West Indies & Bermuda: Summer 2020

Summer 2020: 1 Jun–31 Jul

Robert L. Norton (Greater Antilles, Bahamas)
[email protected]

Andrew Dobson (Bermuda)
[email protected]

Anthony Levesque (Lesser Antilles)
[email protected]

Recommended citation:

Norton, R., A. Dobson, and A. Levesque. 2021. Summer 2020: West Indies & Bermuda. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-b8j> North American Birds.

Dedicated sea watching from Bermuda produced a South Polar Skua and the island’s first Black-browed Albatross; a Roseate Tern found in Bermuda had flown from Ireland; and a Curlew Sandpiper made an appearance at Puerto Rico.

Contributors

Gloria Archilla, Sarahi Barbosa, Francoise Benjamin, Erick Bermúdez, Kenrith Carter (KC), Karim Carter (KCa), Martha Cartwright, Roger Cartwright, Kate Charles (KCh), Hector C. Cruzado, Peter Davey, Claire Fletcher, Sheelagh Fromer, Erich Hetzel, Anderson Jean, Ian Kirkham, Miguel A. Landestoy, Amarilys Lebron (ALe), Anthony Levesque, Daniel Lugo, Jeremy Madeiros, Carmen Maldonado, Nicole Martin (NMa) Neal Morris, Ingela Perrson, Jo Smith, Jose Salguero (JSa), Denny Swaby, Eric Torres-Rivera, Jennifer Valiulis, Paul Watson.

Waterfowl through Shorebirds

Eight Northern Shovelers were a surprise on 30 Jun at Trou Caiman, Haiti (FB, m. ob.). They could have been injured or perhaps going through a protracted moult. A Common Nighthawk was found (ph.) on 1 Jun at Little Cayman, Cayman Islands (NMa). The photo shows that the folded wing extend beyond the tail which is typical for this species. An aberrant Antillean Nighthawk should not be ruled out. A White-collared Swift was seen at Saint Andrew, Grenada on 3 Jun (KC, KCa, KCh)—their status is still unclear on Grenada. A Purple Gallinule was a nice find on 2 Jun (JV) and found again on 3 Jun (SF) at the Agricultural Pond, Kingshill, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. A Curlew Sandpiper was photographed at Rompeolas de Piñones, Loíza, Puerto Rico on 28 Jul (GA, ALe). A Willet was seen at Spittal Pond, Bermuda on 31 Jul (NM).

Table 1. Migrant shorebird observations during summer 2020 in the West Indies— (Jun dates are likely over-summering birds with the second week of July the expected date for the south-bound migrants).

Species (#)

Date 

Location

Observer(s)

Semipalmated Plover (2)

Jun 03

Puerto Alejandro, Barahona, Dom. Repub.

Miguel A. Landestoy

Ruddy Turnstone (2)

Jun 03

Puerto Alejandro, Barahona, Dom. Repub.

M A Landestoy

Sanderling (2)

Jun 03

Salinas de Bani, Peravia, Dom. Rep.

M A Landestoy

Semipalmated Plover (27)

Jun 18

North Side, Grand Cayman

Ian Kirkham, Peter Davey, Denny Swaby

Greater Yellowlegs (6) 

Jun 18

Splendid View Blvd, North Side, Grand Cayman

P Davey, I Kirkham

Ruddy Turnstone (6) & (47)

Jun 18

Colliers Beach, East End & Safehaven, West Bay, Grand Cayman

P Davey, D Swaby

Black-bellied Plover (1)

Jun 19

Carib Sands, Cayman Brac

Nicole Martin

Willet (3)

Jun 19

Carib Sands, Cayman Brac

N Martin

Short-billed Dowitcher (14)

Jun 30

Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Eric Torres-Rivera

Whimbrel (1)

Jun 30

Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

ET-R

Spotted Sandpiper (1)

Jul 10

Malportas Pond, North Side, Grand Cayman

P Davey

Least Sandpiper (2)

Jul 15

Malportas Pond IBA, North Side, Grand Cayman

P Davey, I Kirkham

Semipalmated Sandpiper (12)

