; 9 Jul and 4 Dec.


Remarks: When surveying golden-plovers at any season, observers should be aware of recent winter records in Bermuda and Barbados of Pacific Golden-Plover (P. fulva), formerly considered conspecific with P. dominica and now recognized as a full species (AOU 1995), and also of regular spring records of Greater Golden-Plover (P. apricaria) in Newfoundland.


American Golden-Plover is a powerful flier, and many more probably overfly the state and adjacent lakes and ocean than are detected in migration. As with other shorebird species, adults arrive ahead of the young of the year. Of 76 at the Syracuse Airport 6 Sep 1964, all but about 10% were adults; of the 300 there 18 Oct 1964, more than 75% were juveniles (D. Crumb, pers. comm.).


Edward S. Brinkley

American Golden Plover at Randall's Island (Manhattan/New York County),

11 Oct 2020 by Deborah Allen


American Golden-Plover Pluvialis dominica. 2019.

NYC area, current [2019]

An infrequent spring and annual fall migrant, largely restricted to immediate coastal areas except when adventitious habitat appears in open, grassy areas inland. Recorded once in Prospect Park, never in Central Park.

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Bronx region, historical

Bicknell's Riverdale 1872—1901: unrecorded

Eaton's Bronx + Manhattan 1910—14: fairly common fall migrant

Griscom's Bronx Region as of 1922: unrecorded

Kuerzi's Bronx Region as of 1926: rare fall migrant 31 Aug—25 Oct [no locations given]

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NYC area, historical

Cruickshank's NYC Region as of 1941: regular fall migrant (maximum 76) on Long Island, Long Island

Sound shores in Bronx and Westchester County; almost unrecorded inland or in spring

Bull's NYC Area as of 1964: 31 Mar—9 Jun, 9 Jul—30 Dec; Long Island maxima fall 200, spring 9, when more regular >1947

Bull's New York State as of 1975: Long Island fall maximum 300

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Study area [Van Cortlandt Park/Bronx], historical and current

An uncommon fall migrant that overflies the Bronx annually, evidenced by the number of records from East Bronx coastal areas from the 1920s—70s, although it is only rarely detected on the ground elsewhere in the county.

There are 5 study area records, all but one singles, on the Van Cortlandt Parade Ground, where rough ground with native grasses was available from 2005—9 before being improved by an exotic (nonnative) turfgrass monoculture in early 2010:

30 Oct 2005 (Young, Lyons, Jett; photos),

2 Oct 2006

2 individuals from 18-25 Oct 2007 (photos below of these two plovers)

22 Sep 2008

25 Sep 2009 (all Young).

Daily fall coverage of the Parade Ground under the right grass conditions (should they ever recur), especially after torrential rains on Aug-Oct weekdays, could show this and other shorebirds to occur far more frequently than the few records imply.


Paul Buckley

Two American Golden Plovers on the Van Cortlandt Park Parade Grounds (the Bronx)

Present from 18-25 October 2007

Photographed by Catherine "Minty" O'Brien with thanks to her husband John Young

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American Golden-Plover - another NYS migrant to worry about? https://tinyurl.com/y2xdjgmw 14 Oct 2020 I have wondered about the status of America Golden-Plover in New York state. In the past several years I've noted few if any reports of larger flocks that would draw birders to sod fields and other grassy habitats in the fall, especially in eastern Long Island. In recent years only a scattering of Golden-Plovers have been reported in the fall (principally from late August to late October), rarely more than two together. Many people may have successfully ticked their 'year bird' and not given much more thought to it but the reality is that we probably are all ticking the SAME few birds. Looking at the tallies for some of the hotspots for southbound plovers it was not long ago that flocks of 60-100+ were frequent in and around Riverhead (Suffolk NY). 2016 seems to have been the last good season (many reports of 60+), with 2012 and 2013 similarly featuring some larger flocks (counts of 102, 105, etc). Is something going on? Is the apparent decline in birds staging on eastern Long Island echoed elsewhere? American Golden-Plover is an arctic and subarctic tundra nesting species that makes a long oceanic flight (a minimum of 2,400 miles nonstop) to wintering grounds in the Pampas and Campos regions of southern South America. It is possible that weather conditions have allowed birds to launch from further north and simply bypass our area. Scrutiny of trends in the Canadian Maritime Provinces and New England or the Mississippi/Missouri/Ohio flyway (if the southbound route has shifted towards the center of the continent) might shed light on this. Changes in pesticide use might also render the Long Island sod fields less attractive such that birds arriving at night leave soon after. It's worth noting that aside from a possible shift in the migration route, many high latitude breeding species undergo cycles of abundance that reflect cycles in breeding success - these may relate to lemming cycles, late snowmelt, and so on. It could be we are in the trough of one of these cycles. Careful monitoring of the relative numbers of juveniles/1st basic and adults (estimating the ratio from year to year) can give warnings of these changes. This could also be done fairly easily with Bonaparte's Gulls because these two age classes are easy to distinguish. Unfortunately, relatively few birders keep notes on these things and again there's no simple way that I can find to recover such information from eBird or other record collections. Angus Wilson, New York City

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American Golden-Plover - another NYS migrant to worry about?

https://tinyurl.com/y4exlejx

Shaibal Mitra 16 October 2020 (Friday)


When Angus posted his query about this species I was immediately reminded of two recent conversations with Tom Burke and Doug Futuyma. Despite living more than an hour apart in the quite different realms of Westchester and Suffolk Counties, Tom and Gale probably share the most similar birding mode to Pat's and mine of all our friends: we cover a large area in southeastern NYS, our coverage is much more thorough than that of our more list-motivated friends, and yet we follow up reports of unusual birds (chase) much more than our most purist, patch-working friends. And given that we've been doing it this way for decades, we've developed very similar--and probably relatively accurate -- perceptions of the status of bird species around here.


