Dobson, A., R. Norton, and A. Levesque. 2021. Spring 2021: West Indies & Bermuda. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-bXd> North American Birds.
The full effect of the volcanic eruption on St. Vincent in April has yet to be fully assessed but will undoubtedly have had a serious impact on the avifauna including the endemic threatened St. Vincent Parrot and endangered Whistling Warbler. Puerto Rico recorded its first Yellow-hooded Blackbird, while Saint Kitts recorded its first Arctic Tern. In Bermuda, Killdeers bred for the first time. The island also recorded its second Atlantic Puffin.
Waterfowl through Shorebirds
Two Fulvous Whistling-Ducks were seen at Pinar del Río, Cuba 7 May (Miguel Angel Ramirez Arebato). A Canada Goose was reported at Freeport Pine Ridge Landfill, West Grand Bahama 12 Apr (Erika Gates). Two Mottled Ducks were seen at West End, Freeport, Grand Bahama 8 May (Martha Cartwright). A flock of 11 Ring-necked Ducks was seen at Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic 8 Mar (Christiane Ethier). Fifteen Lesser Scaup were counted at Mona Reservoir, Kingston, Jamaica 7 Mar (Emma Lewis). A wintering Surf Scoter was last seen on Mid-Ocean GC, Bermuda 25 Mar (Paul Watson). A Black-billed Cuckoo was on St. Georges GC, Bermuda 20 Apr (Neal Morris). A Black Swift was well-observed at Savannah Grand, North Side, Grand Cayman 15 May (Peter Davey). Another Black Swift, described as “a large black swift with forked tail” and a Chimney Swift, described as “a flying cigar, stubby tail and smaller than adjacent black swift” were both seen at Mermaid’s Chair, Saint Thomas, USVI 6 May (Bob and Julie Schallmann). Two Spotted Rails were seen at Laguna Cabral, Barahona, Dominican Republic 31 Mar (Miguel A. Landestoy T.). Six Sora and two Yellow-breasted Crakes were reported from Laguna Cabral, Barahona, Dominican Republic 31 Mar (Miguel A. Landestoy T.); and a further two Yellow-breasted Crakes were reported from Hacienda La Esperanza, Manatí, Puerto Rico 12 May (Alcides L. Morales Pérez). A Black Rail responded to calls at Ejército rebelde oeste, La Habana, Cuba 2 Mar (Alejandro Llanes Sosa)—recording at https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/313220361.
Four Double-striped Thick-knee were noted at Monte Plata Campo, Dominican Republic 4 May (Stephen Brauning)—”Observed standing in the recently plowed field … one was a possible fledgling.” A Black-winged Stilt was at Spittal Pond, Bermuda 3 Apr–16 May (Tim White). One of the two wintering European Golden Plovers in Bermuda was last seen at Bermuda Airport 21 Mar (Paul Watson). Bermuda’s third record of Pacific Golden Plover was found and photographed at King’s Point, Bermuda 26–28 Apr (Neal Morris). Pacific Golden-Plover is now becoming a yearly visitor to Barbados with one at Congo Road Private Impoundment, Saint Philip 25–26 Mar (Julian E. Moore). Killdeers bred in Bermuda for the first time, with four pairs raising nine young at Bermuda Airport Pond in Apr and May (Tim White). 100-plus Whimbrel were counted on active migration at Petite Terre Nature Reserve, Guadeloupe 28 Apr (Baptiste Angin, Eric Delcroix). A Eurasian Whimbrel was seen at Bermuda Airport 26 Feb (Paul Watson). A Hudsonian Godwit was well observed as it flew over Bermuda Airport 11 May (Paul Watson). Three Marbled Godwits were seen at Punta Guaniquilla Nature Reserve, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico 22 May (Grant Terrell). A Red Knot sighted on Playa Jalovita 16–23 May was a rare mid-May record for Puerto Rico and a first record for Vieques (Erick Bermundez). A Red Knot was reported at Southgate Pond, Saint Croix 16 Apr (Lisa Yntema) and 44 Red Knot were counted at Laguna Estero Hondo, Pinar del Río, Cuba 25 Apr (Rodolfo Castro Alvarez). A Ruff, present throughout the winter, was last seen and photographed at Ferry Reach, Bermuda 29 Mar (Tim White), while another Ruff was seen at Cockleshell Bay, St Kitts & Nevis 28 Feb–4 May (Percival Hanley). A Curlew Sandpiper was seen at Laguna Estero Hondo, Pinar del Río, Cuba 25 Apr (Rodolfo Castro Alvarez). At least one of two Long-billed Dowitchers (first seen 21 Jan) was still present to 8 May, Congo Road and Chancery Lane, Barbados (John Webster, Julian Moore). A Wilson’s Phalarope was still present at Petite Terre Nature Reseve (Guadeloupe) to 21 Mar (Anthony Levesque).
