Warblers! + Eastern Screech-owl Night Walk WOWZA!!!!!!!!

August 30, 2017

 

Labor Day weekend and we have a full schedule including early morning bird walks on Saturday/Sunday/Monday. Unless the weather is very bad (as in the remnant rains of "Harvey") this weekend, all walks will take place as scheduled. If you concerned about whether or not a walk will still take place, check our web site the morning of the walk - info is posted on the landing (first) page by 6:30am (or you can call us at home). Finally, we are trying the schedule a Great Horned Owl walk at Pelham Bay Park with our friend Jack Rothman, and an Eastern Screech-owl walk at Inwood Hill Park (upper Manhattan) - both sometime in September.

******Meanwhile there is an Eastern Screech-owl walk, this Sunday evening (3 September) meeting at the Van Cortlandt Park Golf Course parking lot (Bronx) at 7:30pm (yes 7:30pm) - parking is free. Email me for details and/or directions via subway (#1 train to the last stop). Try using this web site for directions to the Golf Course parking lot: http://tinyurl.com/y8yj23mo

Our bird photos come from Deborah Allen and show three Central Park warblers (including a nice male Blue-winged Warbler) and one shorebird from the CP Reservoir...and then two rare shorebirds for NYC: Red-necked Phalaropes from the Bronx (Pelham Bay Park). By the way, the lead photo of the Lawrence's Warbler is by Deborah Allen and will be part of her upcoming book on the birds of Central Park.

Martin P. Pohl sent us a link to a short film about the House Sparrow in NYC: http://tinyurl.com/yd9emapz

This week's historical notes have some great and interesting info about Red-necked Phalaropes (formerly called Northern Phalaropes) in freshwater puddles in the Bronx in 1911, and also from Long Island in 1889. However, we lead with the last historical warbler accounts we have compiled, including Lawrence's Warbler (we saw a male on this past Friday's walk), as well as Palm Warbler, Mourning Warbler and Connecticut Warbler plus a few more. This brings our total presented in July-August to some 35 species.

If you want to help us out GREATLY (!!! please!), post a short review of your experience on one of our bird walks on Trip Advisor. Have a look/read: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d7057803-Reviews-Birding_Bob-New_York_City_New_York.html
==============================================
Deborah Allen sends photos from Central Park:

1. Magnolia Warbler, Maintenance Field, Saturday August 26, 2017:
https://www.photo.net/photo/18418426

2. Chestnut-sided Warbler, Maintenance Field, Saturday August 26, 2017:
https://www.photo.net/photo/18418427

3. Blue-winged Warbler, Maintenance Field, Saturday August 26, 2017:
https://www.photo.net/photo/18418428

4. Juvenile Spotted Sandpiper, The Reservoir, Sunday August 27, 2017:
https://www.photo.net/photo/18418425

Pelham Bay Park, Bronx - Friday, 25 August 2017:

5. Red-necked (aka Northern) Phalarope: https://tinyurl.com/yd48gk99

6. Red-necked (aka Northern) Phalarope: https://tinyurl.com/y7z7fbxl

Link to Deborah Allen photos on Agpix site: http://www.agpix.com/results.php?agid=DeAl12
=====================================
Good! Here are the bird walks for early September - each $10

All walks in Central Park - except Sunday night!:

1. Friday, 1 September - meet at Conservatory Garden (105th street and Fifth Ave) at 9am.
2. Saturday, 2 September  - 7:30am and again at 9am - Boathouse. $10***
3. Sunday, 3 September - 7:30am and again at 9am - Boathouse. $10***
4. Sunday, 3 September - 7:30pm - EASTERN SCREECH-OWLS at Van Cortlandt Park (Bronx). $10 - see below
5. Monday, 4 September - 8am and again 9am. Strawberry Fields (Imagine Mosaic). $10***

*** on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays you can do two walks for the price of one: Pay $10 and do both walks (or either one).

EASTERN SCREECH-OWL walk info: Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx - meet at the Golf Course Parking lot (115 Van Cortlandt Park South, 10471 Bronx). 7:30pm. - $10. We expect to be out about 60 min to 90 min in search of owls. We want to do two sites: near the Golf Course and then drive north along Broadway for five minutes to the Riding Stables (called "Riverdale Stables") parking lot at the very north end of Van Cortlandt Park - and try for owls near there. The VC Golf Course parking lot is also easily accessible via train/bus - call us for help/directions getting to that site. We will find a spot in a car for you when we travel to the other nearby location (the horse stables).

