BirdTrax: Latest Sightings

January to May 2009

Highlight of the report is the hatching of the first Cahow on Nonsuch Island since about 1620. The hatching took place about 21 Mar. Notable bird sightings include the second record of Common Greenshank (an Old World shorebird) and a spring Horned Lark.

This year not only produced the first Cahow chick on Nonsuch Island since the early  17th century, but it promises to be another record year with about 90 breeding pairs and 47 confirmed chicks to date. Shearwater migration started 27 Feb with one Cory’s and 3 Manx off Watch Hill Park (AD). The Northern Gannet was seen various locations to 28 Feb (EA, AD). A Brown Pelican was at various locations 10-14 Apr (JF). An imm. Black-crowned Night-Heron was at Spittal Pond 24 Oct-23 Feb (PW).  A White Ibis was at Spittal Pond 31 Jan-21 Feb (KR). Five Snow Geese wintered and two were present until 10 Apr at Port Royal GC (AD). The island’s first Ross's Goose was present at Belmont GC to 7 May (AD). Two Canada Goose wintered and one was present at Belmont GC 14 May (DBW).   Six Wood Ducks were at Port Royal GC 26 Nov-2 Jan (DW).  The long-staying male Eurasian Wigeon was present to at least 18 Jan in Harrington Sound (AD). A female American Wigeon was on North Pond 28 Apr (DBW). A drake Northern Shoveler was at Spittal Pond 23-25 May (DBW). Wintering Northern Pintail peaked six at Spittal Pond 2 Feb (EA). Record flocks of Ring-necked Duck (19) and Lesser Scaup (23) wintered at Mangrove Lake (AD).  Two Buffleheads wintered at various locations (DW). A record 21 Hooded Merganser were seen at various locations Jan-Mar (DW).  A Common Merganser was at Mangrove Lake 27 Dec-1 Mar (PA). The long-staying Red-tailed Hawks were present to at least 21 May (DBW). One American Golden-Plover was with Black-bellied Plover at the airport 27 Dec-18 Jan (DBW). Two Piping Plovers wintered in Bermuda, at Ariel Sands and Cooper’s Island. (AD).  A Black-necked Stilt was at Spittal Pond 4-12 Apr (KR). A Common Greenshank was discovered at Spittal Pond 23-28 May (DBW).  This is the only Bermuda record other than a single-observer sight record in 1960. One Lesser Yellowlegs was present at Spittal Pond to at least 7 Mar (AD). A Eurasian Whimbrel was on Stocks Harbour mudflat 11-12 Mar (EA). A flock of 19 Sanderling wintered. (AD). Single Pomarine Jaegers were seen at Challenger Banks 26 Apr and 3 May (AD, PH). A Laughing Gull was at Dockyard 19 May (DBW). Wintering Black-headed Gulls peaked at 7 in the Great Sound 5 Jan (PW). One was present to at least 23 Mar (JM). An Iceland Gull was present in the East End 3– 30 Mar (AD). A dying Black-legged Kittiwake was taken to BAMZ 3 Mar (DBW). A Royal Tern was in Castle Harbour 14-21 Apr (JM). Five Arctic Terns were off the west end of Bermuda 3 May (AD, DBW).  A Forster’s Tern was seen 1-5 Jan in the Great Sound (AD). A moribund Atlantic Puffin was found on Nonsuch Is beach 24 Feb (JF). A Yellow-billed Cuckoo was at East End dairy 11 Apr (PW). A Ruby-throated Hummingbird was seen in Botanical Gardens 2 Jan (AD, FD), while another visited a Southdown Farm garden 11 Mar-15 Apr (SI). A Northern Flicker was seen at Morgan’s Point 8 Mar (AD, DW). A Western Kingbird was seen at Lover’s Lake 18 Jan (DW). Single Eastern Kingbirds were at the airport 12 Apr (PW) and Jenningsland 17 Apr (JM). Two Red-eyed Vireos were at Clearwater 19 Apr (PW). Two American Pipits in the West End 27 Dec (PH) were the first of an impressive 112 noted. A Horned Lark was at Commissioner’s House, Dockyard 8-19 May (RG).  A late flock of 16 Tree Swallows was at the East End dairy 10 Dec (DO) with at least 20 remaining into Mar (AD). Two Northern Rough-winged Swallows were at Cloverdale 2 Jan and various locations to 28 Feb (DW).  Single Wood Thrushes were seen at Ferry Point Park 18 Jan (AD, DW) and Wreck Road mangroves 29 Jan (AD). A Summer Tanager remained at Jenningsland 14 Dec-4 Feb (JM).  A  Scarlet Tanager was at Paget Marsh 25 Apr (RGr). A flock of 18 Snow Buntings was present at he Airport 27 Dec-18 Jan (DBW). Two Blue Grosbeaks were on St. George’s GC 24 Apr (PW) and another at Cooper’s Is 26 Apr (DBW). A Dickcissel was seen at Boaz Is 4 Jan (PH). A Red-winged Blackbird was in Mills Creek/Point Shares area 19 Feb-9 Apr (JT). Two Common Redpolls were at Spittal Pond 10 Feb (PW, KR, SB).

