BirdTrax: Latest Sightings

January to February 2007

A Pied-billed Grebe seen with chick at Parson’s Road Pond 9 Jan (PW). A Horned Grebe 20 Feb to 22 Feb was off Smith’s Is. (PW). The long-staying Grey Heron was present to 28 Feb+ at Tucker’s Town. A female American Wigeon arrived at Jubilee Road 24 Feb (AD). A drake Northern Pintail was on Warwick Pond 9-13 Feb (DW). The Surf Scoter remained on Mangrove Lake 27 Nov-12 Feb (EA).  An imm. Snow Goose arrived on Port Royal GC 13 Feb (AD). Five Merlins were roosting together on Hawkins Is. 9 Feb (PW). Two American Golden-Plovers, three Semipalmated Plovers and two Piping Plovers were amongst the uncommon wintering shorebird species (AD). Two Common Black-headed Gulls were present 1 Dec-28 Feb+ while a flock of 12 Bonaparte’s Gulls in Harrington Sound was noteworthy 24 Feb (AD). A Royal Tern was present at Dockyard to 20 Jan (PW). A Long-eared Owl, extremely rare in Bermuda, was photographed 1 Feb on Smith’s Is. (BD). Two Ruby-throated Hummingbirds wintered in St. David’s (immature female) 9 Dec-18 Feb (LO, TM) and Botanical Gardens (adult female) 29 Dec-10 Feb (LC, AD).  Eastern Phoebes were reported at Spittal Pond 1 Dec-12 Feb (KR), St. David’s 20 Jan (G & SH), and High Point 8 Feb (DW). A Western Kingbird was at the Airport 22 Feb (DW). About eight Ruby-crowned Kinglets wintered (AD). A Northern Mockingbirds remained at Boaz Island to mid-Jan (PH). Amongst more than twenty species of wintering warbler were Blue-winged Warbler seen 14 Jan Talbot Estate (AD) and Nashville Warbler at Lagoon Park 4 Feb (DW). Five Baltimore Orioles were in Botanical Gardens 30 Jan-28 Feb+ (DW).

March to May 2007

The highlights of the spring season in Bermuda came from both sides of the Atlantic. The third and fourth records of Garganey (a male and female) and a Eurasian Teal may well have come from the east. The severe late winter storm that moved up the eastern seaboard in mid-April provided record number of Eastern Kingbirds, Summer and Scarlet Tanagers.