Try using this web site for directions to the Golf Course parking lot: http://tinyurl.com/y8yj23mo

The fine print: In September, our walks on Sundays meet at 7:30am/9am at the Boathouse Restaurant (approximately 74th street and the East Drive on the lake; it is NOT one of the buildings on the nearby Model Boat Pond). Bathrooms are nearby and ok; they open at about 7am. On Saturdays we continue to meet at the Boathouse (74th street and the East Drive) at 7:30am/9am - but check schedule on web site just in case we are going further afield such as NYBG in the Bronx. You can do either or both Saturday/Sunday walks for $10. On Mondays we meet at Strawberry Fields: find the Imagine Mosaic and we are sitting on the benches nearby...look for people with binoculars. The Friday walks meet at Conservatory Garden - enter at 105th street and 5th Avenue and walk down the stairs - we meet straight ahead at the end of long (75 meter) grassy area, and adjacent to the men's bathroom (women's bathroom on opposite side about 50 yards away). Our home phone is 718-828-8262...and Deborah's cell is: 347-703-5554. Email is above (= rdcny@earthlink.net). We have a new web site...if in doubt about whether a walk will take place or not, check the web site the morning of the walk: info will be posted on the main landing page as well as the "Schedule" page. If still confused, call us at home - if no one answers it means we left for the bird walk!

We end all our weekend and Monday Central Park walks at the Boathouse at about noon - you can get a cup of coffee and a muffin there (around $5 total - coffee is now $2.25).  Our Friday walks, we usually end up at (or very near) Conservatory Garden, most often at 106th street and 5th Avenue.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here is what we saw last week (selected highlights) with some anecdotal notes and observations. Not all species we saw are reported here - we list the best:

Friday, 25 August (start at Conservatory Garden [105th street] at 9am) - LAWRENCE'S WARBLER! This is the first one I have seen on a bird walk in 25+ years of leading these birding trips. I had just been promising Tom Ahlf that we would have a rare warbler at the next place we stopped...Overall today was the best day of the four weekend walks with many birds and 11 warbler species including a first fall Mourning Warbler.

Deborah's bird list for the day: https://www.mail-archive.com/nysbirds-l@cornell.edu/msg22185.html
=================================
Saturday, 26 August - (start at the Boathouse Restaurant at 7:30am and again at 9am; two walks for $10 total) - again, 11 warbler species plus a Black-billed Cuckoo that was originally found by Dr. Andrea Hessel in the Maintenance Field, and then after it flew toward our group, Patti Pike was the only one who saw it fly in. Also today, David Barrett added a couple of Yellow-bellied Flycatchers - and Deborah Allen chipped in additional flycatchers and her wonderful Spotted Sandpiper photo.

Deborah's bird list for the day: https://www.mail-archive.com/nysbirds-l@cornell.edu/msg22194.html
=================================
Sunday, 27 August (start at the Boathouse Restaurant at 9am) - today we had 15 warbler species...but not many individuals of each. Our list looks good on paper especially with  two Black-throated Green males flying in over me at 6:30am. I just wish we had more actual birds on the walk for people to see. The best birds today were the two Blue-winged Warblers foraging (upside down) in dead leaves near the Upper Lobe.

Deborah's bird list for the day: https://www.mail-archive.com/nysbirds-l@cornell.edu/msg22208.html
=======================================
Monday, 28 August (start at Strawberry Fields [Imagine Mosaic] at 8am and again at 9am) - at 7:30am to about 8:30am, birding was wonderful at Strawberry Fields - lots of warblers, mostly redstarts but also three Northern Parulas and a couple of Blue-winged Warblers for the very early birders. Jeff Ward was with us and he is wonderful to be with. He found several Baltimore Orioles as well as Great Crested Flycatcher...and a nice Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Tupelo Meadow and again at the Oven.

