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With thousands of Peregrines and 1 Europe-bound Osprey  

Armas Hill has presented the "Birdline", originally from Philadelphia, on the phone and internet for over 3 decades, and on the radio in Delaware for about 10 years.


A List & Photo Gallery of North American Birds, in 6 Parts

A List & Photo Gallery of North American Mammals  

A Chronological List of Upcoming FONT Tours     Other Birdlines/Naturelines

Photos here of two species referred to in this October 19, 2012 edition of the Birdline:

Above: a Peregrine Falcon
and below: a Wood Sandpiper

The Wood Sandpiper in the photo here 
in one that was a few years ago
in North America in Delaware.
(photo by Howard Eskin)


The Birdline for October 19, 2012:

The next edition of our Natureline will be a special one, referring to the 100 MOST ENDANGERED SPECIES on Earth - a list with not just BIRDS, but also containing OTHER CREATURES and PLANTS.

But here, now, only BIRDS as we refer to the MIGRATION that has been well underway in eastern North America, plus a few BIRDS lately in Iceland.

The rarest in eastern North America recently has been a WOOD SANDPIPER in the smallest US state of Rhode Island, on Jamestown Island in the Narragansett Bay.
Good luck had it that it was found on October 13, and it continued to be seen beyond that.
The Rhode Island bird was the 5th occurrence of a WOOD SANDPIPER in the lower 48 states of the US, and the 1st record for the New England states.

In Iceland, this past week, there were extralimital SANDPIPERS from both North America and mainland Eurasia. In fact, they were seen together, at the same location.
A TEMMINCK'S STINT, a sandpiper from the east, normally in Eurasia & Africa, was seen on October 17 with a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER from the west, normally in North & South America.
The TEMMINCK'S STINT, the 2nd for Iceland, continued there for at least a couple more days.
During those days, there was not just one WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, but two.
Earlier in October, a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, from the Americas, was the 7th for Iceland. It was seen from October 6 to 11.

A first for Iceland on October 12 & 13 was a BARN SWALLOW of the North American race, HIRUNDO RUSTICA ERYTHROGASTER.

Back in eastern North America, an influx of PINE SISKINS has been widespread. They have been occurring, sometimes in large numbers, as far south as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. And even further south yet.
In New York recently, there were hundreds along the southern shore of Long Island at the Robert Moses State Park.

EVENING GROSBEAKS have not been as numerous, or as far south. But they have been reported recently in northern Pennsylvania, in Kunkletown, Monroe County, as well as in Coventry, Rhode Island, Errol, New Hampshire, and in Massachusetts, where they been reported in Boston, at the Boston Public Garden, and in Concord, where there also has been a YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, a species normally in western North America.

In upstate New York lately, species from the west have been both YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD and FRANKLIN'S GULL, with both in the area of the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. 

In western New York state, another westerner, a PACIFIC LOON, in breeding plumage, was seen on October 15 flying over Lake Ontario, past the town of Wilson. Previously, PACIFIC LOONS have been seen in that region only twice, in 1959 & in 1995.
In addition to the PACIFIC LOON, also seen at the same place, that same day, were: PARASITIC JAEGER, and about 20 RED-THROATED LOONS, and nearly 200 COMMON LOONS. Also numerous HORNED GREBES, and RED-NECKED GREBE.

A species from the west that has had quite an influx of late into Pennsylvania has been the RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, with about 2 dozen recently reported, in these Pennsylvania counties (among others): Clarion, Dauphin, Franklin, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Montgomery, and Northampton.
Also there have been RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS in upstate New York in Phoenix, in Delaware in Kent County, and in Maryland in Carroll County.  

Another western bird seen in Pennsylvania lately was a TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE in Bedford County on October 13 at the Allegheny Front Hawkwatch. It was the 11th recorded sighting of that species in Pennsylvania.

The TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE has been among western birds seen this month in Massachusetts. It and a BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER were at South Monomoy, on Cape Cod, where both were banded earlier this month.
A BELL'S VIREO was in Massachusetts in Westport the weekend of October 6-7.
A SAY'S PHOEBE was in Massachusetts at Plum Island on October 4-5.

In Virginia, there was a SAY'S PHOEBE at Virginia Beach on October 7.

A BLACK-TAILED GODWIT, a bird of Europe, has been in Virginia, seen two weekends, on October 5 & 6, and October 14 & 15, at Chincoteague Refuge in Accomack County.
Also in Accomack County, there has been a LONG-BILLED CURLEW, from western North America, on October 12, at Wachapreague.
So, two nice and large shorebirds, one as noted in Chincoteague, the other Wachapreague.  

I used to record the Birdline, years ago, on a telephone recorder. With that last report, I probably would have stumbled.

A western bird in New Jersey this month was an ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER at the Island Beach State Park on October 5.

A western bird in New Hampshire this month has been an EARED GREBE, found on October 7 and present at least a week, at Rye Harbor.
Another EARED GREBE has been in Maine. It was found in September, and continued into October, in Middle Bay, off Simpson Point, south of Brunswick.