Sooty Shearwaters (17) passing Cooper’s Point, Bermuda 17 Mar (IF) were at least 3 weeks earlier than ever recorded, but coincided with date of birds seen off US East Coast. Manx Shearwater passage was peaking on the same day at two per minute. A 2-hr seawatch at Cooper’s Point, Bermuda 23 Mar (IF, PW) was very rewarding with Cahow (14), Manx Shearwater (72), a single Audubon's Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel (3), Leach's Storm-Petrel (3), Parasitic Jaeger (2) and Long-tailed Jaeger (2). A Magnificent Frigatebird was seen at Challenger Banks (off Bermuda) 24 Apr (CB). An American Bittern was moving between Nonsuch Is. and Cooper’s Point, Bermuda 1-23 Mar (JM). A Least Bittern was at Firefly Reserve, Bermuda 4 Apr (DBW). A Great Blue Heron with three imms. on Gibbett’s Is. 16 May strongly suggested successful nesting in Bermuda (DBW). Bermuda’s long-staying Grey Heron was present to 11 Mar (DBW). Black-Crowned Night-Herons were found in Bermuda at Spittal Pond 5 Apr (DBW) and Pilchard Bay Apr 15 (DW). A Glossy Ibis was on the Mid-Ocean GC, Bermuda 14 Mar- 4 May (AD) and another at Ely’s Harbour 24 Apr (CB). Two Red-tailed Hawks seen over Morgan's Point and Wreck Hill, Bermuda 2-9 May had built a nest on Morgan's point earlier in year but no longer visiting it (DBW). An imm. Canada Goose was seen at Spittal Pond and Princess Pond, Bermuda 5-15 Apr (DBW, AD), while another flew over Spittal Pond 16 May (KR). An American Wigeon was on Port Royal GC, Bermuda 14 Mar (IF, PW). Bermuda’s 3rd and 4th records of Garganey were recorded with a male at Jubilee Road 19-20 Apr (DW, photo by Andrew Dobson) and a female at Spittal Pond 7-26 May (EA & DBW). A drake Eurasian Teal was at Jubilee Road, Bermuda 20 Mar (IF, PW). A Red-breasted Merganser was in the Great Sound, Bermuda 24 Apr (AD). A probably Black Rail was at South Pond, Bermuda 23 Mar (IF, PW). A Virginia Rail was last seen at South Pond, Bermuda 3 May (DBW). A Black-necked Stilt was at Spittal Pond 1 May-6 June (KR). A Eurasian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus was discover by IF at Stocks Harbour, Bermuda 17-20 Mar (photo Andrew Dobson). A Red Knot was on Cobblers Is. Bermuda 16 May (DBW). At least 24 Bonaparte’s Gulls were in the Great Sound area of Bermuda 9 Mar (PW). A Common Tern was noted 23 Mar on the coast at Spittal Pond, Bermuda (PW, IF). A Black Tern in Hamilton Harbour 20 Apr (WF, DW) was the only spring record in Bermuda. A probable South Polar Skua flew past Nonsuch Is., Bermuda 17 May (JM). Single Parasitic and Long-tailed Jaegers were seen off Cooper’s Point, Bermuda 22 Mar (IF), the first of few jaegers reported this spring. A Chimney Swift was at East End Dairy, Bermuda 16 Apr (PW) with others observed through May. A wintering Eastern Phoebe was last seen at Wreck Hill, Bermuda 8 Mar (WF). The first of an influx of about 11 Eastern Kingbirds was reported 14 Apr at Jubilee Road, Bermuda. A record spring flock was at Bermuda Airport with 8 or 9 on the 20-25 Apr on the perimeter fence (GA, AD, DBW). A Yellow-throated Vireo was at Southside, Bermuda 22 Mar (IF). A Tree Swallow was at The Causeway, Bermuda on 4 Mar (AD, JEM). A Ruby-crowned Kinglet remained at Wreck Road, Bermuda until 9 Mar (WF). A Swainson’s Thrush was on Gwelly Lane, Bermuda 15 May (WF). A Hermit Thrush was in the Arboretum, Bermuda 15 Mar (IF). A Northern Mockingbird was in the Hamilton, Bermuda 19 Apr (GP), and another at Hungry Bay 21 Apr (DG). An Orange-crowned Warbler was at Hog Bay Park, Bermuda 12-16 Mar (WF). A female Cape May Warbler 20 May (BM) at St. Georges GC, Bermuda was 9 days later than the previous spring record. A Prothonotary Warbler was at Hog Bay Park, Bermuda on 4 Mar (DW) and 16 Apr in Hungry Bay, Bermuda (GB). A Swainson’s Warbler remained at Wreck Hill, Bermuda until 12 Mar (WF). A record number of spring Summer Tanagers occurred in Bermuda with 6 individuals Apr 18-21 Apr. The first of a record influx of Scarlet Tanagers was reported 14 Apr on Mid-Ocean GC (RC). By the month’s end there had been at least 20 individuals reported, with 7 on the 19th Apr (Mult.ob.).  A White-throated Sparrow was at Hog Bay Park, Bermuda on 4-5 Mar (DW). Rose-breasted Grosbeaks where recorded in above average numbers, seen throughout Bermuda, with groups of up to 5 birds visiting several garden bird feeders 20-30 Apr. Two Bobolinks were at Pitman’s Pond 13-15 May (DBW)

June to July 2007

The big story of the summer is the first nesting attempt in Bermuda by House Wrens