Deborah's bird list for the day: https://www.mail-archive.com/nysbirds-l@cornell.edu/msg22214.html
=======================================
HISTORICAL NOTES

1923. Golden-winged Warbler hybrids: Brewster's Warbler and Lawrence's Warbler. Central Park. Brewster's Warbler, 29 April and 12 May 1914 (Hix); 5 May 1916 (Hix). BRONX REGION. Lawrence's Warbler has been recorded from Rye and Staten Island, and was found breeding in Bronx Park in 1903, and the next May another returned but did not remain. In the last few years I have received several reports of Lawrence's Warbler from Van Cortlandt Park and Mount Vernon. NOTES: Lawrence's Warbler, the recessive, is
very much rarer than Brewster's. They are produced where the ranges of the parents overlap, as in Westchester County and parts of New Jersey, such as Boonton and the Wyanokie hills. As a result our region is particularly favorable for them, and the immediate vicinity of New York City is one of the best places to find them as transients. "Brewster's Warbler is the hybrid form in predominantly Golden-winged Warbler country. Lawrence's Warbler is the hybrid form in predominantly Blue-winged Country."

1958. Brewster's Warbler. Central Park. Very rare transient. Earliest date seen in spring: 29 April 1914 (Hix) to (latest date in spring): 15 May 1939 (Harry N. Darrow). F1 and possibly also back-cross Berewster's are considered in these listings. 1959-1967: no new data.

1958. Brewster's Warbler. Prospect Park. Rare transient. Earliest date seen in spring: 2 May 1947 (Jacobson) to (latest date in spring): 17 May 1953 (Fleisher, Brooklyn Bird Club). On fall migration, seen as early as 28 August 1915 (Fleisher) to as late as 21 September 1939 (Russell). 1959-1967: no new data.

1958. Lawrence's Warbler. Central Park. Earliest date seen in spring: 4-5 May 1949 (Bruce Gordon, Helmuth, Johnson) and 7 to 9 May 1952 (E. Rich, Mackenzie) to (latest date in spring): 16 May 1954 (Dale, Messing, E. Rich). 1959-1967: 8 May 1960 (Mintz).

1958. Lawrence's Warbler. Prospect Park. Eight spring records: Earliest date seen = 3 May 1948 (Whelen) to (latest) = 13 May 1944 (Soll, J. Wells). 1959-1967: no new data.

1964+. Golden-winged Warbler hybrids: Brewster's Warbler and Lawrence's Warbler. Central Park. "Both hybrid forms are very rare in migration, particularly "Lawrence's" Warbler. Many experienced observers have never seen "Lawrence's" even in our area. As it is almost impossible to distinguish "genuine" migrants from breeding birds throughout most of our region the following data are restricted to New York City Parks and the coastal plain where they either do not nest or do so very rarely. In a 36 year period (1927-1962), "Brewster's" outnumbered "Lawrence's" by more than three to one., 39 of the former (Brewster's) versus 12 of the latter (Lawrence's) being reported. All but two of the 12 "Lawrence's" Warblers occurred in spring, and only seven of the 39 "Brewster's" occurred in fall."
=========================================
1923. Palm Warbler [ssp. palmarum = Western]. Central Park. Rare spring, uncommon but regular fall transient; seen as early as 22 April 1909 (Anne A. Crolius) and 3 May 1913 (Griscom); 7 May 1914 (Rogers); 4 May 1916 (Hix); 20 April 1920 (Griscom). In autumn, the earliest migrants have been seen on 4 September 1911 (Hix) and as late as 13 October 1912 (Hix). Dr. F. M. Chapman saw an exceedingly early individual 2 September 1896 on West 129th Street, New York City. BRONX REGION. Rare spring, uncommon fall transient; 20 April 1919 (C. L. Lewis) to 11 May 1919 (L. N. Nichols); 19 September 1915 (L. N. Nichols) to as late as 14 October 1916 (E. G. Nichols).

1923. Palm Warbler [ssp. hypochrysea = Yellow]. Central Park. Common transient; Earliest spring arrival date: 2 April 1916 (Hix) to as late as 16 May 1917 (Janvrin). In autumn, seen as early as 22 September 1922 (Carter, Crosby, Griscom) to as late as 1 November 1903 (Hix). BRONX REGION. Common transient; 6 April 1919 (L. N. Nichols) to 18 May 1913 (L. N. Nichols); in autumn: 26 September 1914 (Hix) to 11 November 1916 (Hix and E. G. Nichols).

1958. Palm Warbler [ssp. hypochrysea = Yellow]. Central Park. Common transient. Earliest spring arrival date: 30 March 1945 (Komorowski) and seen as late as 16 May 1917 (Janvrin). In autumn as early as 28 August 1941 (Carleton) to as late as 2 October 1949 (Carleton). Most of these birds appear to be hypochrysea [Yellow Palm Warbler] except in the early fall. Over 200 seen on 21 April 1929 (Watson and others). 1959-1967: no new data. In Van Cortlandt Park (Bronx), 300 were seen on 1 May 1950.