Jul 15

Malportas Pond IBA, North Side, Grand Cayman

I Kirkham, P Davey

Solitary Sandpiper (1)

Jul 16,

Mayagüez. Puerto Rico

Daniel Lugo, 

Sarahi Barbosa

Solitary Sandpiper (2)

Jul 17,

Barefoot Bay, Long Island, Bahamas

R Cartwright

Solitary Sandpiper (3)

Jul 21

Malportas Pond IBA, North Side, Grand Cayman

P Davey

Western Sandpiper (7)

Jul 21

Malportas Pond IBA, North Side, Grand Cayman

D Swaby

Lesser Yellowlegs (2)

Jul 21

Malportas Pond IBA, North Side, Grand Cayman

P Davey, I Kirkham

Pectoral Sandpiper (5)

Jul 24

Safehaven, West Bay, Grand Cayman

D Swaby

Pectoral Sandpiper (1)

Jul 24

Barefoot Bay, Long Island, Bahamas

R Cartwright

 Pectoral Sandpiper (5)

Jul 25

Camuy, Puerto Rico

Carmen Maldonado

Terns through Tanager 

There was great success on the four man-made platforms for nesting Least Terns at Petite Terre, Guadeloupe—132 pairs produced an estimated 134 fledglings. A banded Roseate Tern was found at Bermuda Airport on 30 June in poor condition but unfortunately did not survive. It had been banded at Rockabill Island, Ireland on 11 July 2018—the first confirmed record of a European-side Roseate Tern for Bermuda (EH, DBW). A pair of Roseate Terns returned to breed in the Great Sound, Bermuda for a third consecutive year. They were present 1 Jun–31 Jul+ (EH). Two Arctic Terns were seen at Petite-Terre, Guadeloupe on 16 Jun provided a late record (AL). Two Forster’s Terns were reported on 13 Jul (HC) at Reserva Natural Las Cucharas, Ponce, Puerto Rico for an unusually early summer visit. A Royal Tern was spotted over Clearwater Beach, Bermuda on 16 Jul (PW). A Sandwich Tern was rare at Playa Grande, Vieques, Puerto Rico on 13 June (EB). A Black-Browed Albatross was well described during a sea watch at Cooper’s Point, Bermuda on 6 Jun (IP, JS, PW). PW’s initial impression was adult Black-browed Albatross, with a stated 95% certainty, as unable to see the ‘black brow’. The Bermuda Petrel (Cahow) had a successful breeding season. Its population increased to a record number of 134 breeding pairs, with 69 chicks confirmed (as successfully fledging out to sea), just below 2019’s record number of 73 fledged chicks (JM). A Cahow nest webcam set up by The Cornell Lab and Nonsuch Expeditions can be followed here. A seawatch from Cooper’s Point, Bermuda on 1 Jul produced a South Polar Skua, a Pomarine Jaeger, 37 Cory’s Shearwaters, two Great Shearwaters, two Manx Shearwaters, and an Audubon’s Shearwater (PW). A Great Shearwater was photographed at Max’s Garden dive site off Rum Point, Grand Cayman 8 Jul (CF). Two Great Shearwaters on 5 Jul (RC) were among the Offshore Keys, West of Turnbull Wetlands, Long Island, Bahamas. Two Roseate Spoonbills were reported on 27 Jun (AJ) for the first time at Etang Laborde, Sud, Haiti. A long-staying Black Vulture was seen again on 22 Jun (MC) at the Freeport Pine Ridge Landfill, West Grand Bahama. A Belted Kingfisher at Laguna Playa Grande, Vieques, Puerto Rico on 3 Jun was the first summer record for Vieques (EB). A Great-tailed Grackle was reported on 23 Jul (JSa) at Cataño piers, Cataño, Puerto Rico. A Scarlet Tanager was seen at Saint Patrick, Grenada on 4 Jul (KC, KCh).

Report processed by José R. Ramírez-Garofalo, 17 July 2021.

Photos–West Indies & Bermuda: Summer 2020

Click image to view fullscreen with caption.