BirdTrax: Latest Sightings

January to February 2013

Highlights in this period included: a record record number of Canada Geese, a Northern Lapwing (4th record), an adult Glaucous Gull and eight White-winged Crossbills.

During trips on the R.V. Explorer to the south of Bermuda, DBW recorded a Cory’s Shearwater 14 Feb, two Manx Shearwaters 27 Feb and a Leach’s Storm-Petrel 26 Feb (DBW).  A White-tailed Tropicbird was seen at Challenger Banks 10 Dec (per AD). The first returning migrant was on South Shore 2 Feb (LM). An adult Brown Pelican was in Castle Harbour 12-23 Feb (GBu). An imm. Great Cormorant was in the Great Sound 21-28 Feb+ (AD, PW). An imm. Black-crowned Night-Heron was at Seymour’s Pond in Jan and Feb (DBW). A record 13 Canada Geese were present this winter. First seen in St. Davids 9 Nov (7 birds) the presumed three family groups settled at Tuckers Point GC (3), Port Royal GC (6) and Southampton golf range (4) to Feb 28+ (AD). Five Snow Geese (3 ad. 2 juv.) were present at various locations Jan 1- Feb 28 (AD). Seventeen species of duck were recorded in Bermuda during the winter period. A Eurasian Wigeon at Spittal Pond 23 Oct (DBW) was the first of four present at various locations to 28 Feb+ (AD). A Black Duck in Harrington Sound 4 Jan was the first of an influx of about 10 birds at various locations to Feb 28+ (AD). A Eurasian Teal was seen in Warwick Pond 24 Feb (AD). Bermuda 8th record of Long-tailed Duck was on Tucker’s Point GC 17 Nov-28 Feb+ (AD). A Bufflehead at Spittal Pond on 28 Feb (PW) was certainly a spring arrival. Red-breasted Mergansers peaked at 7 birds at Cambridge Beaches 10 Feb (PW). A Ruddy Duck was at Cloverdale Pond 1 Dec-28 Feb+ (AD). The two Red-tailed Hawks were seen over Morgan’s Point throughout the period (AD, PW). A Peregrine was seen at various locations 20 Dec- 28 Feb+ and from 16 Feb-28 Feb roosted on the window ledge of an office block in Hamilton (AD, RA, NM). A Virginia Rail was seen on Mid-Ocean GC 29 Dec-20 Jan (PA, GB) and another at Paget Marsh 6 Feb. An exhausted Purple Gallinule was found at Coco Reefs Hotel 11 Jan and taken into care. A Northern Lapwing (Bermuda’s 4th record) was first seen over Hamilton 8 Dec before moving to the Airport to 24 Dec- 1 Feb (PW). A Piping Plover was at Cooper’s Island 12 Jan-7 Feb (AD). A Short-billed Dowitcher was unseasonal at Mid-Ocean GC 20-30 Jan (GB). Single Bonaparte’s Gulls were seen in Harrington Sound 3 Jan (PW), Port Royal GC (ad.) 24 Feb (DBW) and Ferry Reach (imm.) 23-24 (PH). An adult Glaucous Gull was photographed off Bermuda on the R.V. Explorer 26 Feb (DBW). Two Forster’s Terns were at Dockyard throughout Dec to 28 Feb+ (PH). A dark phase Parasitic Jaeger was photographed off Bermuda on the R.V. Explorer 27 Feb (DBW). A Short-eared Owl was over the Airport 26 Feb (PW). An Eastern Phoebe was at Morgan’s Point 5 Jan (AD). A Yellow-throated Vireo was seen in Camden Marsh 29 Dec (AD). A flock of 16 Horned Larks were at the Airport 16 Dec-3 Jan (DBW). Eight American Pipits were seen on Port Royal GC 13 Feb (PW). Twenty-two species of warbler were recorded during the winter period including Swainson’s Warbler in the Smith’s Hills 20 Jan (JM). A Lincoln’s Sparrow was at Morgan’s Point 12 Jan (AD). A Swamp Sparrow was at Morgan’s Point 5 Jan (AD). At least five Red-winged Blackbirds were reported from various locations Jan 1 – Feb 24 (AD). A Brown-headed Cowbird was discovered at Port Royal GC 11-12 Jan (PW). Eight White-winged Crossbills were reported from Southampton Princess GC 13 Jan – 10 Feb (JR). Two Common Redpoll were seen at St. Georges GC 19 Jan (PW).