1958. Palm Warbler [ssp. palmarum = Western]. Central Park. Rare spring, fairly common fall transient. This race appears to predominate in the fall before 20 September.

1958. Palm Warbler. Prospect Park. Fairly common spring, uncommon fall transient. Earliest spring arrival date: 26 March 1932 (Brennan) and 2 April 1945 (Soll) to as late as 18 May 1952 (Restivo) and 27 May 1917 (Vietor). In autumn on southbound migration as early as 28 August 1912 (Vietor) to as late as 24 November 1948 (Brooklyn Bird Club) and 12 December 1920 (Vietor). The majority of these birds appear to be ssp. hypochrysea except in the early fall. 1959-1967: no new data. In late December 1952, on the Christmas Bird Count, 12 were seen "to Atlantic Beach."

1958. Palm Warbler [ssp. palmarum = Western]. Propsect Park. Rare spring, fairly common fall transient. This race appears to predominate in the fall before 20 September.

1964+. Palm Warbler. "The average annual CBC count of Palm Warblers for all southern counties (mostly LI) were: in the 1960s, six; 1970s, nineteen; 1980s, twenty-four. This species is an early spring warbler migrant, preceded only by Yellow-rumped and Louisiana Waterthrush. It first appears in early to mid-April in southern NY. Peak numbers move 21 April to 6 May (coastal) and 29 April-16 May (inland).
=========================================
1923. Mourning Warbler. Central Park. Rare spring, very rare fall transient. 19 May 1896 (C. W. Vaughan); 31 May 1900 (Chubb); 16 May 1905 (Hix); 24 May 1909 (Anne A. Crolius); 22 May 1910 (Anne A. Crolius); 26 May 1913 (Griscom); 18 May 1914 (Anne A. Crolius); 21 May 1917 (Janvrin); 5 June 1917 (Hix); 22 May 1920 (Griscom). On southbound migration, as early as 6 August 1908 (Anne A. Crolius and Griscom) and 11 August 1913 (Griscom). Mr. Miller's experience at Plainfield (NJ) and my own in Central Park is that this species is usually recorded on the day of the wave of Blackpolls and female Warblers, which comes after the peak of the migration has passed. The greater rarity of the bird in fall is to be expected; it is just that much harder to find. BRONX REGION. Very rare spring transient, no fall records; Mr. L. N. Nichols has recorded it 18 May 1913; 20 May and 31 May 1917 and 18 May 1918. Cruickshank saw five in one day in Van Cortlandt Park but no date/year given. LONG ISLAND: Very rare transient, scarcely a dozen records, 14 May 1912 in Brooklyn (Mrs. E. W. Victor) to June 1862; September 11, 18, and 26 [Brooklyn? No year stated].

1958. Mourning Warbler. Central Park. Uncommon spring, very rare fall transient. Seen in spring as early as 10 May 1948 (Aronoff) to as late as 10 June 1954 (Carleton). On southbound migration seen as early as 6 August 1908 (Griscom) to as late as 10 September 1944 (Bull, Eisenmann). Eight individuals seen in August 1923 (Griscom). Maximum four in one day on 2 June 1930 (Watson).  1959-1967: new late season dates: 16 September 1961 (Messing); 9 October 1963 (Carleton). Maximum seen in one day is now seven, on 21 May 1966 (Peter Tozzi).

1958. Mourning Warbler. Prospect Park. Uncommon spring, very rare fall transient. Earliest date in spring: 8 May 1943 (Russell) and latest: 6 June 1953 (Russell). In autumn on southbound migration, seen as early as 16 August 1953 (Restivo, R. Clermont); to (late dates): 21 September 1955 (Carleton); 25 September 1949 (Alperin, Jacobson); 29 September 1912 (Fleischer); 7 October 1917 (Vietor). 1959-1967: Fall migration date: seen as early as 29 August 1965 (John Yrizarry).

1964+. Mourning Warbler. 1964: "Apparently rarer in fall." 2017: Deborah and I think perhaps slightly less common in fall than spring migration.1964: "This species is exceedingly difficult to observe in autumn because of the heavy vegetation at that season and because the bird does not sing then. Although numerous dead Connecticut Warblers have been picked up at the Fire Island Lighthouse, only one Mourning Warbler has been recorded there on 19 August 1888 (Dutcher).

