Mitra, Shaibal S., Amy Davis, Robert O. Paxton, and Frank Rohrbacher. 2021. Spring 2021: Hudson-Delaware Region. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-c74> North American Birds.
A slew of record-early arrivals were noted in New York City this spring. As in some prior spring season reports, the last dates of observation for over-wintering rarities were carefully identified. Such birds often depart their wintering sites from mid-March to early April, in many cases much earlier than typical northbound migration dates for these species at our latitude. The season’s highlights included a Pacific Golden-Plover at Great Bay WMA, Ocean Co, NJ and a Wood Stork at Beaverdam Creek, Suffolk Co, NY, as well as state firsts Tundra Bean-Goose (NY), Heermann’s Gull (NJ), Gray-breasted Martin (NY), and Violet-green Swallow (NY).
Deborah Allen (Central Park, NYC), Scott Barnes (northern New Jersey), Jeffrey S. Bolsinger, Thomas W. Burke (NY Rare Bird Alert), Barbara Butler (Dutchess Co, NY), Amy Davis (New Jersey), Tom Fiore (NYC), Brendan Fogarty (Long Island and NYC), John H. Haas (Hudson-Delaware Region, NY: email@example.com), Bill Krueger (Adirondack-Champlain Region, NY: firstname.lastname@example.org), Laurie Larson (NJ Birds listserv), Patricia J. Lindsay (Long Island and NYC: email@example.com), Mike Morgante (Niagara Frontier Region, NY: firstname.lastname@example.org), Bill Ostrander (Finger Lakes Region, NY: email@example.com), Derek Rogers (Northern New York), Frank Rohrbacher (Delaware), Robert G. Spahn (Genesee Region, NY: firstname.lastname@example.org), Joel Strong (Niagara Frontier Region, NY: email@example.com), Lance Verderame (Susquehanna Region, NY: firstname.lastname@example.org), David Wheeler (Oneida Lake Basin Region, NY: email@example.com), Tom Williams (Hudson-Mohawk Region, NY: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Bombay Hook (Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co, DE); Braddock Bay (Braddock Bay Bird Observatory, Rochester, Monroe Co, NY); Brigantine (Brigantine Unit, Edwin B. Forsythe NWR, Atlantic Co, NJ); Cape Henlopen (Cape Henlopen SP, Sussex Co, DE); Cape May (Cape May, Cape May Co, NJ); Central Park (Central Park, New York Co, NY); Derby Hill (Derby Hill Hawkwatch, Oswego Co, NY); Montezuma (Montezuma area, including Montezuma NWR, Seneca Co; Savannah, Wayne Co;and Montezuma WMA, Cayuga Co; all NY); Moriches Inlet (Moriches Inlet & vicinity, Suffolk Co, NY); Prime Hook (Prime Hook NWR and Prime Hook WMA, Sussex Co, DE); Robert Moses SP (on Fire Island, Suffolk Co, NY); Sandy Hook (part of Gateway National Recreation Area, Monmouth Co, NJ); Shinnecock Inlet (Shinnecock Inlet & vicinity, Suffolk Co, NY).
Waterfowl through Shorebirds
Now expected in spring, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck made several appearances in the southern two states of the region this season. Wheatley’s Pond, Kent Co, DE hosted the species 9 Mar–5 Apr; a flock of 12 that was discovered there 9 Mar built up to as many as 18 on 30 Mar–3 Apr. Later, eight were at Lake Gerar Park, Rehoboth Beach, Sussex Co, DE 12 May (Kenneth Reese). In NJ, a flock of eight was photographed in Manchester Twp., Ocean Co 20 May (Jim Farese), and two were in Cape May, Cape May Co 25 May (D. Flanagan).
As noted in previous spring reports, the northbound migrations of Arctic-nesting geese and other early-moving species has shifted earlier, with much movement occurring prior to March. This spring, Ross’s Geese were very well represented in the region. One was still as far south as Prime Hook 5 Mar (Tom Johnson), and the species was widely reported in western and northern NY in early March. The pattern for Greater White-fronted Goose was broadly similar, with small numbers continuing into early-mid Mar in DE and in NJ’s Cape May and Burlington Cos, with later reports in NY. Joining these once mega-rare geese as an expected species, Pink-footed Goose was recorded at three sites this spring: Northport, Suffolk Co, NY 1 Mar (Brent Bomkamp, Taylor Sturm); fields along the Hudson River east of the Saratoga National Historical Park, Saratoga Co, NY 15 Mar (m. ob.); and Prime Hook 21 Mar (Gina Sheridan). The effort directed toward Anser in this area was prompted by NY’s first Tundra Bean-Goose, first photographed on 12 Mar, identified on 14 Mar, and seen again on 16 Mar (David DiSiena, Gregg Recer, Rich Guthrie, et al.). All records were from near the northern end of Saratoga Lake, the nearby farm country eastward to the Hudson River, and the Hudson River shore in Melrose, Rensselaer Co, NY. The prevailing view that this was the same bird as the individual in southeastern Pennsylvania that represented the first northeastern U.S. record is complicated by the presence of a Tundra Bean-Goose in southeastern Pennsylvania (albeit in Lancaster Co, a different site than those prior to the New York records) on 2–4 May (Linda Grebe). Critical analysis of bill pattern might resolve the matter.
