Tropical Storm Sandy rare bird liveblog

As the Frankenstorm churns it’s way up the coast and swings in across the Mid-Atlantic there is a good possibility that many interesting birds will be dropped off in lakes, reservoirs, and rivers after being displaced by the storm. Here we will post updates on storm-birds seen across the region as a way to give people a heads up on places to check, species to look for, etc. For more information about what birds could be possible during a late-fall storm like this, check out what eBird has to say. Also keep an eye on BirdCast for weather and bird forecasts.

Drew Weber November 4, 201210:48 am

Well, Sandy continues to produce storm birds in Pennsylvania. Yesterday a Herald Petrel was taken to a rehabber where it failed to recover.

In Western PA, there are 2 Black Skimmers at McKees Rocks in Allegheny County!

Drew Weber November 3, 201212:09 pm

Reports of storm birds has definitely slowed down now that everything has calmed down. Now it seems there has been an influx of passerines that may have been caught up in the storm. This has included warblers that should be well to the south of us by now such as Black-throated Blue Warbler and Northern Parula and other migrants such as a report of 27 very late Eastern Kingbirds in Massachusetts.

Drew Weber November 1, 20126:19 pm

A video of one of the Maryland Leach’s Storm-Petrels

Drew Weber November 1, 20126:15 pm

Whoa, here is a big one! South Polar/Great Skua from Staten Island on 10/30

South Polar/Great Skua

Drew Weber November 1, 20124:33 pm

NY – This afternoon there were Northern Gannets on the Hudson River viewable from the 70th St Pier in Manhattan

Drew Weber November 1, 201212:52 pm

ON – ROSS’S GULL, Sabine’s, Kittiwake – Waverly Beach

Drew Weber November 1, 20129:11 am

Some Tuesday highlights from a day birding Sunset Beach in Cape May, NJ

Band-rumped Storm Petrel 1
unidentified storm petrel 1
Pomarine Jaeger ~115
Parasitic Jaeger ~ 4
Great Shearwater 1
Cory’s Shearwater 1 (some discussion that this distant bird was not typical)
Black-legged Kittiwake 3
Red Phalarope 1
Northern Gannet ~ 300 (all 4 years of plumages represented, mostly adults)

Drew Weber November 1, 20129:07 am

Ontario birders are still getting a piece of the action.

This morning Brandon Holden saw three Pomarine Jaegers fly past Fort Erie going down stream along the Niagara River.

Drew Weber November 1, 20129:06 am

Meanwhile, Alex and friends are looking for the Sabine’s Gull and Wilson’s Storm-Petrel (1st state record) at Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County, PA. No luck on either bird so far.

Drew Weber November 1, 20129:05 am

Birders still out finding birds in Pennsylvania.

A Red Phalarope is at Chamber’s Lake in Chester County

Drew Weber October 31, 20127:36 pm

Some more reports I am just finding.

MASS, First Encounter Beach – Arctic Tern

Drew Weber October 31, 20126:45 pm

Drew Weber October 31, 20126:45 pm

Nice article by WHYY featuring Jeff Gordon and and excitement of birding the storm. Follow the link in the article to see a selection of Alex’s photos from the storm birding adventures.

Drew Weber October 31, 20125:54 pm

PA – another interesting report from southern Lancaster County.

Great Cormorant flying down the Susquehanna River at Peach Bottom.

Drew Weber October 31, 20124:43 pm

PA – from the other end of the field guide

A Cape May Warbler is coming to a feeder in Lancaster Co

Drew Weber October 31, 20124:37 pm

NY- From Long Island Sound comes a report of “a very distant PTERODROMA petrel, arcing high on stiff, somewhat bent wings. Black-capped Petrel is most likely, but although I could see a white venter and possibly some dorsal patterning, it was too far to be identified.”

Drew Weber October 31, 20124:32 pm

PA – another report of what would be an addition to the state list – WILSON’S STORM-PETREL on lake Raystown. Also a Sabine’s Gull at the same location.

Drew Weber October 31, 20123:41 pm

VT – Other storm birds include Black-legge Kittiwakes, Little and Laughing Gulls

Drew Weber October 31, 20123:39 pm

VT – Pacific Loon, Thompsons Point

Drew Weber October 31, 20123:38 pm

Thanks to Kyle Jones for the heads up –

VT – Leach’s Storm-Petrel in Lake Champlain

Drew Weber October 31, 20123:36 pm

More scattered reports of Cave Swallows in PA. Latest include-

Lake Raystown, Huntingdon Co

Lake Nockamixon, Bucks Co

Drew Weber October 31, 20122:02 pm

Pa – Little Gull on the south shore of Moraine SP, Butler Co.