Notes (1923 - Griscom): "Next to the Orange-crowned the Mourning Warbler is undoubtedly the rarest Warbler that visits this territory with any degree of regularity. I cannot help thinking, however, that it is also frequently overlooked. By nature shy and retiring, an inhabitant of the densest undergrowth, and usually entirely silent when migrating, the bird is never seen unless specially searched for. Most local observers stop Warbler hunting after the height of the migration and go to the coast for Shore-birds; in other words they are far away at just the time when this species is most likely to occur. Those who have seen the Mourning Warbler most frequently are those who visit favorable territory the last ten days in May, when the returns seem small and insignificant compared with the abundance of the preceding week."
=====================================================
1923. Connecticut Warbler. Central Park. Casual transient, the only Warbler that finds conditions in the Park utterly unsuitable; if one bears in mind the intensive observation every spring by scores of observers, the number of spring records is not as surprising as might seem; the following records are unquestionably authentic, made by people fully competent to identify the bird, and entirely aware of the importance of their observation: 15 May 1912 (Anne A. Crolius, Griscom, LaDow, Miller, Wiegmann); 15 May 1921 (Charles Johnston); also 9 September 1908 (Hix), 22 September 1908 (Anne A. Crolius), twice in September 1909 (Anne A. Crolius), 22 September 1922 (Crosby and Griscom), and 5 October 1922 (Griscom and others). BRONX REGION. Irregular fall transient, often absent, sometimes fairly common, as in 1882, 1889, 1890, 1896, and 1908; 20 August 1922 (F. E. Watson) to 2 October 1889 (Dwight). Perhaps the swampy woods of Van Cortlandt Park is the best locality near the City to find this bird, where it should be looked for anywhere between the last days of August and the first days of October.

1958. Connecticut Warbler. Central Park. Three spring records, rare fall transient: 13 May 1955 (Herbert, Skelton); 15 May to 20 May 1912 ((Crolius, Griscom, LaDow, Waldron deW. Miller, Wiegmann); 15 May 1921 (Johnston). In autumn, as early as 9 September 1908 (Hix) to 9 October 1936 (Irving Cantor). 1959-1967: Immature male singing and walking on 3 June 1967 (Plunkett).

1958. Connecticut Warbler. Prospect Park. Three spring records, rare to irregularly uncommon fall transient. 10 May 1951 (Worley); 18 May 1913 (Vietor); 27 May 1951 (Alperin, Sedwitz). In fall on southbound migration, as early as  23 August 1945 (Soll, Whelen) to as late as 4 October 1953 (Whelen, Maurice Noyes, Smith) to 14 October 1934 (Russell) and 31 October 1937 (Breslau). Maximum six on 27 September 1950 (Whelen).  1959-1967: The 10 May 1951 record should be deleted as it was not confirmed.

1964+. Connecticut Warbler. "The Connecticut Warbler occurs most often during the latter half of September and the first two weeks of October. There is abundant evidence to show that the Connecticut Warbler was much more numerous formerly (prior to 1910), and that it has not yet regained its former abundance. It was eagerly sought by collectors who took many specimens in the late 19th century. Maxima (prior to 1910): the following were reported by Dutcher in his field notes as having struck the Fire Island Lighthouse: 57 on 23 September 1877; 16 on 30 September 1883; and 18 on 12 October 1883 (a notably late migration that fall). During the last few days of September 1900, Cherrie collected 10 just south of Jamaica (Queens) and reported he had seen "many" others. Maxima, recent period (since 1910): 10 hit the Empire State Building on 11 September 1948 (Aronoff); on 5 October 1954, Wilcox picked up 13 dead individuals that had struck the Westhampton (Suffolk Co.) LI Air Force Base tower. At Idlewild (now Jamaica Bay WR) on 30 September 1951, Mayer saw five including one that he banded." 1998: "The number of fall sightings in New York State reported annually in the Kingbird has dropped from about 16 per fall in the late 1970s to about six per fall in the 1990s. Virtually all occurrences today are single individuals. Most fall records occur 25 August to 5 October with a peak in the week of 15-22 September. It is very rare after mid-October.