June to July 2009

A probable Grey Heron was reported from the former Sonesta Hotel site, Bermuda 17 Jun (EA). The long-staying male Eurasian Wigeon was present to 31 Jul+ on Spittal Pond, Bermuda (EA). A Peregrine Falcon was seen in Bermuda over Hamilton 14 Jun (PA) and near the Whaler Inn 1 Jul (DBW). Two Red-tailed Hawks were seen at Morgan’s Point, Bermuda throughout the period (AD).  The Common Greenshank which arrived 23 May departed Spittal Pond, Bermuda 1 June (KR). Shorebirds in Bermuda in June included three Semipalmated Plovers 11 Jun at Spanish Point (EA), two Black-necked Stilts 18-25 Jun at various locations (DG), two Semipalmated Sandpipers 25 Jun at St. Georges Dairy (EA) and a Solitary Sandpiper at Devonshire Marsh 30 Jun - 2 Jul (DW). The first Bermuda fall migrant shorebirds noted in July included one Lesser Yellowlegs at Devonshire Marsh 10 Jul (EA) and a Spotted Sandpiper at the same location 15 Jul (EA, DBW).  An ad Franklin’s Gull was at Dockyard, Bermuda 9-22 Jun (DBW). A sub-ad summer Franklin’s Gull was at Spittal Pond, Bermuda 26-31 Jul+ (DBW).  A Ring-billed Gull stayed until 13 Jun at Dockyard, Bermuda (DBW). A 2nd year Roseate Tern was at Dockyard, Bermuda 24-26 Jun (AD). In their slow recovery from hurricane Fabian (Bermuda 2003), five pairs of Common Terns raised 12 young (DBW). A Forster’s Tern was at Dockyard, Bermuda 21 Jun (PH). Early swallows were 6 Tree Swallows and 2 Cliff Swallows St. Georges Dairy, Bermuda 29 Jul (PW). A Prairie Warbler singing at Point Shares 21 May – 12 Jun was the first summer record in Bermuda (BL).  The first fall warbler in Bermuda was a Louisiana Waterthrush on Nonsuch Is. 26 Jul (JM).

August to December 2009

Highlights of the period included the first record of Purple Swamphen in Bermuda and an exceptional eight American Avocets.