Skua through Spoonbill
A Pomarine Skua rested on the ocean next to a boat on Challenger Banks, Bermuda 2 May (Rachel Van de Weg). Single South Polar Skuas were seen from Cooper’s Point, Bermuda 25 May (Paul Watson) and 29 May (Luke Foster, Miguel Mejias, Herb Marshall). Bermuda’s second live record of Atlantic Puffin was photographed at approximately 32° 11’N 64° 56’W (Sally Tucker’s fishing ground) 10 Mar (Chris Burville). Another Atlantic Puffin was found dead on Elbow Beach, Bermuda 1 Apr (Bermuda Audubon Society) which was retrieved as a museum specimen. Two Bonaparte’s Gulls were seen at Ocean Park, San Juan, Puerto Rico 30 Apr (Robert Wadsworth). The first returning Roseate Tern to Bermuda was noted 21 Apr on Pearl Island (Erich Hetzel). A probable first for St. Kitts, an Arctic Tern, was well photographed here in the Marriott Resort’s Frigate Bay 13 May (David Rose, Michael Ryan). A Black Skimmer was seen at Carretera Cabezas de San Juan, Fajardo, Puerto Rico 3 Mar (Paola Rexach). Two Leach’s Storm-Petrels were seen in Samana Bay, Dominican Republic 8 May (Maria Milagros Paulino, Jerry Bauer). An Anhinga was unusual at Diamond Crystal, Long Island, Bahamas 13 Apr (Michele Kelly). Wintering Double-crested Cormorants lingered into the spring with one still present at Harrington Sound, Bermuda 31 May (Andrea Webb). Four American White Pelicans were seen at Caño Tiburones, Arecibo, Puerto Rico 7 Mar (Sergio A. Colón López), while lone American White Pelicans were seen in scrublands south of Refugio Boqueron, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico 11 Mar (Julio Salgado, Manuel Torres) and at Five Islands, Antigua 13 May (per Eli Fuller). A Gray Heron continued its stay at Searles Private impoundment and irrigation ponds, Christ Church, Barbados until at least 8 May (John Webster). Two Little Egrets were photographed at Barrage de Gaschet 3 Apr (Antony Levesque); and a single Little Egret was seen on Trunk Island, Bermuda 26–31 May (David Wingate). A Striated Heron was reported (ph.) 20 Mar (Luis Arroyo) at Laguna Cartagena, Lajas, Puerto Rico. Single Scarlet Ibises were seen at Caño Tiburones Nature Reserve, Arecibo, Puerto Rico 20 Mar (Mario Espinosa) and at Punta Arenas Road, Vieques NWR, Puerto Rico 12 Apr (Erick Bermudez). Both may have wandered from the private collection in the BVI. A Roseate Spoonbill was reported on Laguna Oviedo, Pedernales, Dominican Republic 30 Apr (Miguel A. Landestoy T.).