NORTHERN WHEATEARS, from Greenland or nearby, have been seen lately at a few places in eastern North America.
At Cape May, New Jersey, on October 9, there were 2 of them.
In Pennsylvania, in the city of Reading, there was a NORTHERN WHEATEAR on October 4 only, on railroad tracks by a river.
In Maryland, there was a NORTHERN WHEATEAR at the BWI Airport near Baltimore, on October 8.
In Massachusetts, there was, earlier this month, a NORTHERN WHEATEAR in Orleans on Cape Cod, present for a few days.
And in Rhode Island, a NORTHERN WHEATEAR that was on Block Island, found on September 30, continued there until at least October 5.

Last time, here, we told of FALL BIRD MIGRATION on Block Island in Rhode Island and at Cape May in New Jersey, both good places for it.
This time, Mohegan Island in Maine, where during the first week in October, birds included:

A LECONTE'S SPARROW was found in New York City on October 6 at the Floyd Bennett Field.
In Central Park in Manhattan, BLUE GROSBEAK has been among the birds this fall. One was there October 8.

In another big northeastern US city, Boston, BROWN PELICANS are not often seen. But one was in early October in South Boston, flying toward the Kennedy Library from Carson Beach.

Unusual in Massachusetts was a PURPLE GALLINULE in Norfolk at the Stony Brook Sanctuary. It was found the weekend of October 6-7 and was still there a week later.

Unusual in Pennsylvania, during its migration, is the YELLOW RAIL. One was found on October 6 in Somerset County, by Somerset Lake. Also in October, VIRGINIA RAILS and SORA were found in the same area.

In Pennsylvania, in Erie County, by Lake Erie, observers look every morning to see birds migrate, as they come in from crossing the lake from Ontario, Canada.
On October 17, they tallied 500 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS having made the crossing. Also counted that day were 500 BONAPARTE'S GULLS. On October 19, there was a single adult LITTLE GULL among 300 to 400 BONAPARTE'S GULLS.
Notable birds seen at Erie back on October 7 were an AMERICAN AVOCET and a COMMON REDPOLL.   

Unusual in the Great Lakes area and unusual in upstate New York was a NORTHERN GANNET, seen flying south over Lake Ontario, by Stony Point in Jefferson County on October 13.

DICKCISSELS were common in the northeast US earlier this year. This month, they have been seen in New Hampshire in Stratham, Hampton, Penacook, and West Harrington. 

SWAINSON'S HAWKS of western North America, do occur in the East every fall. In New Jersey, this past week, one was at Cape May on October 17, and another was reported inland, in Mercer County, on October 14. 

Now, to the stories referred to in our title this time, about two other species of RAPTORS, the PEREGRINE FALCON and OSPREY:

Going first to Florida:

At the Florida Keys Hawk Watch in the Curry Hammock State Park in the keys, as of October 16, as many as 3,242 PEREGRINE FALCONS were counted as they flew by.
That is believed to be the highest count of PEREGRINE FALCONS ever made, during a single migration season anywhere.

With winds from the east-northeast:
On October 5, there were 113 PEREGRINES
On October 6, 237
On October 7, 155
On October 8, 230
On October 9, 318
and then on October 10, 651 PEREGRINE FALCONS.

Back in 2008, on October 11, there were 638 PEREGRINE FALCONS counted at that hawk watch, and that was the previous single-day record high.

Last year (in 2011), the season count of PEREGRINE FALCONS at Curry Hammock was 2,976.
And that was, until this year, the highest tally of PEREGRINES recorded in the US during migration.

However, there has been another big seasonal high count of PEREGRINES, of 3,219 birds, outside the US, in Costa Rica, at Kekoldi, in the fall of 2004.

Now, the count of 3,242 PEREGRINE FALCONS at the Florida Keys Hawk Watch this year, as of October 18, has surpassed any previous count, and with the season not yet done.

Our thanks to Chris Starling (yes, that's his real name; not like Shearwater) for bringing this interesting story to our attention during a "Big Sit" last weekend at Turkey Point, in Maryland. A truly nice place where some PEREGRINES passed by - just a few.

Some OSPREYS were banded this summer where they nested in New Hampshire. And on those birds radio transmitters were placed so that their migration route could be tracked.
Well, one of the young birds of the year, a male, started south from New Hampshire on August 21.
He didn't get too far, as he then spent 6 weeks in Rhode Island.
But after that, he even got more waylaid - by hitching a ride on a ship going east across the North Atlantic Ocean. On October 14, that young male OSPREY was on that ship, as it was nearing Europe or the Mediterranean.    

Interestlngly, that OSPREY'S sibling, a young female, left New Hampshire about 3 weeks later than her brother. And then, see went directly, and rather quickly due south, and now she is all the way down there into Brazil.

Two from the same family, so different, and having gone such very different ways.

You can see the a map with the routes of these OSPREY and others, by clicking the link below:    


Don't forget that in a few days, in the next Natureline, there will be the 100 most endangered species on Earth, with birds in that list including, among others:

Another interesting list, this month, is that of the files in the FONT website receiving the most hits. Among them, in the "Top Ten", are these lists and photo galleries:

South American Mammals:

Birds of Ecuador:

Moths of Eastern North America:

The Birdline & Natureline are affiliates of Focus On Nature Tours.

Armas Hill has presented the Birdline, originally from Philadelphia, on the phone and the internet for over 3 decades, and on the radio in Delaware for 10 years.

For an archive of some previous Birdlines & Naturelines

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