Away from breeding areas in northern and western NY, three Trumpeter Swans lingered at a now traditional wintering site at Assunpink WMA, Monmouth Co, NJ through 11 Mar (Trey Hendrix, Terry Carruthers, m. ob.). The southernmost Trumpeters in NY were at Cassadaga Lake, Chautauqua Co 15 Mar (Kirk Vanstrom) and Chenango Forks, Broome Co 3 Apr (Dave Nicosia et al.). Tufted Ducks were present in NY at the south end of Canandaigua Lake, Yates Co 3–20 Mar and Ausable Marsh, Clinton Co 20–30 Mar. Several Barrow’s Goldeneyes lingered into Mar in NY, the most notable of which were two at Kingston Point Beach, Ulster Co 3 Mar (Peter Schoenberger et al.).
Eared and Western grebes were represented by single NY records this spring, on the Lake Ontario shore at Braddock Bay 24 Apr (Mitchell Barry) and at Coney Island Creek, Kings Co 11–14 May (Anthony Ferino), respectively. A White-winged Dove was photographed at the Braddock Bay hawk watch 8 May (David Brown). A Eurasian Collared-Dove was heard singing in Cape May Point, Cape May Co, NJ 11 May (Jerald Reb); another at Portland, Chautauqua Co, NY 15–22 Mar (Carol Hardenburg, m. ob.) was the first report from the Niagara Frontier since 2015. The history of extralimital hummingbirds in the Northeast was originally detailed in fall season reports in the 1990s, then it leaked over into winter season reports, and now, surviving overwinterers appear in spring reports. A Rufous Hummingbird continued in Pemberton, Burlington Co, NJ through 20 Mar (B. Street, m. ob.). The Calliope Hummingbird continuing from winter in Point Pleasant, Ocean Co through 19 Apr (Deb Dishon, m. ob.) was the thirteenth record for NJ and the latest-lingering individual to date.
Spring arrival dates have been studied intensively in the New York City area for well over a century. Comprehensive record-keeping in the region dates back at least to Anne A. Crolius’s 250+ annual visits to Central Park from 1895–1915, a unique early feat of patch-birding which I would suggest is the likely inspiration for Ludlow Griscom’s local work, commenced in 1907—in particular, his revolutionary articulation of the metrics of local field work (the intensity, duration, and competence of coverage). Against this history, the accrual of record-early arrival dates carries a large measure of gravitas, and I admit to not being prepared for what we witnessed in spring 2021 in Kingbird Region 10 (New York City and Long Island): a Chimney Swift at Crocheron Park, Queens Co 21 March (Laura Weir), eleven days before its previous early date; a Veery at Prospect Park 31 March (Juan Salas), 16 days earlier than the previous record date; a Northern Parula in Central Park on 31 March, besting the previous record by five days; a Wilson’s Warbler in Central Park on 14 April, matching the prior record; and Region 10’s earliest ever and second April occurrence of Olive-sided Flycatcher, in Central Park, on 29 April. Region 10 Spring Season Editor Brendan Fogarty noted that “All of the few Veery records outside of the tropics in late winter have occurred in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic areas, so perhaps this bird never left the United States.” Such a constellation of astonishing arrival dates, spanning six weeks of dynamic and heterogenous weather, is a striking illustration that the avian world we are studying is changing fast. Many more examples may be gleaned from The Kingbird, in its Spring Arrival Dates table, comparing arrivals for 93 species across the Empire State’s ten regions, against their averages since 1987, as well as in the spring regional reports, including Brendan’s (The Kingbird Volume 71, Number 3 (in press): https://nybirds.org/KBsearch.htm).