Drew Weber October 31, 20121:12 pm

MASS – M Frigatebird flyover at 10:46.

Drew Weber October 31, 20121:09 pm

NY – Anthony Collerton reports Leach’s Storm Petrel close off the beach at East Lake Jetty, Montauk

Drew Weber October 31, 20121:08 pm

RI – frigatebird (did I post this already?)

Alex Lamoreaux October 31, 20121:08 pm

American Avocet in Chester Co, PA – Marsh Creek SP

Drew Weber October 31, 20121:07 pm

NJ – Band-rumped Storm-Petrel in Burlington County

Drew Weber October 31, 20121:05 pm

NY – Purple Sandpiper and Long Point State Park on Cayuga Lake

Drew Weber October 31, 201211:45 am

Sorry, Dovekie link is

Drew Weber October 31, 201211:41 am

DOVEKIE in Michigan!

Alex Lamoreaux October 31, 201211:11 am

Nockamixon bucks county, PA — Cave swallow at marina. Royal tern about an hour ago. Lots of brant flyovers

Drew Weber October 31, 201210:29 am

NY – south end of Cayuga Lake has both Laughing Gull and Black-legged Kittiwakes.

Alex Lamoreaux October 31, 201210:27 am

Ian Gardner reports a probable Wilson’s Storm-Petrel at the 7 points marina on Lake Raystown in Huntingdon Co, PA.

He also reported a Laughing Gull and Red-throated Loon at the dam.

Alex Lamoreaux October 31, 20129:01 am

Things are going very slowly in PA today with Brant being really the only storm birds around.

Alex Lamoreaux October 31, 20128:58 am

Adrian Binns reports a Red Phalarope at John Heinz NWR in Philly.

Alex Lamoreaux October 31, 20128:49 am

Tom johnson reports from Harrisburg, PA – All mostly quiet at Marysville, above Harrisburg. No pelagic/ coastal species except Laughing Gulls.

Drew Weber October 31, 20128:30 am

Marshall Illif is watching at Conowingo Lake in MD just s of PA: 1 Black Skimmer, 3 Brant, 1 Leachs, many more Common Terns than yesterday, 15+ Red Phalaropes

Drew Weber October 31, 20126:56 am

Rhode Island had a Magnificent Frigate bird yesterday that I missed posting!

Drew Weber October 31, 20126:51 am

What will day #2 hold for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast? Yesterday was unmatched historically in the numbers of jaegers seen in Pennsylvania, Leach’s Storm-Petrels seen all the way up to Lake Ontario, and a surprise Ross’s Gull that must have been sucked down from the Arctic by the western half of the hybrid storm.

Drew Weber October 30, 20125:51 pm

We should have everyone make a simultaneous jaeger count in PA Pretty sure there are hundreds in the state right now. Looking for good documentation on each one!!!!

Drew Weber October 30, 20125:47 pm

Red-billed Tropicbird made it to a rehabber in NJ. No details on where it came from. The bird is not talking.

Drew Weber October 30, 20125:43 pm

Dauphin Co, PA – Tom Johnson reports a young kittiwake at marysville heading south

Drew Weber October 30, 20125:41 pm

C. NY – Just saw a report of two Frigatebirds (presumably Magnificent) heading west from Brighton Cliffs near Pt Breeze. This is near Sodus Bay I believe on Lake Ontario.

Drew Weber October 30, 20125:33 pm

This is getting ridiculous regarding numbers of Pomarine Jaegers.

This morning there were ~45 counted in Harrisburg PA, now comes a report of 29 at Greenlick in Fayette County PA.

Each of these flocks contains more birds than all of Pennsylvania’s accepted records, combined!

Drew Weber October 30, 20124:09 pm

Mike Lanzone has more jaegers coming into Shawnee SP in Bedford County, PA as he’s watching.

He reports he now has 6 Pomarine and 2 Parasitic

Drew Weber October 30, 20123:51 pm

Here’s another mega-favorite for storm bird chasers that we have been waiting to hear rumors of…

Frigatebird along the coast in S Dartmouth, MASS

Drew Weber October 30, 20123:49 pm

Here is an update from Lapidum MD –

Between 1-2pm, we had 25 Pom Jaegers (2 low over river, then 23 higher flyovers), Surf Scoters, an Iceland Gull, Dunlin, Common Loon, 65 Brant, Pintail, and Forster’s Tern. AWESOME!!!!

Drew Weber October 30, 20123:48 pm

Glad to see NJ getting in on some of the birding action after they took the brunt of the storm.