Observers: Peter Adhemar, Richard Amos, Geoff Bell, Gregory Burgess (GBu), Alison Copeland, Geoff Bell, Chris Burville, Steven DeSilva, Andrew Dobson, Wendy Frith, Charles Gosling, Peter Hopkin, Jeremy Madeiros, Leila Madeiros, Herb Marshall, Neal Morris, Nigel Pollard, Ron Porter, Adam Power, Natasha Power, J-P Rouja, Paul Watson, Tim White, David Wingate.

March to May 2013

The highlights of the spring period were undoubtedly the seabirds; Bermuda’s first Band-rumped Storm-Petrels, first live Atlantic Puffin, two Black Skimmers, Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, multiple South Polar Skuas and some impressive seabird movement past Cooper’s Point.

Viewing with a telescope from Cooper’s Point 17 Apr 16.00-18.00hrs provided: Manx Shearwater (110), Sooty Shearwater (2), Cory’s Shearwater (2), Pomarine Jaeger (26), Parasitic Jaeger (8), Long-tailed Jaeger (9), Jaeger sp. (20), Leach’s Storm-Petrel (28), Wilsons Storm-Petrel (16), Storm-Petrel sp. (44). (AD, PW). Highlight’s of DBW’s trip on the R.V. Explorer 14-18 May were Band-rumped Storm-Petrel and Masked Booby (both 16 May), and 7 South Polar Skua sightings (14 May – 2, 15 May – 2, 16 May – 2, 17 May – 1). A Masked Booby was photographed off Bermuda on the R.V. Explorer 24 Apr (DBW). The last remaining Canada Geese (3) were seen on Tucker’s Point GC 30 Mar (AD). A female Eurasian Wigeon was last seen at Spittal Pond 30 Mar (AD). A female American Wigeon was on Spittal Pond 24-31 May (DBW).  The long-staying (perhaps injured) Long-tailed Duck remained on Tucker’s Point GC to 31 May+ (AD). The long staying Ruddy Duck was at Cloverdale Pond to 31 May+ (AD). A Peregrine in Hamilton was seen to 6 May (DBW). One or two Swallow-tailed Kites were present at various locations 10-31 Mar (mult.obs.). A Least Bittern was at Paget Marsh 25 Apr (GB). Six Black-necked Stilts were present on Mid-Ocean GC 27-31 May+ (RC). An American Golden-Plover was on Cooper’s Island 22 Mar (DBW). Seventeen Sanderling were on the South Shore beaches throughout March (AD). A Short-billed Dowitcher was at Spittal Pond 23 Mar (AD). Five Bonaparte’s Gulls were seen in Harrington Sound 11 Mar (AD). An ad. Laughing Gull was in St Georges Harbour 31 Mar (DBW). An Iceland Gull was present in Mangrove Bay 16-30 Mar (PH). An adult Glaucous Gull photographed off Bermuda 26 Feb (DBW) was almost certainly the bird that arrived at Dockyard 2-13 March (PH). A Black-legged Kittiwake was seen at Evans Bay 16 Mar (WF). Returning Common Terns (4) were in the Little Sound 28 Mar (PH). However, DBW reports that there was no nesting underway until 24 May, some 2-3 weeks later than usual. There appears to be only one male/female pair which is unlikely to save the population as a breeding species in Bermuda, One Forster’s Tern remained at Dockyard to 30 Mar (AD). A Sandwich Tern was in the Little Sound 29-30 Mar (PW). Two Black Skimmers flew past Commissioner’s Point 20 Mar (PH). An Atlantic Puffin found dead on Tucker’s Town beach 14 Mar (JC) was the first of six found washed up dead on beaches during Mar. However, Bermuda’s first live Atlantic Puffin was photographed on Challenger Banks on 10 Apr (MW). A Eurasian Collared Dove (of origin unknown) was seen off Fairylands 2 Mar (PW). A very early Chimney Swift was at East End Dairy 28-30 Mar (PW). An Eastern Kingbird was over St. Georges GC 10 Apr (PW). A Blue-winged Warbler was at Warwick Pond 22 Mar with another at Government House 13 Apr (AD). A male Scarlet Tanager was at Vesey NR 28 Apr (JV). A Blue Grosbeak was at Spittal Pond 7 Apr (NM). One Red-winged Blackbird remained at Mid-Ocean GC to 14 May (AD). A Bobolink flew over St. Georges GC 9 Apr (PW).  Six White-winged Crossbills were still visiting a Southampton garden to 21 Mar (J-PR).