According to Griscom 1923: "In any plumage the Connecticut Warbler differs from the Mourning in having an eye-ring. The under tail-coverts are twice as long as in the Mourning Warbler, and extend for two-thirds the length of the tail. Females and immature have a brownish throat and breast, a character no other Warbler possesses. Adult males have a bluish-gray throat and breast, with no black on the breast, as in the adult male Mourning. However, it is very like the female Mourning, and they must be separated by the eye-ring and long under tail-coverts." "Long Island. Irregular transient in autumn, sometimes common; 4 September to 11 October; rare on the south shore. ORIENT. Rare fall transient, 14 September 1913 to 30 September 1910."
====================================================
1923. Swainson's Warbler. Central Park. Not seen in the 1850-1925 time frame in NYC.

1958. Swainson's Warbler. Central Park. Not seen in the park in the 1925-1962 time frame. However, one was found on 11 May 1963 in the Ramble. (In the Bronx, one was found at the New York Botanical Garden on 6 May 1963 and again on 27 April 1977).

1958. Swainson's Warbler. Prospect Park. One record: 5-6 May 1950 (Carleton, Alperin, Grant, Helmuth). Details published in the Wilson Bulletin in volume 64 in 1952. 1959-1967: another occurrence of this warbler in spring 1963 (no details given).

1964+. Swainson's Warbler. Central Park. On 7, 9 and 11 May 1979 (but not 8 and 10 May) a Swainson's Warbler was seen by many people in the Ramble. Since that time, additional Swainson's Warblers have been found in Central Park, always in spring, most recently in May 2016 at Strawberry Fields.
=============================================
1923. Townsend's Warbler. Central Park. Not seen in the 1850-1925 time frame in NYC.

1958. Townsend's Warbler. Central Park. Not seen in the 1925-1962 time frame in Central Park. However, a singing sub-adult male was seen on 4 May 1963 (Irving Cantor, Benjamin Gilbert, Betsy Loeb). 1964-1974: no new data.

1958. Townsend's Warbler. Prospect Park. One record: 8-10 May 1947 (Jacobson, Alperin, Carleton, Levine, Sedwitz, Tengwall, Thelen, Whelen). Details published in the Auk 65 (1948). 1959-1974: no new data.

1964+. Townsend's Warbler. Central Park. Not seen in the 1964 to 2017 time frame in Central Park or Prospect Park...but seen in Queens twice: 14 May 1988 (Forest Park) and 9 May 1993 (Alley Pond Park).
==============================================
1923. Black-throated Grey Warbler. Central Park. Not seen in the 1850-1925 time frame in NYC.

1958. Black-throated Grey Warbler. Central Park. Seen in September 1963 in Central Park. Not seen (to our knowledge) in Prospect Park from 1958 to 1964.

1964+. Black-throated Grey Warbler. Central Park. Seen in Central Park on three occasions: May 1970; September 2008; and November 2011.  ==============================================
1923. Yellow-throated Warbler. Central Park. A male discovered in the Ramble by Dr. Ellsworth Elliott on 17 April 1919. [According to Bull (1964): "Found dead 18 April and is now in the collection of the American Museum; this bird was a female; first seen 17 April by J.M. Valentine". A.M.N.H. #240958.] He showed the bird to W. DeW. Miller, L. Williams and many others. This is the rarest of our local Warblers, occurring casually in spring. It is easily recognized, and has a fine ringing song, suggesting a very good Myrtle Warbler, or a poor Indigo Bunting.

1958. Yellow-throated Warbler. Central Park. 23 April 1943 (E. Rich, Dale and J.T. Nichols); 29 April to 1 May 1926 (Alfred Hayes, Capen and others); 1 May to 5 May 1956 (Messing, J.T. Nichols, Post); 11 May 1958 (Cantor); 19 May 1955 (Leslie S. Pearl); 4 June to 6 June 1953 (Skelton and many others). 1959-1967: 15 April 1960 (Harrison, Mackenzie, Post).

1958. Yellow-throated Warbler. Prospect Park. Twelve records: 23 April 1952 (Carleton, Messing) to 17 May 1958 (Grant) and 6 June 1947 (Brennan). 1959-1967: no new data.