Drew Weber October 30, 20123:31 pm

Cape May New Jersey – Band-rumped Storm-Petrel at the Concrete Ship

Drew Weber October 30, 20122:43 pm

“All 3 scoters, 2 pomarine jaegers, 1 cave swallow, 1 red + 2 red-necked phalaropes, brant, + many other waterfowl, Beltzville Lake, carbon co.” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20122:31 pm

PA – A jaeger chasing gulls on Raystown Lake, Huntingdon Co

Drew Weber October 30, 20122:23 pm

Alex finds another great bird!

“Adult northern gannet at west fairview” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20122:21 pm

“Pomarine Jaeger and 17 Brants at Greenlick Lake, Fayette County” – posted in WesternPA-RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20122:09 pm

PA – Black-legged Kittiwake
Kahle L.,Venango Co

Drew Weber October 30, 20122:03 pm

Pa – West Fairview – oystercatcher, Leach’s sp, black skimmer

Drew Weber October 30, 20121:28 pm

“Shawnee state park, Bedford County- Wilson’s Storm Petrel” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

First report I have seen of a Wilson’s!!!

Drew Weber October 30, 20121:19 pm

NU – Cayuga Lake –

leachs storm petrel Frontenac Park, union springs.

Rply: CAYUGARBA + yr msg.
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Drew Weber October 30, 20121:01 pm

CT – Stamford- Pomarine Jaeger, a few Leach’s Petrels, 1Sooty/Bridled Tern

Drew Weber October 30, 201212:55 pm

“Leach’s storm petrol sitting in water off of dam at Lake Ontelaunee Berks County” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 201212:32 pm

“2 Shearwater sp. circling with vultures on ridge line north of Lake Minsi, Northampton” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 201212:28 pm

Ross’s Gull below is the real deal!!

Drew Weber October 30, 201212:15 pm

Cryptically hinting at a Ross’s?!? Let’s hope so!

NY, Cayuga Lake.
adult kittiwake at long point flying circles. Ross gull not visible.

Rply: CAYUGARBA + yr msg.

Drew Weber October 30, 201212:14 pm

“All 3 Scoters 2 Brant 17 Phalaropes Mountain Brooks Road Franklin co” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 201212:10 pm

Leach’s Storm-Petrel on Lake Ontario off Thickson Woods, Whitby, Ontario

Drew Weber October 30, 201211:56 am

“Pom Jaeger, 2 Red Phalaropes, Lake Minsi, Northampton” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 201211:55 am

NY – Leach’s SP reported from Myers Point on Cayuga Lake

Drew Weber October 30, 201211:53 am

“Pomarine jaeger, peach bottom, Lancaster co, Susquehanna. Schutsky and Amico” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 201211:44 am

PA – Fellow Nemesis Birder Michael reports

“Shawnee State Park- Bedford County. 2 American Oystercatchers, Black-legged Kittiwake, 140+ Brant” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 201211:37 am

ON – Van Wagners Beach – more than a dozen kittiwakes including an adult as well as Pomarine and Parasitic Jaegers this morning.

Drew Weber October 30, 201211:35 am

Leachs Storm-Petrel reported at Fort Niagara

Drew Weber October 30, 201211:06 am

Finally something to report from Central NY.

1 Parasitic jaeger heading south from Long Point, Cayuga Co.

Rply: CAYUGARBA + yr msg.

Drew Weber October 30, 201211:03 am

MASS – Apparently 3 N Lapwings have been sighted today in Massachusetts

Drew Weber October 30, 201210:59 am

Storm related?

“Barnacle Goose, Rt 332 & Stony Hill Rd outside Newtown Bucks” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 201210:51 am

MI – 100+ Brant, many scoters of all species, loons, grebes, Black-legged Kittiwake, and Red Phalarope…so far at Lighthouse Park, Port Huron.

– Allen T. Chartier

Drew Weber October 30, 201210:45 am

PA – Leach’s Storm-Petrel, W Fairview (Dauphin)

Drew Weber October 30, 201210:42 am

MD – Up to 8 Pomarine Jaegers, 3 Black Skimmers, 7 Red Phalaropes, all 3 scoter, 200+ Brant, other ducks.

Location is listed as Lapidum

Drew Weber October 30, 201210:33 am

PA – Red Phalaropes reported at both Ontelaunee BERKS and Marsh Creek CHESTER

Drew Weber October 30, 201210:26 am

MD – Red phalarope flock down the bay at north point sp. – Kevin Graff

Drew Weber October 30, 201210:22 am

Alex has found another great bird in Central PA!

