West Indies & Bermuda: Winter 2019–2020

Winter 2019–2020: 1 Dec–29 Feb

Andrew Dobson (Bermuda)

Robert L. Norton (Greater Antilles, Bahamas)

Anthony Levesque (Lesser Antilles)

Recommended citation:

Dobson, A., R. Norton, and A. Levesque. 2021. Winter 2019–2020: West Indies & Bermuda. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-ccN> North American Birds.

A Common Redshank was discovered in Guadeloupe, the first record for the Caribbean. There were country firsts for three other countries with Grenada adding Gadwall, the Bahamas increasing their list with an Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Puerto Rico encountering their first and second Townsend’s Warblers.

Waterfowl to Shorebirds

A banded female Snow Goose that arrived at the National Stadium, Bermuda 2–20 Jan (Neal Morris) was found to have been banded in Bylot Island on the northern tip of Baffin Island, Nunavat, Canada on 7 August 2010. A Snow x Ross’s Goose hybrid was at Port Royal GC, Bermuda 27 Nov–8 Dec (Ingela Perrson).  A Tundra Swan was at Calle Pedro Albizu Campos, Lajas, Puerto Rico 21 Dec (Sergio Colón López). A Gadwall was reported from Grenada for the first time, with one seen at Telescope, Saint Andrew 7 Jan–28 Feb (Peter Carr, Vaughan Francis): “Observed amongst Blue-winged Teal; larger, rounder headed, white speculum, black undertail coverts and grey head point towards male in non-breeding/eclipse plumage.”  220 White-cheeked Pintails at Laguna Sombe, Vieques, Puerto Rico 3 Dec (Daphne Gemmill et al.) was the highest number recorded by the observer for the island in 36 years. A Northern Pintail was on Coney Island, Bermuda 9 Jan (Neal Morris). One Bufflehead at Mid-Ocean GC, Bermuda 29 Dec (Peter Adhemar) was joined by a second bird at Belmont Pond 12 Feb (Ingela Perrson), with both birds remaining throughout the winter period at Parsons Road Pond. Four Key West Quail-Doves were heard at Puerto Mosquito, Vieques, 2 Dec (Daphne Gemmill). A Chimney Swift was seen at Christ Church, Barbados 13 Jan (Quincy Clarke). Two Ruby-throated Hummingbirds was seen in Jenningsland, Bermuda 29 Dec (Jeremy Madeiros). A Purple Gallinule was seen at Pembroke Dump 12 Jan (Paul Watson, Joanne Smith) and another at Cloverdale, Bermuda 28 Jan (Peter Adhemar). An American Avocet which remained from earlier in the fall was last seen at Port Royal GC on 8 Dec (Ingela Perrson). Following Hurricane Maria, large numbers of Wilson’s Plovers were found resting at Playa Grande Beach, Vieques, Puerto Rico, including 44 on 11 Feb (Erick Bermúdez et al.)—something that had not occurred prior to Maria. An estimated 1000 Stilt Sandpipers at Laguna Sombe Vieques, Puerto Rico 11 Dec doubled the previous high count for that site (Erick Bermúdez). A Common Redshank discovered at Pointe des Châteaux 15 Jan was a new record for Guadeloupe and the Caribbean (Jérémy Delolme, Elodie Ghuilot). It remained until 1 Apr 2020. A Wood Sandpiper was a good find at Fosters private impoundment St Lucy, Barbados 29 Feb (John Webster). 

