Pat & all,

Thanks to Andrea Patterson & you for passing along the trove of BBBO banding 
data. While this establishes a lot of recent-era September records for Hermit 
Thrush at Braddock Bay, on Lake Ontario, it may or may not reflect closely on 
the apparent paucity of Sept. records of the species in far-southeast NY, esp. 
in N.Y. City & the 2 Long Island counties.   Also, I wonder how distant to 
Braddock Bay the nearest regular breeding areas for Hermit Thrush are. I also 
wonder how well the breeding areas of the species are faring that have been and 
may still be within under 100 miles of N.Y. City, particularly in northerly 
directions from it.  

It’s possible, in looking at these more defintive banding records, the timing 
on migrants that would continue south from the shores of Lake Ontario on to the 
latitude of SE NYS could still be for arrival in the latter (SE) region into 
early Oct. or after, more consistent or closer to expected first-arrival dates. 
We have any number of Sept. reports in eBird & other media, but again, mainly 
for the last week of Sept., & not that many with notes on the species, and just 
the barest few including photographs for the Sept. reporting.

N.B., I lightly edited the email with the below banding info, and to the Sept. 
records of 2011-2017 that were provided. 


Tom Fiore
> On Sep 26, 2018, at 9:38 PM, Pat Martin emartin139 -AT- 
> <> wrote:
> Hi Tom and all,
> Below see some records for fall-banded Hermit Thrush at Braddock Bay Bird 
> Observatory in Monroe County.
> Pat Martin
- - - - - - - -
> On Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 8:51 PM, Pat Martin emartin139 -AT- 
> <> wrote:
> Andrea,
> Thought you might be interested in the ramblings below about September 
> sightings of Hermit Thrushes, considered early. Most of the ebird records do 
> not include photos. By any chance have you banded any this fall or have you 
> in previous falls?
> Pat
> -----Forwarded Message----- 
> From: Andrea Patterson 
> Sent: Sep 26, 2018 9:18 PM 
> To: Pat Martin 
> Subject: Re: Fw: [nysbirds-l] September Hermit Thrushes (NYC, & elsewhere) 
> Hi Pat,
> Here's a list of some early HETH:
> [edit: snip ]
> SEPTEMBER:  337 records in the database.  Since 1993, HETH have been recorded 
> in every year except 1994 and 2009.  Some recent records:
> 2017:  8 records.  Dates are 23 (1), 24 (1), 27 (2), 29 (2) and 30 (2)
> 2016: 2 records.  Dates are 25 (1) and 27 (1)
> 2015: 1 record.  Date is 29
> 2014:  12 records.  Dates are 25 (1), 27 (5), 28 (3), and 29 (3)
> 2013: 9 records.  Dates are 25 (4), 26 (1), 27 (1), 28 (1), 29 (1), and 30 (1)
> 2012:  24 records.  Dates are 23 (1), 25 (2), 26 (2), 27 (5), 28 (3), 29 (3), 
> and 30 (8)
> 2011: 1 record.  Date is 30
                [edit: snip]
> Cheers,
> Andrea-- Andrea Patterson Education Director, Braddock Bay Bird Observatory
[N.B. - Pat Martin had tried sending the new above info, along with below prior 
posts in slightly lengthier form to this list but this had not come thru.]
> -----Forwarded Message----- 
> From: Thomas Fiore 
> Sent: Sep 26, 2018 1:21 AM 
> To: <> 
> Subject: [nysbirds-l] September Hermit Thrushes (NYC, & elsewhere) 
> Prompted by a note to this list on 9/23, from Shaibal Mitra, who was 
> responding to my report for Central Park of 9/22. (see below for all of his, 
> & the relevant portion of my, NYS Birds posts.) Dr. Mitra made note of 2 
> photographed late-September records of Hermit Thrush in NYC parks (Prospect, 
> & Central) - & then there are also a small spate of eBird records for 
> Prospect Park (Brooklyn / Kings Co., NY)  from at least 20 years ago & rather 
> more recently, in late Sept., of which all are sightings by very careful and 
> experienced observers. Those sightings span at least from the years 
> 1998-2010, and dates range from Sept. 10th (by a very sharp observer) to 
> mostly in the Sept. 24th-29th date range. They are however, not 
> photo-documented, as Dr. Mitra was noting. (I had replied with a personal 
> response but without the accompanying info. or references herein.)  This is 