“Probable black legged kittiwake immature at Bald Eagle SP. Seen from dam heading towards beach” – posted in SCRBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 201210:19 am

Perhaps the holy grail of storm birds puts in an appearance

Tropicbird sp, near verrazanno

Rply: LIRBA + yr msg.
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Drew Weber October 30, 201210:02 am

PA – Leach’s storm petrel at south Marietta boat launch, Lanc Cty

Drew Weber October 30, 20129:35 am

CT – Leach’s SP Old Saybrook 8 am

Drew Weber October 30, 20129:33 am

“Juv Sabine’s flying N past Pennypack up high” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20129:25 am

“Juv Sooty Tern flying N past Pennypack up high” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20129:25 am

“Jaeger sp (probably pomarine) at Yellow Creek SP, Indiana county” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20129:24 am

“Leach’s Storm Petrel at Tacony Boat Launch, above Betsy Ross Bridge, Philadelphia Co.” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20129:23 am

Jaegers in both Lycoming and Centre Counties, PA

Drew Weber October 30, 20129:14 am

“West Fairview, Cumberland Co: Red knots, Dunlin, many Laughing Gull, all 3 scoters, 4 Pom Jaegers again just now!” – posted on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20128:39 am

“Hafner et al. report 7 Pomarines on MD portion of Susquehanna “hanging out”. Also 3 Black Skimmers, scoters and Br…” – posted on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20128:38 am

“Red phalarope on conj. flats lanc. Co. Yahoo!” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20128:13 am

“Ad. Pomarine Jaeger passing Dashields Dam Allegheny Co, headed toward city of Pittsburgh” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20128:09 am

“For Andy Markel- Cory’s shearwater, W Fairview” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20128:08 am

“Am oystercatcher lake Nox fishing pier” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20128:06 am

Leach’s Storm Petrel Gravesend Bay Brooklyn

Rply: LIRBA + yr msg.
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Drew Weber October 30, 20128:04 am

“Black skimmer conj. flats lancaster county” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20128:03 am

“Leach’s and Parastic Jaeger at Pennypack Philadelphia” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20128:02 am

“5 Leach’s S-Petrel immediately N of Cmd Barry Bridge, 1 just snagged by Peregrine!” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20127:59 am

“Storm-petrel (prob Leach’s), Lake Nox fishing pier” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20127:51 am

“2 royal terns north past pennypack. Also brant, small terns, shorebirds, etc mostly flying north” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20127:50 am

“2 Red Phalaropes, Lake Nockamixon, Bucks Co (with Devich Farbotnik)” – posted in PA RBA on @GroupMe

Drew Weber October 30, 20127:25 am

Philly, PA. Dark juv jaeger north past pennypack, Philadelphia. Probably a pomarine. reported by Tom Johnson

Drew Weber October 30, 20127:23 am

Drew Weber October 30, 20127:13 am

Alright people of Earth! Today is the day that reports should start flying in as displaced birds work their way down the closest riverine system back towards the ocean and entrained birds are hopefully sticking for a while to local bodies of water.

Leave you sightings in the comments and I’ll try to put them up here as quick as I can.

Alex Lamoreaux October 29, 201210:48 pm

PA Storm-bird Summary for October 29th, 2012:

Other than the stormy weather creating massive waterfowl fallouts around the state, there haven’t been any crazy bird sightings in PA yet due to Hurricane Sandy. Tomorrow that should change.

Below are today’s birding highlights from around the state. I surely missed some stuff but in general this sums it up.

Around 10:45am, a JAEGER SP was reported at Lake Nockamixon (Bucks Co) but was only seen briefly.

This morning, a CAVE SWALLOW was found at the Northeast Water Pollution Control in Philadelphia.

Yellow Creek SP (Indiana Co) had thousands of waterfowl and some shorebirds, including a RED PHALAROPE.

The EARED GREBE found yesterday at Memorial Lake (Lebanon Co) was seen again this morning.

Raystown Lake (Huntingdon Co) had 55 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and a few other waterfowl.

Small numbers of BRANT were reported at various lakes across western PA today, but an amazing 71 at Greenlick Run Lake (Fayette Co) is truly an incredible sight. In fact, Greenlick Run Lake had incredible waterfowl numbers today with at least 2000 RUDDY DUCKS (still the most abundant duck species being put down by the storm) and various other species, including scoters. There were also two EURASIAN WIGEON reported there, although unconfirmed.

Despite large numbers of waterfowl at Bald Eagle SP (Centre Co), there were much fewer ducks present today and no scoters were seen. The Brant was still present.

GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS and DUNLIN seem to be the only shorebirds being put down right now.