My conversation with Tom occurred back in August when an American Golden-Plover occurred in some (to me) remote and inconvenient part of southeastern NYS; I laughed and said, "I think I'll wait for another one!" Tom understood completely but he made the point out loud that the species has been rather difficult to find over the past couple of years, and I had to concur. The conversation with Doug occurred just a few days ago, when he arrived a little later than I to a seawatch. I had just had an AMGP fly past, calling, just my third of the entire fall, and I knew Doug hadn't connected with one yet. It really is possible for active, capable birders to miss this species nowadays.


So when I saw Willie's post, it really gave me pause. Given how infrequently I cover western NYS in late summer and fall, I've run into AMGP there often enough that I assumed they were even more regular there than here on LI. For instance, when Pat and I chased the Swallow-tailed Kites in Hamlin back in September, I sort of assumed that picking up our year-bird AMGP would require little more than pulling off the road somewhere nearby, on Andy Guthrie's instructions. But Andy couldn't offer an easy target, at least on that day.


Willie's post makes the point again about different modes of occurrence (agricultural fields vs. lakeshore roosts), and this distinction is very valid in my own Long Island/coastal Rhode Island area. Historically there was a series of traditional stopover sites for flocks of this species in a very specific physiographic belt, ranging from Ridge in central Suffolk County, through Riverhead and the North Fork of Long Island, to similar sites in Charlestown, Richmond, and South Kingstown, Rhode Island. I'm not a geologist, but this belt of flat farmland lies along the Charlestown Moraine and was historically much used for potato farming. Nowadays it has been given over mostly to turf farming, where it hasn't been destroyed altogether. (There was also a very similar satellite site, set off somewhat from this belt, on the South Fork of LI, between Water Mill and East Hampton.) In these places, one could often see long-staying flocks of AMGP and other shorebirds. But for those of us who tire easily of scanning turf fields, there was another mode of occurrence, in which this species could be encountered fairly regularly along the outer coast.


My perception is that the turf field context has failed almost completely in the past several years. Not only are the flocks of AMGP absent, but my perception is that they are utterly birdless now--lacking even the flocks of Mourning Doves, Killdeer, Tree Swallows, and Starlings that used to be routine.


The coastal mode still works, but it seems like it's always single birds now, never flocks of six or seven as we sometimes saw in the past. My own fall records show a paucity of AMGP in my area 2017-2020. They also reveal other periods of low detection rates, but I suspect those might be at least partly misleading. As Angus noted, I can imagine that in the past, when I didn't perceive the species as rare and lucked into it early along the coast, I might have spared myself dedicated scanning of the turf!


https://flic.kr/p/2jW26Qu (see chart above)


I fear that this species is yet another once common one that we will come to miss in the future.


Shai Mitra, Bay Shore

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New Jersey: Major decline of fall-migrating American Golden-Plover within the vicinity of Elmer and Johnson Sod farm since 2014

Date: 16 October 2020

From: Yong Kong <yklitespeed@omcast.net>


For those who may be interested, I will try to summarize my observation of NJs own major decline of fall-migrating American Golden-Plover within the vicinity of Elmer and Johnson Sod farm since 2014. I do not have the exact number of birds observed or the exact dates since I do not keep a list. However, I do recall seeing about 120 American Golden-Plovers in flight with a fellow NJ birder during the month of September in 2014 at Griers Lane, Johnson Sod Farm. Below is the ebird documenting 114 AMGP at the same location on 9-8-2014.


https://ebird.org/checklist/S19775612


Shai Mitras bar graph showing the years of 2015 to 2018 is very similar to my experience. During 2015 to 2017, I was encountering approximately 75 to 90 AMGP every fall from both locations. My numbers may be duplicate birds to some extent. However, I do remember encountering 47 AMGP and 2 BBPL at a harvested tomato field on my way home from Johnson sod farm in 2015 *?*. The location was somewhere between Elmer sod farm and the Johnson sod farm. I was in shock as the flock was found so close to the road and most were roosting in scattered tight flocks, and the scope views were not required. I just parked my truck and hopped over to the passenger side, and I took over 50 photos for later review in case one of them would turn out to be a Pacific. I remember sending many of my photos to two NJ birders upon their request.


I also recall one of those years between fall of 2016 or 2017 encountering AMGP flock of over *30 *?* at Elmer sod field so close to Route 40. I parked at the shoulder of Rt 40 and took as many photos as I could for later review, since my truck was shaking like a leaf every time a tractor trail was passing by doing over 50 MPH within a few feet from my driver side of my truck I only lasted 20 minutes or so. My numbers which I only kept in my bird brain took a dive from after 2018. My highest count during the fall 2020 is only a few at the Elmer sod field and I have not encountered any within the Johnson Sod farm vicinity.


Yesterday was a total strike out at both locations, as it has been during the last several fast-n-furious lunch time visits. After yesterdays visit, I do not have the motivation to visit anymore.


I keep thinking the historic PTown Ruff population which may transfer to the Elmer and Johnson Sod farm AMGP fall migrating population. After reviewing Shai Mitras bar graph, I am afraid to state fall-migrating AMGP within the vicinity of Elmer and Johnson Sod farm with decent number days are over. I have my fingers crossed another NJ birder will prove me wrong during the fall of 2021.


Yong Kong

WinDack, aka *Winslow-Adirondacks* Camden County

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Deborah Allen and Robert DeCandido PhD

Follow our Bird Sightings on Twitter: @DAllenNYC and/or @BirdingBobNYC

Northern Lapwing in southeastern Nepal December 2014


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