The Cahow continues to make a strong recovery following the set-back of hurricane Fabian (2003). A record 80 breeding pairs raised a total of 39 young (JM).Shearwater passage peaked 3 Jun in Bermuda with birds moving at about 150 per hour. The majority were Greater, but also Cory’s and Sooty (JM).  One Greater Shearwater arrived on a cruise ship in Bermuda 18 Jul (DBW). Over-summering heron species in Bermuda included Great Blue (10), Great Egret (1) and Little Blue (1) (DBW). The long-staying Grey Heron was present throughout the period (AD). One Osprey summered in Bermuda (GB). A Black-necked Stilt remained at Spittal Pond, Bermuda to 6 June (KR) and another bird seen at various locations in Jul may have been the same individual. A Semipalmated Plover 12 Jul at Whalebone Bay, Bermuda may have been a summering bird (AD). Summering shorebirds in Bermuda included Black-bellied Plover (4), Greater Yellowlegs (1), Whimbrel (4) and Ruddy Turnstone (14) (DBW, PW).  The first significant arrival of returning shorebirds in Bermuda was in the last week of Jul (EA). A Royal Tern was in St. Georges Harbour, Bermuda 15 June (PW). A Sandwich Tern stayed in the East End, Bermuda 23-25 June (PW). A Roseate Tern was seen in various locations in Bermuda 14 Jun-11 Jul (DBW, JM).  The population of Common Terns devastated by Hurricane Fabian (2003) was hit again by Hurricane Florence (2006). Nevertheless, the breeding success improved. A population of 18 birds (8 pairs and two single birds) resulted in 4 pairs producing broods of 3,2,3,3 – all of which successfully fledged (DBW). In Bermuda two Laughing Gills were present throughout Jul and one Greater Black-backed Gull over-summered (PW). A Yellow-billed Cuckoo was an unseasonal find at Spanish Point, Bermuda 8 Jul (JF). A single Bank Swallow was at Pitman’s Pond, Bermuda 10 Jun and two Barn Swallows at Bermuda Airport 8 Jun (DBW). While checking a bluebird nestbox trail on 3 June, a pair of House Wrens was discovered to have made four nests and laid eggs in one box (which had been abandoned) and laid 7 eggs in another box (FH). A further two nests were made, with 7 eggs in one box. All eggs failed to hatch, but this was the first nesting attempt in Bermuda. Wrens were sitting on both nests and a minimum of three individuals were confirmed. The wrens made use of a trail of Eastern Bluebird nestboxes. (DBW, FH, AD). A Blackpoll Warbler 7 June at the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences (JA, BM)) was the first summer record for Bermuda. A Black-and-white Warbler 19 July at Tom Moore’s Mangroves, Bermuda was the earliest date by 7 days. A calling waterthrush at Robinsons Marina, Bermuda 26 Jul (PW) was probably a Louisiana Waterthrush.

August to September 2007

The early fall period was notable for the lack of migrant birds –largely due to the pleasant weather and lack of storms or frontal systems coming off the East Coast.

An early Sora was at Somerset Long Bay Res (East) 8 Aug (DBW). A Black-necked Stilt remained on Spittal Pond to at least 9 Aug (KR). Heavy rain on Sep 1 resulted in a significant fall-out of shorebirds. A record 100 Semipalmated Plovers were recorded with 75 at the Airport. There were also 300 Semipalmated Sandpipers at the same location. An Upland Sandpiper was at the Southampton Golf Range 2 Sep (AD). While about 10 miles off the west end of Bermuda on 14 Sep, PW noted Arctic Tern (perhaps the first fall record), Sooty Tern and four Red Knot. A Willet was on Nonsuch Beach 18 Sep (JM). Single Baird’s Sandpipers were seen at Riddell’s Bay GC 26 Sep-1 Oct (DBW) and St. Georges GC 28 Sep (PW). A Great Crested Flycatcher was at Ferry Point 29 Sep (DBW). A Dickcissel was seen in Devonshire on 26 Sep (DW). A Kentucky Warbler was seen in the Riddell’s Bay mangroves 7 Sep (DW). A Yellow-breasted Chats was observed at Port Royal GC 30 Sep (AD). 