1964+. Yellow-throated Warbler. Bull (1964) writes: "It is one of our rarest warblers, although it has increased slightly within the last dozen years. This may be due, in part, to the enormous number of observers in recent years." From 1951-1964, from two to four individuals per year have ben the usual number reported, but seven each were noted in 1956 (April 24 to May 12) and 1959 (May 9 to 24). No location given: Extreme dates: 15 and 17 April (specimen) to 6 June; casual twice in early July (specimens); only four fall records, all coastal: September 2, 16 and 26 (specimen), and 6 October. From 1964 to 1998, the peak number of occurrences in our area was 10 in 1977 and 1984, but three to five would be the average. It is rare along the coast in fall, with one record 31 August 1991 (Kingbird 41: 290) and four in September. This makes our find (on a Bob Bird Walk in 2016) of an early August Yellow-throated Warbler all the more amazing - a new record for the region, and Central Park.
==================================================
1923. Yellow-breasted Chat [Warbler]. Central Park. Uncommon spring transient, 5 May 1904 (Hix) and 9 May 1919 (Griscom) to 31 May 1901 (Chubb). Very rare in the fall; 26 August 1913 (Hix) and 5 October 1921 (Carter and Griscom). BRONX REGION. Uncommon summer resident, formerly more numerous; 3 May 1916 (L. N. Nichols) to 14 September 1921 (Griscom). No occurrence in winter known to Griscom.

1958. Yellow-breasted Chat. Central Park. Uncommon transient. Seen in spring as early as 27 April 1953 (Dale, E. Rich) to as late as 31 May 1901 (Chubb). In autumn on southbound migration, as early as 20 August 1956 (Peter Post) to as late as 11 November 1953 (Maumary, Post). Five picked up dead near the Empire State Building (killed while migrating at night) on 11 September 1948. 1959-1967: No new/updated data.

1958. Yellow-breasted Chat. Prospect Park. Rare to uncommon transient. In spring seen as early as 28 April 1956 (Nielsen) and 6 May 1937 (Jacobson, Raymond) to as late as 23 May 1920 (Allen). In autumn on southbound migration as early as 20 August 1953 (Restivo) and 4 September 1932 (Russell) to as late as 16 October 1955 (Restivo) and 19 November 1956 (Carleton) and 3 December 1947 (Arnold Weinberg). Occasionally present in winter: 21 February to 24 February 1953 (Restivo, Smith, Usin) 1959-1967: Continuous records from 16 October to 19 November.

1964+. Yellow-breasted Chat. "Rare but regular in winter since 1950." In a 1940 breeding bird survey: 22 nesting pairs in 10 localities; in Westchester and Rockland Counties: 30 pairs in 11 localities. According to Bull (1964): The Yellow-breasted Chat is reported more often in autumn migration and in winter. Possibly the fall migrants are derived from the west, as it is the case with several other species that migrate toward the east coast in fall. 1998: "Formerly a common breeder LI, Staten Island and in the lower Hudson Valley, it is now much reduced and localized on LI, with breeding records concentrated on the North Shore, Fishers and Gardiners Islands. Today (2017), the Yellow-breasted Chat breeds in one locality in NYC - Staten Island...perhaps 3-5 pairs. It is reported annually in late fall and winter on LI, on Christmas Bird Counts and otherwise, from Brooklyn to Montauk, and in Bronx and Westchester Counties as well.

