Hybrid Shorebird at Mecox Inlet - 12 May 2010

Warblers and other neotropical migrants continue to flow through the region with several decent flights in the last few days. Among the highlights are singing Mourning Warbler (Friday and today) and Yellow-throated Warblers (Thursday) at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge in Quogue. Mourning Warblers have topped the bill in a number of area parks this week. On Tuesday, John Shemilt photographed a very interesting sandpiper on the flats at Mecox that gave the impression of an over-sized Western Sandpiper. Study of his photos suggests this is likely a hybrid between White-rumped Sandpiper and Dunlin. Curiously, a number of similar birds have been documented in the northeast in past few years, and it seems they are becoming more frequent. It is tempting to speculate that habitat changes in the arctic nesting grounds are a contributing factor by increasing contact (overlap) between the two species.

Although the bulk of summer nesting species have arrived, there are still a few gaps. Roseate Tern and Black Skimmer for example, will be making their way onto the SF about now but I haven't received any firm reports. Keep an eye out for Blue Grosbeaks, which have also made a decent showing across Long Island in the past few week and other goodies for our area like Cliff Swallow, Summer Tanager, Lincoln's Sparrow, Black Tern and Gull-billed Tern. A Wilson's Plover made a brief appearance at Jones Beach last weekend and historically, the sandy beaches of the SF (esp. Shinnecock, Mecox Inlet, Sag Pond, and Napeague) are by far the best place to chance upon this rare southern stray in New York State.

Here are some recent highlights.

** 6 May 2010 **
Peregrine, 1 nr Ponquogue Bridge, Shinnecock Inlet SH (Luke Ormand) - is there a pair attempting to nest?

** 7 May 2010 **
Blackpoll Warbler, East Lake Drive, Montauk EH (Vicki Bustamante) - first of season?

** 8 May 2010 **
Eastern Wood Pewee, Long Pond, Sag Harbor SH (Hugh McGuinness) - first of season?
Green Heron, Merrill Lake Preserve, Springs EH (Karen and Barb Rubinstein)

** 9 May 2010**

Green Heron, 1 in Northwest Harbor EH (Jane Ross)
Green Heron, 2, Gerogica Cove, Georgica EH (Jane Ross)
Northern Bobwhite, 1 Cove Hollow Farm, Georgica EH (Jane Ross)
Purple Martin, 50+, West End/Georgica Pond, Georgica EH (Jane Ross)

** 12 May 2010**
hybrid sandpiper (likely White-rumped x Dunlin), Mecox Inlet, Watermill SH (John Shemilt)

** 13 May 2010 **
Yellow-throated Warbler, Quogue Wildlife Refuge SH (Eileen Schwinn, Mike Higgiston)

** 14 May 2010 **
Mourning Warbler, Quogue Wildlife Refuge SH (Eileen Schwinn, Mike Higgiston)

** 15 May 2010 **
Mourning Warbler, Quogue Wildlife Refuge SH (Mike Cooper)

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