October to December 2007

Three new pairs of Cahows were recorded during Nov to increase the known breeding pairs to eighty-three (JM). A Northern Gannet was seen off Gibbet’s Is. 29 Dec (JM, LM). An American Bittern was at Pitman's Pond 12-24 Oct and Firefly Reserve 5 Jan (AD, DW). A Least Bittern was at Lukes Farm 14 Oct (DW). Black-crowned Night-Herons were at Mullet Bay 29 Sep (DBW), Pilchard Bay 5 Oct (DBW) and Lukes Farm 14 Oct (EA). A Brant (Bermuda’s 9th) was on Tucker’s Point GC 1 Dec-31-Dec+ (AD). A Eurasian Wigeon found in Dec remained to year’s end (DBW). Two Surf Scoters were at Coney Is. 25-27 Nov (JM). A Northern Harrier was over Alton Hill 3 Oct (AD). A Sharp-shinned Hawk was over Somerset 18 Nov (DW).Both long-staying Red-tailed Hawks were present throughout the period. Peregrine Falcon numbers peaked at seven birds 13 Oct, four together over Somerset and three together over Paget Island (AD, WF). At least three remained to 5 Nov. A Black Rail was flushed and seen well 29 Dec and heard 31 Dec in Devonshire Marsh (JM, LM). Two Piping Plover frequented Grape Bay in Nov and Dec (AD, DW). A Dunlin was at the East End Dairy 10-11 Oct (PW). A Sandwich Tern was on one of the buoys in the channel N of Dockyard 16 Oct (PW). A Forster’s Tern remained at Watford Bridge until 2 Dec (PH). The Black Skimmer remained at Dockyard 26 Nov-7 Dec (PW). More than 100 Yellow-billed Cuckoos were recorded 12-14 Oct (PW). A Snowy Owl, last recorded in Bermuda in 1987, was on a school roof in Hamilton 6 Dec and 9 Dec (LB). A Short-eared Owl was seen at the Airport on 11 Dec (DBW). A Short-eared Owl was seen at the Airport on 11 Dec (DBW). One Common Nighthawk was noted 2 Oct at Devonshire Marsh (BL) with four over Paget Island 12 Oct (AD). A Northern Flicker was in the Arboretum 28 Nov (PW). A Western Kingbird was at Clearwater 10-14 Nov (DBW). A  Grey Kingbird was at Fort Scaur 10-13 Oct (AD). Yellow-throated Vireos were seen 29 Dec at Morgan’s Point (EA) and St. Georges (PW). A Blue-headed Vireo was at BIOS 9 Nov (EC). A Tree Swallow was over Somerset on 19 Dec (DW). A Cliff Swallow over Daniel’s Head Farm 26 Dec provided the first winter record in Bermuda (DW). A rare Red-breasted Nuthatch was on Port Royal GC 3 Oct (DW). Northern Wheatears were discovered at Riddell’s Bay GC 4-9 Oct (DW), the National Stadium 6 Oct (EA) and Lukes Farm golf range 14 Oct (DW). Three Swainson’s Thrushes were discovered 14 Oct at Ferry Point (2) and Paget Is. (AD, DBW). Single American Robins were seen at Pilchard Bay 5 Oct (DBW) and Pitman’s Pond 12 Oct (AD).  A Golden-winged Warbler was seen at St. Georges GC 13 Oct (EA). An Orange-crowned Warbler was at BIOS 10-12 Nov (AD). A Townsend's Warbler was a good find at Ft Scaur 14 Oct (WF). A Kentucky Warblers was seen on Ocean View GC 16 Oct (EA). Two Swainson’s Warblers were at Riddell’s Bay mangroves 1 Oct  (DW). A Yellow-breasted Chat was observed at Ft. Scaur Oct 31 (DW).  A Clay-colored Sparrow was at Pitman's Pond 13 Oct (EA). A  Vesper Sparrow was at the Heydon Trust 23 Oct (AD). Single Grasshopper Sparrows were noted at Cedar Grove 22 Oct, Pitman’s Pond 24 Oct (WF) and on Mid-Ocean GC 24 Oct (AD). A Lincoln’s Sparrow was at Spittal Pond 16 Oct (AD). A  Song Sparrow was seen at Cooper’s Point 10 Nov (AD, DBW). An imm. White-crowned Sparrow was at Port Royal GC 15 Oct (AD) and another at Westover Farm 25 Oct (WF). A Dark-eyed Junco was in St Davids 15 Oct (GA). A Painted Bunting (5th record for Bermuda) was at Ferry Point 22 Oct (EA). Dickcissels were seen in Devonshire on 26 Sep (DW) and Cedar Grove fields 13 Oct (EA). A late Bobolink was at Pitman’s Pond 3 Dec (DBW).

Observers:

Eric Amos, Gerry Ardis, Lisa Bargett, Geoff Bell, Chris Burville, Rob Chandler, Lisa Clark, Elaine Cook, Andrew Dobson, Bobby Doe, Ian Fisher, Jenny Flood, Wendy Frith, Derek Gibbons, Gene and Susan Harvey, Felicity Holmes, Peter Hopkin, Bruce Lorhan, Jeremy and  Leila Madeiros, Blake Mathys, John Meadows (JEM), Louise Olander, George Peterich, Keith Rossiter, David Wallace (DW), Paul Watson, David Wingate (DBW)

Longtail in flight Bermuda

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Bluebird in flight, worm in mouth, bluebird box

Bluebirds

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Cahow in flight Bermuda

Cahows

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Cockroach Island Bermuda, Audubon Nature Reserve Bermuda

Audubon Nature Reserves

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BHS building Bluebird boxes

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Acknowledgements:

Photos courtesy of Andrew Dobson, Paul Watson, Chris Burville, Ras Mykkal, Jennifer Gray, Rosalind Wingate, Rick Slaughter and others.

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