A King Rail at Kumpf Marsh, Iroquois NWR, Genesee Co, NY 30 May and later (Peter Yoerg, Willie D’Anna, Celeste Morien) was the first in the Niagara Frontier since 2010. Two to three Yellow Rails were at Glades Wildlife Refuge, Cumberland Co, NJ 19–29 Apr (David Weber, Alex Wiebe, m. ob.).
The status of Black-necked Stilt in the Hudson-Delaware region is enigmatic. Although common in Delaware, they remain scarce across the Delaware Bay in New Jersey, where there was one at Brigantine 23 May (Lisa Bertino, David Bernstein, m. ob.) and two at Tuckahoe-Corbin City WMA, Atlantic Co 28–29 May (Christina Marks, m. ob.). Meanwhile, reports of the species are increasing in the far northwest of the Hudson-Delaware region: one at Iroquois NWR, Genesee Co, NY 30–31 May (Terry Bohling, m. ob.), was the fourth for the Niagara Frontier, all having occurred in the last five years. An American Avocet was noted at Brigantine 11–12 Mar (Nancy Erickson, m. ob.), and there were two to three at the same location 10–16 May (Carl Engstrom, m. ob.). Far to the north, in western New York, spring migrant avocets are being detected with increasing frequency and regularity, with one at Derby Hill 29 Apr (Gale VerHague, Bruce Robinson).
One of the outstanding highlights of the entire season was a Pacific Golden-Plover, NJ’s third and its first since 2001, at Great Bay Boulevard WMA, Ocean Co 15–28 May (Amy Davis, Chris Thomas, Tom Johnson, m. ob.). Most of the few records in the East have occurred in summer–fall. NJ boasted three reports of Wilson’s Plover, all from Cape May Co: one at Nummy Island 23 Mar (Jesse Fagan, m. ob.); one at Corson’s Inlet SP 29 Apr (Deborah Rivel); and one at Stone Harbor Point 25–28 May (Kevin Karlson, m. ob.). Piping Plovers were found again on the shores of Lake Ontario. Three individuals were at Braddock Bay 20–21 Apr (Mitchell Barry, Jane Graves, Rosemary Reilly), 15 May (Mitchell Barry et al.), and 23 May (David Brown et al.). Elsewhere on the lake shore, a nesting pair at Lakeview WMA, Jefferson Co 15–21 May (Matthew Brown, Jeffrey S. Bolsinger) abandoned the location after their nest failed (fide Jeffrey S. Bolsinger); and the species was reported 24 Apr+ from Sandy Pond Outlet, Oswego Co, where nesting was later confirmed for the second consecutive summer (Matthew Brown, Claire Nellis, et al.).
Like American Avocets, Marbled Godwits have been increasingly detected in western New York in spring migration. Singles were at Hogan Point Pond, Monroe Co 14 May (Robert Cicotta et al.); Braddock Bay 21 May (David Brown) and 31 May (Barb & Lynn Springle, Robert Spahn); Sandy Pond Outlet 21–29 May (Matthew Brown), Oswego Co’s third; and Sodus Bay, Wayne Co 30 May (Paul & Jennifer Clarke). Five reports of Ruff were broadly distributed across the region: at Edwin B. Forsythe NWR Barnegat Division, Ocean Co, NJ 1 May (Amy Davis et al.); Iroquois NWR, Genesee Co, NY 11 May (Celeste Morien); Bombay Hook 11–16 May (Josh Gant, Jeff Smith, Michael Moore, m. ob.); Moriches Bay Marine Waterway Access, Suffolk Co, NY 17 May (Doug DeFeo); and Montezuma 22 May (Reuben Stoltzfus).A Curlew Sandpiper was at Brigantine 13–25 May (Tom Johnson, m. ob.).Wilson’s Phalaropes were well-reported in NJ: one flyby at Cape May Point, Cape May Co 1 May (Tom Reed, m. ob.); as many as four at Richard W. DeKorte Park, Bergen Co 7–13 May (Milton Collins, m. ob.); two at Negri-Nepote Grasslands, Somerset Co 19 May (David McEn); one at Brigantine 19–26 May (Bill Elrick, m. ob.); and one at Tuckahoe-Corbin City WMA, Atlantic Co 23 May (Bill Elrick). One to three Red-necked Phalaropes were at Brigantine 21–25 May (Bill Elrick), and one was at Richard W. DeKorte Park, Bergen Co, NJ 28 May (Evan Zupfer).