Drew Weber October 29, 201210:15 pm

and a final bird sighting for the evening before I head to bed for an early morning of lakewatching.

Van Wagners Beach, ON. 10 Black-legged Kittiwakes, hopefully a sign that birds are moving down the St. Lawrence Seaway!

Drew Weber October 29, 201210:12 pm

Here is what we are looking at as the storm’s eye moves inland.

Drew Weber October 29, 20126:43 pm

Cool visualization of the wind from this storm.

Click on the image for the animated version

Drew Weber October 29, 20125:30 pm

eBird has a really great post on storm birding strategies for this week.

Drew Weber October 29, 20125:08 pm

Barnstable Co, MASS – More Leach’s Storm-Petrels plus other goodies like fulmars, kittiwakes and jaegers

Drew Weber October 29, 20125:06 pm

Norfolk Co, MASS. Good numbers of birds including Razorbill and Leach’s Storm-Petrels

Drew Weber October 29, 20124:45 pm

Sandy Neck, MASS. 2 Northern Fulmurs and 2 Dovekies.

Drew Weber October 29, 20124:39 pm

Rye Harbor, NH. Leach’s Storm-Petrel

Alex Lamoreaux October 29, 20121:26 pm

M.Higbee rpts a feeding Red Phalarope from Yellow Creek SP Observatory, Indiana Co.

Drew Weber October 29, 201211:44 am

Scoters flying north up the Hudson in NYC

Alex Lamoreaux October 29, 201211:13 am

Matt Sabatine is at Lake Nockamixon (Bucks Co) and reports that around 10:45am, a jaeger (species not positively determined) flew into the fishing pier area, circled a bit, and then flew out over the trees heading north. Obviously it could have changed direction and gone anywhere from there.

Drew Weber October 29, 20129:56 am

Matt Bango reports an unidentified swift in NYC

Drew Weber October 29, 20129:34 am

So far no storm-related birds being reported on the listservs.

Alex Lamoreaux October 29, 20129:21 am

PA Storm-bird Summary for October 28th, 2012:

Loads of waterfowl were pushed down to lakes and rivers around PA today. Based on reports from around the state, RUDDY DUCK seems to be the most common waterfowl species put down by the storm so far, with some locations having 1,000+.

All three scoters were reported throughout PA today. Small groups of SURF SCOTER and BLACK SCOTER were reported at various locations around central and SE PA today. WHITE-WINGED SCOTER was primarily reported in central and south-central PA so far.

Somerset Lake had at least 1 male EURASIAN WIGEON and possibly a female as well.

Single Atlantic BRANT were reported at various locations such as Bald Eagle SP (Centre Co) but some locations in south-central and SE PA had larger groups, including 36 near Harrisburg (Dauphin County) and 15 on Somerset Lake (Somerset Co).

Other waterfowl reported around the state included LESSER SCAUP (good numbers at some locations) and some Greater Scaup, BUFFLEHEAD (good numbers), RING-NECKED DUCKS (good numbers, especially at Yellow Creek SP (Indiana Co). Gadwall, American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Horned Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, and Common Loon, etc.

RED-NECKED GREBE has been reported on Lake Erie recently, so keep an eye out for them on lakes and rivers. An EARED GREBE was found on Memorial Lake (Lebanon County) this morning.

So far it seems the only shorebirds put down by the storm have been LESSER YELLOWLEGS, Greater Yellowlegs, and a few others – all in small numbers.

BONAPARTE’S GULLS are moving across Lake Erie in huge numbers right now and will be put down by this storm on lakes and rivers in PA. Some were reported around the state today. LITTLE GULL has been reported on Lake Erie multiple times in the past few days, so keep an eye out for them among the Bonies. LAUGHING GULLS were on the move, with an incredible 845 seen moving south down the Delaware River this morning and one seen near Harrisburg (Dauphin Co).

FORSTER’s TERNS were reported at a few locations.

Drew Weber October 28, 20128:53 pm

Another view.

Drew Weber October 28, 20126:50 pm

Cool satellite image of the storm.

Drew Weber October 28, 20124:06 pm

A report from Manomet Point, Massachusetts of a Leach’s Storm-Petrel, one of the tubenoses most often found inland during fall storms.

Drew Weber October 28, 20123:48 pm

Storm is still predicted to track through PA and then turn up into central NY

Drew Weber October 28, 20122:48 pm

George Armistead reports 845 Laughing Gulls flying south down the Delaware River.

Drew Weber October 28, 20122:32 pm

Lots of waterfowl in lakes across PA as the first rains spread across the region. Notables include Eurasian Wigeon at Lake Somerset and Black and White-winged Scoters at Bald Eagle State Park.