Vultures through Warblers
Four Black Vultures were seen at Nicholls Town, North Andros, Bahamas 22 Apr (Lee Burke). Single Swallow-tailed Kites were reported at Darville Yard, Freeport and West Grand Bahama 11 Mar (Melanie Darville) and at Bahama Palm Shores, South Abaco and Moore’s Island, Bahamas 16 Mar (Christopher Johnson). In Cuba, eight Swallow-tailed Kites were counted at El Trigal, Boyeros, La Habana 8 May (Carlos Hernández Peraza) and two more at Artemisa 9 May (Javier Yraola Rodríguez). A Snail Kite continued its stay at Bay Street, Bridgetown, Saint Michael, Barbados 1 Mar–31 May (Edward Massiah, Julian E. Moore). A Cuban Black Hawk was reported at Barker’s NP, West Bay, Cayman Islands 8 May (Denny Swaby) and described as “uniform dark brown with broad rounded wings, noted white patches at the base of the primaries and white stripe on tail.” Finding five Ridgway’s Hawks seen at Nan Dejan, Grande Cayemite, Haiti 13 May (Anderson Jean, Maxon Fildor) was a good day in the field. A Short-eared Owl first seen 17 Feb at Bermuda Airport was joined by a second bird 10–27 Apr with one bird remaining to 2 May (Peter Adhemar). An Eastern Wood-Pewee was reported at Schooner Bay, South Abaco, Bahamas 2 Apr (Ancilleno Davis). A Fork-tailed Flycatcher (ph.) was at the Garden of the Groves, Freeport, Grand Bahama 22–23 May (Erika Gates). Two Black-whiskered Vireos in Bermuda was quite exceptional with the first at Ferry Point Park 28 Apr joined by a second bird 1–2 May (Miguel Mejias). A Cuban Martin was studied (ph.) at Barker’s NP, West Bay, Cayman Islands 8 May (Denny Swaby) where Swaby noted a “Large swallow with a forked tail and relatively broad wings, brownish body with very distinct white feathers through the chest, likely an immature/female.” Two Bank Swallows were noted at Freeport Pine Ridge Landfill, West Grand Bahama 28 Apr (Martha Cartwright) and another two were observed at Etang Flandiere, Sud, Haiti 28 May (Anderson Jean, Maxon Fildor, Jephtanie Francois). Two Cliff Swallows were seen at the Freeport Pine Ridge Landfill, West Grand Bahama 20 Apr (Lou Carroll).
Bermuda’s first Mountain Bluebird was last seen 23 Mar on Port Royal GC (Luke Foster). A Veery was noted at a residence in Central Abaco, Hope Town and Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas 17 Apr (Christopher Johnson), while another Veery was found in Pinar del Rio, Cuba 8 May (Ivalut Ruiz Rivera). A Bicknell’s Thrush was noted at Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve, Ouest, Haiti 18 Apr (Ruth Hersey). A Wood Thrush was reported at Nicholls Town, North Andros, Bahamas 22 Apr (Lee Burke). Wintering American Pipits lingered well into the spring in Bermuda with the last one noted at Bermuda Airport Pond 11 May (Neal Morris). A Purple Finch was a very good find at Ferry Point Park, Bermuda 28 Apr (Paul Watson). A White-throated Sparrow was seen at Ruth’s Point, Bermuda 13 Mar (Paul Watson). A Lincoln’s Sparrow was seen at Montehiedra shopping center, San Juan, Puerto Rico Mar 14 (Jose A. Salguero). Two Bobolink were noted flying overhead at South Beach East, New Providence, Bahamas 17 Apr (Keith M. Kemp). An Orchard Oriole was seen perched (ph.) at Reserva Natural Las Cucharas, Ponce, Puerto Rico 27 Mar (Hector C. Cruzado). A Red-winged Blackbird was present at Parson’s Road Pond, Bermuda 21 Mar–21 Apr (LeShun Smith). A Great-tailed Grackle continued at Muelle Cataño, Cataño, Puerto Rico from 7–31 Mar (Carmen Maldonado, Jose R. Burset). A subadult male or female Yellow-hooded Blackbird,the first for Puerto Rico, was an exceptional discovery at Cabo Rojo NWR 23 Apr (Sadhu Govarhan). Abundant along the countries bordering the southern Caribbean, there is only one previous record for the Greater/Lesser Antilles—a male bird collected in Barbados in 1887. A Golden-winged Warbler provided a rare spring record at St. Georges GC, Bermuda 20–24 Apr (Tim White). It was joined by a Lawrence’s Warbler at the same location 20–22 Apr (Tim White). Five Kirtland’s Warbler were reported 13 Mar (Morgan Bower) at Abaco National Park, South Abaco and Moore’s Island, Bahamas. An Adelaide’s Warbler was seen on the Francis Bay Trail, Virgin Islands NP, St. John, USVI 4 Mar (Lindsey Hieb)—indicating an established residency since this Puerto Rican endemic naturally colonized the Northern Virgin Islands in 2012. Single vagrant Summer and Scarlet tanagers were both recorded at Petite Terre, Terre de Bas, Guadeloupe 14 May (Eric Delcroix); and a female Summer Tanager was at Stonefield Villa Resort, St Lucia 1 Apr (Kevin Berkoff). A Rose-breasted Grosbeak was seen at La Désirade Island, Guadeloupe 20 Apr (Eric Delcroix, Anthony Levesque).
Report processed by José R. Ramírez-Garofalo, 10 Oct 2021.