> just a “sample” of various reports and it may not represent all of this sort. 
> I also made notes on some sightings (see below) herein which are much farther 
> from our state. These other-region sightings may not necessarlly imply some 
> phenological situation related to this region, but it is possible there is 
> some relationship.
> I’ve found a few of my own records of Hermit Thrush (but w/o photos) for 
> (some of my) first-of-fall sightings at Central Park, they include singles on 
> Sept. 30, 2000, and on Sept. 26, 2001. (I’ve not progressed thru my own 
> records for all years since, & nor some prior, for possible Sept. dates).   
> There are eBird sightings listed for Central Park in the month of Sept., some 
> reported by a number of very experienced observers, with dates esp. 
> concentrated in the last week & particularly last few days of the month, over 
> a span of some recent years, in the past decade. Among these, surprisingly 
> few have much notation, but some do, including the attempt to rule out other 
> species by plumage, and for a few, by behavior (ex: tail seen being cocked 
> up, then dropping).
> Of scattered, cross-continental eBird-ed reports - with good photos - for 
> Hermit Thrush at early or at least early-ish dates, this month (and in this 
> year), there are at least a few, including 1 at Times Beach Nature Reserve, 
> Erie Co. NY on Sept. 4th (seems quite early, although perhaps not so much for 
> the location?);  1 in downtown Cleveland, Ohio on Sept. 18th; & 1 or poss. 2 
> at Lincoln Park in downtown Chicago on Sept. 22nd;  there may be at least a 
> few more, again: these few are those from just this current year & month that 
> include diagnostic photos. These may or may not represent unusually-early 
> records for the regions they’ll be representing - and as there are seemingly 
> very few, it’s not clear they’re records representative of any wide-scale 
> pattern.
> Then there are far more Sept. reports without photos, also many with no 
> comment to this species, such as 1 for Kingston Point park on 9/23/18 (where 
> Hermit Thrush is not nesting in the park, although certainly in the county, 
> this park on the Hudson river next to downtown) in Kingston, Ulster Co., NY;  
> 1 for Sherwood Island S.P. in Fairfield Co., CT on 9/13 & 9/15/18 (a 
> coastal-strip park next to Long Island Sound, very good for migrants, and 
> which does not have breeding Hermit Thrush; n.b.- I know the observer, a 
> careful & experienced birder).
> Additional others in northern states (and not immediately adjacent or in the 
> species breeding area, as of course Manhattan is not), as well as a few 
> reports recently in the southern U.S. that may not have included photos, are 
> outside the species breeding range. Comments to some of these were added, 
> such as “somewhat early”. Much farther west, not that relevant perhaps, but 
> easily a month earlier than expected for the specific, regularly-birded 
> location were 2 reports (one w/photo) from the Desert Botanical Garden, 
> outside Tucson, AZ (an oasis habitat that can attract various migrants), on 
> Sept. 9 & 11 (2 obs. & reports) and still farther west, 1 at Agua Dulce creek 
> in the Laguna Mts., San Diego, CA, on Sept. 19 [1 report but w/ 7 obs. & good 
> photos, “very early”]. This is a small sample, and covers regions that may 
> have somewhat different phenologies; however these do represent 
> earlier-than-expected arrivals.
> I’ve been to most of the above-noted places, although at various seasons, & 
> birded with (at varying dates, not at the time of these Hermit Thrush reports 
> specifically) many of the observers of the NYC sightings noted above. There 
> are a number of additional Sept. reports, but again, those that include 
> photos or detailed notes are far fewer - again, this is now solely referring 
> to September sightings of Hermit Thrush, and my minor ‘research' of this was 
> concerned -as far as I know of- birds that were not seen within a known 
> breeding location - even if as potential migrant[s], within the latter sort 
> of a location. (i.e., only sightings from non-breeding locations, for these 