Observers:  Geoff Bell, Judie Clee, Robert Clifford, Andrew Dobson, Wendy Frith, Peter Hopkin, Jeremy Madeiros, Neal Morris, J-P Rouja, Joell Voorhees, Matthew Watson, Paul Watson, David Wingate.


June to July 2013

Paul Watson reports on ‘Sea Dragon’ trip up to 200 miles south into Sargasso Sea 1-6 June. Highlights included: Masked Booby, Red billed Tropicbird (2 June about 120 miles south of Bermuda, four shearwater species (Great, Cory’s, Sooty and one unidentified Manx/Audubon’s Shearwater, Wilson’s and Leach’s  Storm-Petrel, Band-Rumped Storm Petrel (5 June 64 miles south of Bermuda), South Polar Skua (5), three jaeger species

Two Masked Boobies were seen off Bermuda on the BIOS ‘Atlantic Explorer’ 14 Jun (DBW). A possible Band-rumped Storm-Petrel was seen off Bermuda on the BIOS ‘Atlantic Explorer’ 17 Jun (DBW). Two Wood Duck summered on Tucker’s Point GC (AD). The long-staying Long-tailed Duck was last seen on Tucker’s Point GC 8 Jun (AD). A male Ruddy Duck summered on Cloverdale Pond (AD). A Black-necked Stilt was last seen on Mid-Ocean GC 8 Jun (AD). A Spotted Sandpiper was on Mid-Ocean GC 8 Jun (AD). Three Whimbrel were in Stock’s Harbour 7 Jun (PW). A Willet at Spittal Pond 19 Jul was joined by a second 20 Jul (AD). The first returning shorebirds, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper and Least Sandpiper were noted at Spittal Pond 10 Jul (AD) and a Spotted Sandpiper at Cooper’s Island (MM). A Wilson’s Phalarope was on Mid-Ocean GC 2 Jul (AD). A Lesser Black-backed Gull summered in St. Georges Harbour (PW). A Roseate Tern was seen in Castle Harbour 9 Jul (JM). An Arctic Tern was seen off Bermuda on the BIOS ‘Atlantic Explorer’ 15 Jun and 17 Jun (DBW). A South Polar Skua was seen off Bermuda on the BIOS ‘Atlantic Explorer’ 17 Jun (DBW). A Common Nighthawk was seen over Admiralty Park 6 Jun (AD)

Observers: Andrew Dobson, Jeremy Madeiros, Miguel Mejias, Paul Watson, David Wingate.

August to December 2013

Highlights in this period included: Bermuda’s 9th Black Scoter, 4th Caspian Tern,  a Glossy Ibis banded in Spain and a Snowy Owl.