Skuas Through Owls
A South Polar Skua was seen from a boat 82 miles southeast of Shinnecock Inlet 29 May (Derek Rogers, John Shemilt, Angus Wilson). Two Common Murres were seen in Cape May Co, NJ waters during a Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center pelagic trip 21 Mar (David Weber, Tom Reed, m. ob.).
New Jersey’s first Heermann’s Gull was present along the Delaware Bay shore between Cape May Point and North Cape May 30–31 May (Carl Engstrom, Julian Grudens, m. ob.). This was apparently the same individual reported fall 2019 through spring 2021 in FL, then spring 2021 in GA, VA, MA, and RI; it represents the first record for New Jersey and the Hudson-Delaware region. Black-headed Gulls were plentiful. New Jersey reports included one continuing in Point Pleasant Beach, Ocean Co through 15 Apr (Doug Hockenbury); one in Atlantic City, Atlantic Co 2 Apr (Johan Artus); one at Liberty SP, Hudson Co 6 Apr (John Coyle); one in Toms River, Ocean Co 12 Apr (Deidre Asbjorn, Chelsea Hockenbury, Dianna Lieter); and multiple reports from Cape May Co.In New York, at least seven identifiable individuals were recorded, all adults except one. On 14 Mar an adult returned to Old Field Point, Suffolk Co, where it has been seen for many years (Patrice Domeischel, Kathleen Coyle), and an immature commuted between Prospect Park and the Sunset Park waterfront, Kings Co thru 23 Mar (m. ob.). Elsewhere in NY, others were at Robert Moses SP 14 Mar (Lisa Nasta, John Gluth); Sheepshead Bay, Kings Co 14 Mar (Heydi Lopes, Mike Yuan); Randall’s Island, New York Co 21 Mar (Deborah Allen); Shirley Chisolm SP, Kings Co 26 Mar (Richard Fleming); and Coney Island Creek, Kings Co 28 Mar (Shane Blodgett, m. ob.).In NJ, two Little Gulls were at Villas, Cape May Co 25–27 Mar (Greg Prelich, Jeanine Apgar, m. ob.), and there was a now-incredible tally of five individuals at Raritan Bay Waterfront Park, Middlesex Co 7 Apr (Scott Barnes, Jason Denesevich, Bruce McWhorter). Reports of this species have been declining. At least seven Laughing Gulls reached western New York (fide Robert G. Spahn, David Wheeler).An immature Common Gull continued from winter in Kings Co, NY, moving between Prospect Park and the adjacent Upper New York Bay through 9 Mar (Doug Gochfeld et al.). A California Gull at Cape May Point 31 Mar (Tom Reed, m. ob.) was the eighth record for NJ. “Thayer’s” Iceland Gulls were documented in Niagara Co, NY at Krull County Park, where there was an immature 25 Apr (Joel Strong), and at the Olcott pier 29 Apr (Joel Strong).
A Least Tern at Braddock Bay 1 May (David Brown) was just the second spring record for the Genesee region (Rochester, NY area). Multiple reports of Roseate Tern from Monmouth, Ocean, and Cape May counties in New Jersey were highly notable for this species. Arctic Tern remains an enigmatic species in our region, despite vastly increased detection. There was a single pelagic record this spring, off Cape May 21 May (David Weber, Melissa Laurino et al.), followed by a dramatic incursion inshore 24–29 May. Ordinarily very rare in NJ, adults were found repeatedly at Cape May during this period, as well as at other coastal sites, as follows: one at Cape May Point 24 May (Glen Davis); two at Avalon Seawatch, Cape May Co 24 May (Tom Reed); one at Manasquan Inlet, Monmouth/Ocean Cos 25 May (Alex Lamoreaux); one at Cape May Point 26 May (Tom Reed); two at Cape May Point 28 May (Michael Lanzone, Bob Fogg); and four at Cape May Point 29 May (Tom Reed, Barb Bassett). On Long Island, NY, where generally more regular, Arctic Terns were documented at two traditional sites on 31 May: an adult at Nickerson Beach, Nassau Co (Ken Feustel et al.) and a very unusual total of 10 at Moriches Inlet (Mike McBrien), including three first-summer, three second-summer types, and four adults.