> Hermit Thrush records.)  It might also be interesting to try & locate 
> banding-records for the species, in the month of Sept., something I’ve not 
> attempted to do.
> For a widespread and cross-continental breeder, which also can overwinter in 
> many rather northern areas (for ex., the species is f. common in winter in 
> south-coastal NJ, & not rare in the NYC counties in winter, as well as hardy 
> enough to overwinter in parts of New England, with perhaps mixed success), 
> this is a tough bird to place into just one sort of category - the more so 
> when the multiple forms are taken into account, although I am not aware if 
> there are NY state records of more than 1 'subspecies-taxa' of Hermit Thrush. 
> (Some among the western forms can be quite distinctive to our northeastern 
> breeding form.)
> The species had been a scarce breeder on Long Island - I don’t know from my 
> own experience if that is still the case now (?) That however would not 
> correlate to a migrant appearing in a city park. 
> Finally, if hardly a final word on this it is obvious that one way [as Dr. 
> Mitra gently hinted] to be more certain of records of (really any species of) 
> Catharus thrushes, particularly in migration, is to attempt photos &/or video 
> &/or audio recordings, as well as making a few notes, esp. if the sighting[s] 
> seem on the odd-date, odd-location, or high number of individuals sort[s] of 
> sighting[s].
> Tom Fiore,
> manhattan
> ____ ____ ____ ____
> <>
> Subject: Central Park, NYC 9/22
> Date: Sun Sep 23 2018 7:52 am
> From: Shaibal.Mitra -AT- <>
> Hi Tom and all,
> Thanks for the information and your interpretive notes regarding the more 
> unusual records.
> The thing that stood out most to me was the Hermit Thrush, which seems very 
> early in my experience. I've never recorded the species during September in 
> Suffolk County, despite a lot of record-keeping over 23 years (my earliest 
> date here is 5 October). Checking eBird, there are no photos of Hermit Thrush 
> during September from Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Richmond, or Bronx Counties, 
> and just one photo each for Kings (29 Sep 17) and New York (24 Sep 17):
> <>
> <>
> Maybe it's just an early arrival, or maybe it's part of a broader pattern of 
> birds pulling out of the North Woods early and in numbers this year (e.g, 
> Blue Jays, RB Nuts, Purple Finches, etc.).
> Shai Mitra
> Bay Shore
>  .    .    .   .   .   .
> - - - - - - - - - - - -
> To: <>
> Saturday, September 22, 2018 8:36 PM
> Subject: [nysbirds-l] Central Park, NYC 9/22
> From: Thomas Fiore tomfi2 -AT- <>
> Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City -
> Saturday, 22 September, 2018 (last day of summer)
> A (confirmed with photos) CHUCK-WILL’S-WIDOW in the Ramble was the top 
> highlight, in a quite bird-filled day. At least 24 American Warbler species 
> were found, a male Cerulean by far the least-expected (for fall, especially) 
> here. There was a modest (but fairly good for Central Park) raptor flight, 
> and a very strong Blue Jay migration all thru the day - these flights also 
> seen from a variety of viewpoints around Manhattan.  The numbers of 
> Yellow-billed Cuckoo were higher than a typical fall day, & Black-billed 
> Cuckoo were also found in the multiple, if just somewhat fewer than the 
> former species.  Typical of this part of the month of September, a few 
> species not so expected by now were seen, as well as the start of later-fall 
> migrants.
> [snip - to species noted, showing just the thrushes in the far-longer list]
> —>
> Veery (multiple, but far fewer now)
> Gray-cheeked / Bicknells Thrush (a few of this type, calls not heard nor 
> closely-studied for plumage detail)
> Swainson's Thrush (many)
> Hermit Thrush (1 definitive, still quite early; giving a diagnostic call as 
> well as typical tail-raising behavior)
> Wood Thrush (multiple, but not that many)
> American Robin (not especially numerous)
> <—— [snip/edit]
> good autumnal birding with the equinox,
> Tom Fiore
> manhattan
> _________


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