A Northern Gannet was seen at various locations 18-31 Dec (RP, PW). A Great Cormorant was in Castle Harbour 24-31 Dec (JM). Highlight Cattle Egrets numbers increased from 24 at the Airport 16 Nov (DW) to 32 island-wide 19 Nov (DW).  A Black-crowned Night-Heron was at Somerset Long Bay NR 7 Nov- 31 Dec (AD). A swan sp. was seen flying over Sandys Parish on 13 and 17 Dec (SR and PH).  A swan sp. was seen flying over Sandys Parish 13 and 17 Dec (SR and PH).  A Canada Goose at Spittal Pond 16-19 Dec was joined both two more 24 Dec (TW). Four Gadwall were at Warwick Pond 18-31 Dec (AD). The long-staying male Eurasian Wigeon was at Spittal Pond 2 Aug (DBW) and a female Eurasian Wigeon was at Marsh Lane 31 Dec (JM). An adult Peregrine was chasing City Hall pigeons 10 Nov (PH). A Northern Harrier was over the Airport/Castle Harbour Islands 9-17 Oct (PA, JM). Bermuda’s first Purple Swamphen was at Bernard Park 26 Oct to 6 Nov (but probably present for at least a week before that)(AD). Two Piping Plovers were at Cooper’s Point 11 Nov (AD) and one was still present to 31 Dec (PW). There had only been eight single records of American Avocet in Bermuda, so when two arrived at Spittal Pond 2 Oct (KR) no-one expected numbers would peak at 8 on Oct 11 with five at Spittal Pond and three at Port Royal GC. One bird lingered to 7 Nov. A Willet was at Port Royal GC 20 Sept (PH). Upland Sandpipers were seen at a number of locations including 5 at the Airport 7 Sep (PW). A Red Knot was at the East end Dairy 12 Sep (AD) and Spittal Pond 21-27 Sep (AD). A Ruff was on Mid-Ocean GC 3 Oct (PW). A Franklin’s Gull was at Spittal Pond 1 Aug (PW). One imm. Least Tern was on a North Channel marker 5 Sep (AD). Not often seen during the day, a Barn Owl was watched at Lover’s Lake 19 Sep (PW) and 9 Oct (GA). A late Chimney Swift was over Horseshoe Dunes 1 Nov (AD). A Ruby-throated Hummingbird was on Wreck Road early Nov-31 Dec+ (WF). A Northern Flicker was drinking at a garden birdbath in Tamarind Vale 13 Dec (A&SC). An Acadian Flycatcher was at Spittal Pond 11-12 Oct (AD). Western Kingbirds were at Lagoon Park 3 Oct (PH), Port Royal GC 12 Oct, St. Georges GC 24 Oct, Spittal Pond 29 Nov (AD) and two 12-31 Dec (TW). A Blue-headed Vireo was at North Pond 14 Oct (AD) and two were on Morgan’s Point 31 Dec (EA). A Warbling Vireo was at Fort Scaur 2 Oct (DW). A Ruby-crowned Kinglet was at Lagoon Park 16 Dec (DW). A Grey-cheecked Thrush was at Springfield 23-25 Oct (WF, PH) and Talbot Estate 31 Oct (AD). A Hermit Thrush was at Lagoon Park 16 Dec (DW). A Wood Thrush was in Jenningsland 24-31 Dec (JM). Single Golden-winged Warblers were at the Arboretum 5-6 Oct and Heydon Trust 25 Oct (AD, DW). A Yellow Warbler was seen at Pembroke Marsh 31 Dec (JT, BL). A Cerulean Warbler was near the East End Dairy 2 Oct (PW). A Kentucky Warbler was at Cemetery Hill 19 Sep (PW) and another at Spittal Pond 31 Dec (AD). A Yellow-breasted Chat was on Morgan’s Point 31 Dec (EA). A Chipping Sparrow was at St. Georges GC 24 Oct and three at Port Royal GC 16 Nov (DW).  Clay-coloured Sparrows were reported from Heydon Trust 25-26 Oct (AD) and Wreck Road 11 Nov (WF). A small flock of Savannah Sparrows (5) was at Port Royal 16 Dec (DW). A Grasshopper Sparrow was on the Airport fence 21 Nov (AD). A White-throated Sparrow was reported from Wreck Road 11 Nov (WF). A Snow Bunting was on the Castle Harbour Islands 8 Nov-30 Dec (JM). Single Dickcissels were at Tudor Farm 17 Sep (DW), Lukes Farm and Riddles Bay GC 16 Dec (DW) and Cooper’s Island 31 Dec (PW). A Pine Siskin was a good find at Cooper’s Point 14 Nov (PW).

Observers: Observers: Peter Adhemar, Eric Amos, Gerry Ardis, Stephen Barton, Andrew and Sonia Cox, Andrew Dobson, Fiona Dobson, Wendy Frith, Joe Furbert, Richard Ground (RGr), Diana Gozney, Richard Gozney, Peter Hopkin, Stanley Ingham, Bruce Lorhan, Jeremy Madeiros, David O’Neill, Ron Porter, Susan Roberts,Keith Rossiter, James Tatham, David Wallace (DW), Paul Watson, Tim White, David Wingate (DBW).

Longtail in flight Bermuda

Longtails

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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

Environmental Issues

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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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