A Horned Grebe was seen near Ely’s Harbour 21-31 Dec+ (AD, PW). The first returning Cahow was noted 24 Oct (JM). A Leach’s Storm-Petrel was picked up exhausted 5 Oct and later released (JM). Two Leach’s Storm-Petrels were seen off Bermuda 10 Nov (AD). An adult Masked Booby was seen off Fort St Catherine 8 Aug (per AD). A Northern Gannet was seen off Spanish Point 23-31 Dec+ (PW). A Magnificent Frigatebird was seen over Pompano Beach 30 Aug (PW). The first of 4 Glossy Ibis was seen on Bermuda Airport 7 Sep with one bird remaining to 31 Dec+ (AD). One of the four birds was banded in Spain (AD). A Canada Goose alighted on Riddell’s Bay 26 Nov (RL). Twenty-three American Wigeon recorded at various locations 23 Nov was a high number in Bermuda (AD). A Black Scoter seen in Flatt’s Inlet 26 Nov (JM) was probably the same bird found injured 21 Dec which died in captivity. A Common Merganser was seen at Bailey’s Bay 26 Nov (PW) and various locations to 31 Dec+. A Common Goldeneye was a Spittal Pond 14 Dec (E&JH). Two Northern Harriers were seen at Bermuda Airport 28 Nov (AD). Two Piping Plover were regularly at Cooper’s Point 17 Nov-29 Dec (AD). An American Avocet was at East End Dairy 11-22 Sep (AD, PW). Another arrived at Port Royal GC 23 Oct. (AD).  Three Willet were seen at Bermuda Airport 24 Aug (PW) with one still present at Stocks Harbour 30 Nov+(AD). A Wilson’s Phalarope was in Southampton 27-28 Aug (AD). A first-winter Black-headed Gull was seen in various locations 11 Nov-31 Dec+ (TW). A Roseate Tern was seen in the Little Sound 30-31 Aug (WF, DBW). Bermuda’s 4th Caspian Tern was taken dead to BAMZ 26 Oct (PT) and the 5th was seen at various locations 28 Oct-17 Nov (AD). A Sandwich Tern was present at Spanish Point 16 Nov (TW). A Snowy Owl seen at various locations 27 Nov-20 Dec (TF) was only the 3rd record in the past 30 years and part of an invasion of Snowy Owls along the US East Coast. The owl was found dead on 21 Dec. A flock of 15 Common Nighthawks were feeding over Port Royal GC 14 Sep (WF). Eastern Kingbirds (16) at various locations 8 Sep was a significant number (AD). A Great Crested Flycatcher was at Cemetery Hill 8 Sep (PW).  A Yellow-throated Vireo was seen in St. Georges 29 Dec (PW). Single Ruby-crowned Kinglets were seen in the Smiths Hills (JM) and Ferry Point Park (PW) 29 Dec. Blackpoll Warblers put in a good showing with hundreds arriving 19-20 Sep (AD). Rarer amongst 33 Species of wood warbler record this fall were: Swainson’s Warbler at Pilchard Bay 6 Oct (DBW) and Tudor Hill 27 Oct (AD), Connecticut Warbler on St. Georges GC 26 Sep (PW) and Canada Warbler at Ferry Point 26 Sep (PW). A Wilson’s Warbler was at Cooper’s Is NR 7-8 Dec (PW). A A Grasshopper Sparrow was seen at Spittal Pond 30 Oct (AD). Two Snow Buntings at Clearwater Beach 15 Nov increased to five by 31 Dec (BF). A Blue Grosbeak was on Cedar Grove fields 27 Dec (DBW).

Observers: Andrew Dobson, Bob Flood, Tyler Fox, Wendy Frith, Erich and Janice Hetzel, Roger Hollis, Ronald Lines, Jeremy Madeiros, Paul Watson, Tim White, David Wingate

Longtail in flight Bermuda


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Bluebird in flight, worm in mouth, bluebird box


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Cahow in flight Bermuda


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

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