Hurricane Irene redux — eBird
This is a direct quotation from Marshall....
HURRICANE IRENE'S BIRDS
- White-tailed Tropicbird was the headline bird of Irene. In fact, we had predicted this based on elevated numbers offshore this year, writing: "Summer 2011 has been one of the best tropicbird years ever, so Hurricane Irene could carry a significant tropicbird load". Although there are historical records of birds displaced inland as far north as Vermont, never before has a storm produced double-digit numbers of tropicbirds and never before has a live one been observed on an inland lake in the Northeast. At least seven live birds were seen during the storm on 28 August.
- One or two adults at Prime Hook, DE, 28 Aug
- Three adults at Cape May, NJ, 28 Aug; first Cape May County record
- One adult and one immature off Manhattan, Hudson River, New York, 28 Aug
- One adult at Quabbin Reservoir, MA, 28 Aug; first Hampshire County record
- One at Lake Onota, Pittsfield, MA, 28 Aug; first Berkshire County record (possibly a second bird seen the next day)
- One found moribund (later died) in Rensselaer County in upstate New York 29 Aug or later
- One adult found at Rockaway Beach, NY
- One (presumed white-tailed, ID yet to be confirmed) at East Marion, NY
- One adult found moribund (later died) in Claremont, NH, on 30 Aug; a first state record
- Inland Leach's Storm-Petrels were seen at Quabbin Reservoir, MA, as well as coastal birds in a number of places.
- Band-rumped Storm-Petrels were displaced well northward and to the coast, but were not found inland (as they have been occasionally in the past). The most noteworthy were first from-shore records in Massachusetts (First Encounter Beach, 29 Aug, Nantucket and Tuckernuck Islands on 28 Aug) and Connecticut, and others were seen around New York City as well.
- Inland Wilson's Storm-Petrels, very rare in hurricanes, were found at Lake Pontoosuc, Pittsfield, MA, on 28 Aug, and found dead in Northampton, MA, 30 Aug (specimen and photos)
- Brown Pelicans after the storm in Galilee, RI ( photos) and Tuckernuck Island, MA.
- Magnificent Frigatebirds seen in South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New York.
- Several inland jaegers included a few Parasitics and at least a few Long-tailed Jaegers.
- A cooperative South Polar Skua was reported from a beach on Long Island, NY.
- Widespread Sooty Terns inland and coastally from South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. One in Boston was the farthest north and east. Never before has the spread of Sooty Terns been so quickly and easily explored by other birders, and this all thanks to those that have already entered their reports with good notes so that they can be reviewed and accepted. Notice the spread of records on this map of Aug 2011 Sooty Terns -- you can pretty much see where the eye passed and how Sooty Terns occur out to the outer edges of the storm's wind field.
- Bridled Terns, as expected, were seen in this storm, but only on the coast. We are not aware of any inland Bridled Terns, but birds on the coast or in estuarine bays and harbors were seen in North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Of those states, Bridled Tern is most unusual in Connecticut, the only one lacking pelagic waters (Bridled Tern is rare but regular in deep, warm pelagic waters north to Massachusetts). Compare the map of Bridled Tern occurrences to the Sooty Tern map above, and note how much farther inland Sooties were seen. See the discussion on this topic below.
- Brown Noddy -- One seen from shore around Charleston Harbor on Friday 26 August. There are very few prior records. See Nate Dias's checklist here.
- Lingering southern terns in several states for several days after the storm, including Black Skimmers in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island; Royal Terns in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut; and Sandwich Terns in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
- Widespread Black Terns in record numbers in many places, such as eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire (see Steve Mirick's list below)
- An unprecedented fallout of Hudsonian Godwits was witnessed, with 193 counted at one site in New Hampshire (see Steve Mirick's list), and other lower numbers at two inland sites in Massachusetts, as well as coastal Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. Most notably, several were seen in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida, where the species is extremely rare in fall. Many other shorebirds "fell out" in the storm, likely a result of the large system 'grounding' birds in overland migration, but possibly also displacing some offshore migrants back to shore.
- A large swift, now believed to be Black Swift (very likely of the Caribbean population, which may represent a species distinct from western North American ones), was seen and photographed at Cape May. Most agree it was not a EuropeanApus swift (e.g., Common Swift), so whatever it is, it will represent a new record for the East Coast (the nearest Black Swift is from Point Pelee, ON). See Tony Leukering's report.
- A Brown-chested Martin, just about the eighth record for North America, was seen at Cape Charles, VA. See Ned Brinkley's report.
- 26 August, Charleston Harbor, Nate Dias [Brown Noddy]
- 28 August, Cape May Point, Tony Leukering et al.'s hourly checklists include oneand then two White-tailed Tropicbirds (photos), possible Black Swift (photos),Black-capped Petrel, etc.]. See the full account with photos here.
- 28 August, Quabbin Reservoir in western Massachusetts, Marshall Iliff et al. Seetotal list or the epic 16:00-17:00 hourly list [White-tailed Tropicbird, Sooty Tern (photos), Leach's Storm-Petrel, Parasitic Jaeger etc.]
- 28 August, New York. White-tailed Tropicbird ( photos) etc. off Manhattan. SeeSam Stuart's list.
- 28 August, New Hampshire. No southern rarities, but a fallout of Hudsonian Godwits and record-high Black Tern counts, along with some displaced seabirds. See Steve Mirick's list.
Please report all your storm bird sightings BOTH into eBird AND to your local state birding authority (typically your state avian records committee). It is very important to submit your reports for this storm. Thank you.