An immature Wood Stork at Beaverdam Creek, Suffolk Co, NY 5–15 May (Susan Saunders, m. ob.) was a major rarity and the first chaseable Long Island record in generations. Brown Boobies continue to increase in frequency, with records near Hudson Canyon, Suffolk Co, NY 15 May (Doug Gochfeld), the Mariner’s Harbor waterfront, Richmond Co, NY 27 May (Seth Wollney, Isaac Grant, Anthony Ciancimino), and at Marciante-Jackson-Millet Park, Elizabeth, Union Co, NJ 27 May (David Bernstein, m. ob.). American White Pelicans at Derby Hill 30 Mar and Selkirk Shores SP, Oswego Co 31 Mar–1 Apr (Matthew Brown) further illustrate western New York’s role in capturing northbound migration of species that winter in the Southeast and breed in the northern Great Plains. White Ibis continues its range expansion into the region with counts of 50–100+ at various locations along the Delaware coast and in Cape May Co, NJ, and breeding was confirmed in the latter location for the second year in a row. White-faced Ibis was curiously absent from Delaware this spring, but it was well represented in New Jersey and New York: singles at Brigantine 13–18 Apr (Bill Elrick, m. ob.) and 2–4 May (Jason Denesevich, m. ob.); the Captree marshes, Suffolk Co, NY, a traditional site, 30 Apr–3 May (Lisa Nasta); Island Beach SP, Ocean Co, NJ 10 May (Chelsea Hockenbury, Doug Hockenbury, Deidre Asbjorn, Steven Weiss); Ocean City Welcome Center rookery, Cape May Co, NJ 16–30 May (Chris Daly, m. ob.); Montezuma 15 and 18 May (m. ob.); Braddock Bay 22–23 May (Andy Guthrie, m. ob.); Cape May Point, Cape May Co, NJ 23 May (Tom Reed, m. ob.); and Howland Island WMA, Cayuga Co, NY 18 May (Mike Gullo), furnishing the first record for Cayuga Co and the Oneida Lake Basin Region (fide David Wheeler).
New York’s first-ever and long-staying Ferruginous Hawk continued in the Orange County Black Dirt Region and was last reported 13 March. Swallow-tailed Kites made a strong showing in the southern part of the region. There was one at Cape Henlopen 30 Mar (Billy Weber, Matthew Sabatine), and singles were reported from five NJ counties: at Pittsgrove, Salem Co 28 Mar (Ryan Risher); Cape May Co 29 Mar (Barb Bassett, David Weber), 2 Apr (Stanley Payne), and 11 May (Michael O’Brien, m. ob.); Barnegat, Ocean Co 29 Mar (Scott Barnes, Debra Stewart); Sandy Hook, Monmouth Co 31 Mar (Tom Boyle, Daniel Markowicz); and Great Swamp NWR, Morris Co, 21 May (Charlie Neiss). A light morph immature Swainson’s Hawk at Braddock Bay 26 May (Dominic Sherony et al.) represents a remarkable spring occurrence.
In NJ, a Snowy Owl continued at Island Beach SP, Ocean Co through 8 Mar (Steven Weiss); one to two continued at Edwin B. Forsythe NWR Holgate Unit, Ocean Co through 21 Mar; one was at Sandy Hook 4–5 Apr (Jason Denesevich, m. ob.); one was at Brigantine 5–6 Apr (Daniel Slipp, m. ob.); and one was in Long Beach Twp., Ocean Co 17 Apr (Candy Farr).
A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was a one-day wonder at Barnegat Light SP, Ocean Co, NJ 20 Apr (Jess Harkness, m. ob.). The southernmost Northern Shrikes in the region were at Floyd Bennett Field, Kings Co, NY 20 March (Max Epstein, Heydi Lopes, Mike Yuan) and at Franklin Parker Preserve, Burlington Co, NJ, where one continued through winter to 20 Mar (Roy Seneca, m. ob.).
One of the most astonishing records ever in this well-studied region was the product of purposeful study of swallows grounded by inclement weather. Aware that he had never seen a Purple Martin in Prospect Park, Kings Co, NY, Doug Gochfeld paid close attention to an unfamiliar-looking swallow over Prospect Lake, obtained photographs, and immediately spread the word that this Progne martin appeared decidedly smaller and cleaner-bellied than a Purple Martin. Careful study by many additional observers later that day and over the next three days yielded excellent photos from all angles under a variety of lighting conditions, as well as audio recordings and critical study of flight actions and overall shape and size. Careful research by Doug and others provided a convincing case for acceptance as Gray-breasted Martin by the New York State Avian Records Committee (Willie D’Anna, pers. comm.), the first U.S. record north of Florida.