Notes (1923 - Griscom): More often heard than seen, it arrives about 10 May, but is rarely recorded in fall, apparently only stragglers remaining after the first week in September. The Chat is the eccentric clown of our local birds, and any medley of chucks, caws, toots and whistles coming from a dense thicket may safely be ascribed to him. He is often
very ventriloquial, and one bird can make noises enough for half a dozen. While generally distributed throughout our territory, it cannot be called exactly common, and in recent
years has decreased markedly in the suburban districts.
=========================================
Dendroica palmarum in New York City - Yellow Palm Warbler (1886). -- An individual of the Palm Warbler was seen by the writer, September 2, 1896, in West 129th Street, New York City, at the base of the prominence upon which stands the Claremont Hotel. The bird is not only rare in this vicinity but the record is an unusually early one. Three of the five recorded instances of its occurrence are based on spring captures at Sing Sing (Fisher) and Riverdale (Bicknell). The two previous fall records are, Fire Island Light, L.I., Sept. 23, 1887(Dutcher) and Red Bank, N.J., Sept. 28, 1889 (Oberholser). FRANK M. CHAPMAN, American Museum of Natural History, New York.
====================================================
Northern Phalarope [Red-necked Phalarope] - 1911. - Westchester Avenue [Bronx], for a distance of about a quarter of a mile, cuts through a slough which will eventually be filled in. On the north side of the avenue there is an extensive pond, sometimes quite deep, at others, with exposed mud-flats, or shallows. On August 26 [1911] there was a large flock of various shorebirds roaming about the mud-flats and wading in the shallows. The Phalarope was with these birds. Its different behavior drew attention to it immediately. It was feeding from the surface of the water, and continually swinging its body from side to side. It was present all afternoon, and during that time seldom flew. George E. Hix
============================================
Phalaropus lobatus. Northern [Red-necked] Phalarope [1889]. Since my last record of this species in May, 1884, I have obtained a number of records and also specimens, both in spring and fall, all from Montauk Point, the extreme southeastern end of Long Island. It would seem from this fact that these Phalaropes do not, in migrating, follow the outline of the coast, as most of the Limicolae of Long Island do, but coming northward in the spring leave the coast in the neighborhood of Delaware or lower New Jersey and by taking a northeasterly route reach Cape Cod. During the southward migration the reverse obtains. A few only of the great body of these migrants approach the land, even at Montauk, except in case of heavy and adverse winds. September 3, 1886, three individuals struck Montauk Point Light, one of which was sent to me by the keeper, Captain J.G. Scott. He informed me that there were about twenty of the same kind of birds about the light and that some of the same species were seen on the beach the next day. He stated they are not uncommon in August and September. May 5, 1888, two specimens were sent to me by Captain Scott. He reported about fifty around the light when these struck, and that there were "Lots of them hovering about the light from midnight to four A.M." Captain Scott thought these a new species, as he had not before seen them in their spring plumage, and consequently did not recognize them as the same species of 'web-footed snipe' that he had seen, not uncommonly, in the fall of the year. Both of the specimens sent to me were females in very high plumage. The ova in both were very small.

May 29, 1888, three additional specimens were sent to me from Montauk, which struck the tower that night, during a fog, with an east wind. There were about twenty in the flock. The specimens were all males, but were not in such high plumage as the females that were migrating nearly a month in advance of them. That they were adult birds and would have bred was indicated by the testes, which were about fully developed. August 13, 1888, the return migration had commenced, as three out of a flock struck the same light at 3 A.M. and just in advance of a southeast storm which commenced shortly after.

The specimen taken October 22, 1858, by Mr. Baker, is the latest seasonal record that I have. How much longer this pair would have remained it is hard to conjecture, but it is fair to suppose that if the food supply continued satisfactory to them, only a marked and unfavorable change in the weather would have hurried them on their southward journey. The status of this Phalarope on Long Island may be briefly described as follows: In the spring, rather rare except when driven shoreward by storms. In the fall, not uncommon in the eastern and middle south shore, and rare at the western end of the Island. On the [Long Island] Sound side of the Island I have only one record, of one which was caught alive by the keeper of Little Gull Island Light, some years since.*

Mr. Giraud says of them [Birds of Long Island pp. 248-249]: "With us it is seldom observed. The last individual that I met with, I came upon while engaged in shooting Terns on the inner beach, in the latter part of June. I observed it at a distance in company with a party of small Sandpipers, which I was scrutinizing through a glass that always accompanies me in my collecting tours. Appearing longer than its associates, and too small for the Yellow-shanks [Yellow-legs], or other familiar species of which we have spoken, I immediately set about ascertaining to what species it belonged - and as I advanced, was much pleased to find that an opportunity offered to secure another specimen of one of the rarest of our birds. It was very gentle, and seemed to have no disposition to take wing, although l had arrived quite near. It was standing in a shallow pool of water, and during my observations remained in a listless attitude, scarcely changing its position until alarmed by the explosion of the cap of the first barrel of my gun, which missed fire - when it sprung up, uttering a low whistling note; and while passing slowly from me, with the other barrel I secured it. On dissection it proved to be a male, and from its plumage I considered it the young of the year. In its stomach I found particles of shells and sand." Mr. Girand's inference that the specimen in question was of the "young of the year" seems hardly correct in view of the fact that the date he gives is "the latter part of June." It is probable that it was a more than usually dull plumaged adult male bird.

(*An additional Sound record of one taken Sept. 29, 1879, at Flushing, Queens Co., by C.A. Willets, the record being made by Robert Lawrence.)
=============================================================
Deborah Allen and Robert DeCandido PhD 
www.BirdingBob.com

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Featured Posts

Purple Gallinule: First Occurrence in Central Park Since 1928

November 6, 2019

1/10
Please reload

Recent Posts