Gull to Flycatcher

A Sabine’s Gull was reported from Isla Roque, Barceloneta, Puerto Rico 19 Jan (Manuel Seda). An American Bittern was near Grand Case Airport (Saint Martin) from 3 Dec into Jan (Binkie Van Es); while another was flushed on Morgan’s Point, Bermuda 1 Jan (David Wingate, Erich Hetzel). A Trindade Petrel was over Devonshire, Bermuda 23 Dec and various locations in early Jan (mult. obs). On 17 Jan it was found on the ground at the Parsons Road Playground, Pembroke, Bermuda and taken to BAMZ (Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo). It was in good health, and was banded and released on 19 Jan. The last reported sighting was 23 Jan. A Cory’s Shearwater was seen from the MV Rotterdam 23 Dec off the east end of Cuba (AHH). A count 55 Great Egrets leaving a roost on the east side of the Bay at Puerto Mosquito, Vieques, Puerto Rico 2 Dec was one of the top five high counts going back to 1971 (Daphne Gemmill). Two Turkey Vultures were observed mating at Ensenada Sombe entrance, Vieques, Puerto Rico 24 Feb (Erick Bermúdez). A rare winter visitor, a Merlin was seen at the freshwater pond off route 997 Vieques, Puerto Rico 2 Dec (Daphne Gemmill). An Ash-throated Flycatcher (photographed here) was seen on the Bridle Path, Freeport, Grand Bahama 5 Jan (Bruce Purdy et al). Although there are multiple records from Bermuda to the north and Florida to the west, this is the first record for the Bahamas and West Indies region. 

Vireo to Grosbeak

A scarce Yellow-throated Vireo was at Deshaies, Guadeloupe 22 Jan (Anthony Levesque). Three extremely rare migrants for Vieques, Puerto Rico at Puerto Mosquito 2 Dec were Yellow-throated Vireo, Common Yellowthroat, and Black-throated Blue Warbler (Daphne Gemmill). A White-winged Swallow was observed at Saint Patrick, Grenada 18 Jan, perhaps the same bird seen in the fall (Kenrith Carter, Kate Charles). A vagrant Bahama Swallow was seen at Cayo Coco, Cuba 28 Feb (Yousif Attia et al.)—”mixed in with other swallows and compared to Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, and Cuban Martin. Clean white below and under wings. Strongly forked tail distinctive, more than Tree Swallow and Martin, but less than Barn Swallow.” Careful scrutiny of a Cave Swallow at Port-Louis Swamp, Guadeloupe 16 Jan showed it to be subspecies puertoricensis (Anthony Levesque). A Common Starling was recorded at Grand Etang NP, Saint Andrew, Grenada 2 Feb (Vaughan Francis)—described as having “completely black body, bright yellow bill, yellowish pink legs, and seen feeding alongside Spectacled Thrushes.” The first Northern Mockingbird to be recorded on Bermuda’s Christmas Bird Count since 2006 was seen at St. Georges GC 29 Dec (Paul Watson). A Golden-winged Warbler was photographed at Central Mangrove Dykes, Bodden Town, Cayman Islands 15 Feb (Denny Swaby). A Palm Warbler at Great Salt Pond, Sint Maarten 23 Jan was uncommon (Paul Hutto). Two Townsend’s Warblers, possibly the first for Puerto Rico, were reported at Cerró Maravilla PR-143, Orocovis 8 Feb (Manuel Seda, Mario Espinosa, David Lopez, Nelson Izquierdo) where one was seen with several Black-throated Green Warblers; and another photographed at Cerro Jayuya, Ponce 20 Feb (Luis Munoz). A Townsend’s Warbler was also discovered on Ocean View GC, Bermuda on 29 Dec (Bruce Lorhan). A Rose-breasted Grosbeak was a good find at Anse-Bertrand, Guadeloupe 16 Dec (Anthony Levesque, Edouard Bénito-Espinal).

Report processed by José Ramírez-Garofalo, 01 Jan 2021.

Photos–West Indies & Bermuda: Winter 2019–2020

A remarkable record of a Trindade Petrel flying inland over a Devonshire residence in Bermuda was believed to be the same bird that appeared there in Feb 2019. It was present 1–25 Jan 2020 and photographed over the Devonshire residence on 25 Jan. Photo © Neal Morris.

A Common Redshank at Pointe des Châteaux on 15 Jan–16 Apr 2020 was a new record for Guadeloupe and the Caribbean. Discovered by Jérémy Delolme and Elodie Ghuilot, it was photographed here on 28 Jan. Photo © Anthony Levesque.

A Cave Swallow photographed at Port-Louis Swamp, Guadeloupe on 16 Jan was determined to be the puertoricensis subspecies due to the rustier undertail coverts. Photo © Anthony Levesque.

A Townsend’s Warbler the first for Puerto Rico was discovered by a group of four birders at Cerró maravilla PR-143, Orocovis 8 Feb. Photographed here on 8 Feb. Photo ML208752691© Manuel Seda.