Another hirundine first for the Empire State followed three weeks later in the form of a Violet-green Swallow, photographed at Vischer Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve, Saratoga Co (John Hershey). Unfortunately, this first New York State record was not seen subsequently. A Cave Swallow at Cape May Point 2–6 Apr (Tom Reed, Tom Johnson, m. ob.) was not just rare in spring but especially noteworthy as a likely representative of the Caribbean subspecies P. f. fulva. A Boreal Chickadee at Partridge Run WMA, Albany Co,NY 4 Apr was one of very few away from breeding areas in recent years. Increasingly regular at Cape May, a Brown-headed Nuthatch on 20 May (Tom Reed, m. ob.) was the 13th record for Cape May Co and 14th for NJ. A Townsend’s Solitaire continued from winter at Cape Henlopen through 21 April (m. ob.). Yet another example of an over-wintering western North American vagrant persisting until a date from mid-Mar to mid-Apr was furnished by a Varied Thrush at a Ridge, Suffolk Co, NY residence through 18 Mar (Jeane Burke).
Following the massive irruptions of fall 2020, several species of winter finches lingered into the season from winter and passed through the region on their way back north. The most notable in terms of rarity and southerly occurrence included New Jersey’s eighth Hoary Redpoll, continuing at Wantage Grasslands, Sussex Co through 2 Mar (Marianne Ofenloch, m. ob.), and a White-winged Crossbill at a feeder in Cape May 28 Feb–6 Mar (fide Barb Bassett, m. ob.). A Golden-crowned Sparrow at Sandy Hook 9–10 May (Nyleen Roszel, Scott Barnes, m. ob.) was the eighth record for NJ. Most Harris’s Sparrows in the region are detected at feeders, so a singing male in breeding plumage at Point Gratiot, Chautauqua Co, NY 19 May was an excellent find by a birder in the act of birding (Gale VerHague). The same is true of a hybrid Spotted x Eastern Towhee at Fuchs Pond Preserve, Suffolk Co, NY 28 Apr (Taylor Sturm).
A Western Meadowlark was recorded singing at Springfield Center, Otsego Co, NY 28 Apr (Pete Fenner). Yellow-headed Blackbirds made a strong showing in New York, with four widely spaced: in the Black Dirt Region of Orange Co11 Mar (Karen Miller, Renee Davis); in a large flock of migrating icterids between the City of Saratoga Springs and the Village of Schuylerville, Saratoga Co 17 March (Scott Surner); at a feeder in Hamburg, Erie Co 23 Apr (Paul McQuillen); and at Albany International Airport on 16 May (Frank Mitchell et al.). The only one outside of New York was at feeders in Cape May Point 26 Mar (Danny Ceravolo, m. ob.).
For the third consecutive spring, a male Swainson’s Warblersang on territory at Higbee Beach WMA, Cape May, where it was present 15 April through the season (Julian Grudens, m. ob.). Another was recorded singing at Sandy Hook, Monmouth Co, NJ 23 Apr (William Whitehead), and one was well described at Bombay Hook on 10 May (Linda Nordell), far north of historical breeding areas in southern Delaware. In a similar theme of a southern warbler in the North, a Prothonotary Warbler was highly notable at Fort Drum, Jefferson Co, NY on 29 April (Jeffrey S. Bolsinger). There were two Black-throated Gray Warblers this spring: at Amherst SP, Erie Co, NY 20–24 Apr (John Barton et al.), and at Prestons Pond, Suffolk Co, NY 14 May (Barbara Butler, m. ob.).
The only Western Tanager of the season continued from winter at Carl Schurz Park, New York Co, NY, and was last seen on 18 Apr. Painted Buntings were unusually numerous, including two at feeders in Delaware: one continuing from winter through 17 Apr near Frederica, Kent Co(Aaron Reb) and one at Newark, New Castle Co 1 May (Amy Griger). New Jersey records included an adult male continuing in Springfield Twp., Burlington Co through 21 March (fide Terry Lodge); a female in Upper Freehold, Monmouth Co 16 Apr (Evan Knudsen); and a female at Higbee Beach WMA, Cape May Co 6 May (Maryann O’Leary, m. ob.). Finally, two males were photographed at feeders in New York: one at Pearl River, Rockland Co, where it continued sporadically from winter to 21 Mar (fide Dawn Hannay), and one at Bainbridge, Chenango Co for one day only on 15 May (fide Rick Bunting). Dickcissels were well reported in Delaware (several) and New Jersey (one continued in Bridgewater Twp., Somerset Co, through 2 May, with others potentially breeding in Burlington Co), plus a handful of migrants in Cape May, Ocean, Monmouth, Hudson, and Bergen counties. A male singing one day only near Whallonsburg, Essex Co, 18 May (Stacy Robinson) was unique in New York.
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