So as not to have this be only in response to the post by Patricia Lindsay, on 
the events of a “slingshot" migrant event, or what I’ll call a 
migrant-overshoot event, or set of events, spanning several recent days, & 
culminating (maybe) in one truly-rare-for-New England species…as noted and 
linked-to below, I am placing some further reports from Manhattan into the 
record here, which may or may not have been widely noted.

The following warbler species were noted on Manhattan island &/or on the 
adjacent isles of New York County (of which Manhattan is the largest parcel) on 
Sunday, 4/21:

Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] 
Warbler, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Palm Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, 
American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, 
Common Yellowthroat, and Hooded Warbler.  Of these, at least 8 species were 
seen in the multiple; also those 8 species were further seen rather widely in 
multiple states & locations to the north of N.Y. City (& some quite a lot 
farther north). The earliest of the preceding in terms of typical or expected 
arrival dates in spring are Nashville and American Redstart, although in recent 
years each of these has turned up at least as early.   Two less-birded parks 
I’ve been checking in northern Manhattan lately include Highbridge Park, and 
St. Nicholas Park; the larger but more divvied-up of these being the former, & 
St. Nicholas Park having less overall obvious habitat for migrants; 
nonetheless, it does receive some! There are any number of smaller parks & 
greenspaces in the northern half of Manhattan island that see migrants drop in, 
of course the more so on strongest passages where there’s a good general 
drop-in of birds. These 2 noted parks can sometimes hold an advantage of 
looking into canopy trees with their steep slopes each of which face east. 
Other parks in parts of Manhattan have this potential.

It seems no one turned up a Yellow-throated Warbler again in Central Park (or 
elsewhere in Manhattan) on Sunday 4/21, but the species may well show itself 
again, and also could be lingering but in a new part of the same park.

A rather early Veery was confirmed thru eBird in Central Park for Tues., 4/16, 
that sighting by long-time birder Ricki Ravitts. This seems to be among the 
species that’s come at least in small numbers much farther north earlier than 
would be anticipated; some others of this species have been reported north of 
N.Y. City, not all necessarily confirmed to species. Wood Thrushes have 
appeared in a number of locations as of at least 4/21, including a small number 
in Manhattan, where they are scarce & rather threatened nesters in select sites.

A Black-whiskered Vireo was found & photographed at Martha’s Vineyard off 
Massachusetts on Sunday 4/21, see: 
<>  If accepted by their state 
records committee, this will be a first state record for Mass., discovered & 
photographed by Ken Magnuson.  This is a species (with 2 forms) most regular in 
the Caribbean Greater Antilles, and (1 form) is a Florida & Bahamas islands 
breeder as well. [N.B., a first record north of southern Virginia (and 6th 
north of Florida and the gulf coast) was established for this vireo species at 
Rhode Island’s Sakonnet Point, by Evan Lipton, precisely 11 months before this 
latest sighting on Martha’s Vineyard: the Rhode Island record is for May 21, 
2018)].  This ultra-rarity for so far north may just underscore the recent 
movements of so many other migrants of both typical & less-typical species to 
“overshoot” and end up farther north than expected, &/or on dates ahead of when 

Scarlet Tanagers were reported (& confirmed in eBird reports) from at least 
several New England locations, from 4/19-21.  The checklists of birds seen at 
just a few locations in Massachusetts, as of 4/21, are remarkable, in part for 
how many were well-documented & seen by multiple observers; they include at 
least a total of 17 species of N. American-breeding warblers, including 
Prothonotary, Hooded, Worm-eating, Magnolia, and most-remarkably for the date 
Bay-breasted Warbler[s], plus another dozen species of warbler some of which 
would be expected by the date, but many from 7 to 14+ days earlier than 
more-typically (first-seen) in Massachusetts. That state also has reports of E. 
Kingbirds, more Blue Grosbeaks, Indigo Buntings, Summer and Scarlet Tanager[s], 

Summer Tanagers turned up northward & downeast in New England at least to 
mid-coastal Maine on Sunday, 4/21. As did Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, and Indigo 
Buntings. At least one Blue Grosbeak was photographed Sun. 4/21 in Windsor 
County, Vermont - see: 

>From April 17-20th, New Brunswick in the Canadian Maritimes saw Rose-breasted 
>& Blue Grosbeak as well as Indigo Bunting appear.  Blue Grosbeak, and also 
>Worm-eating Warbler were seen & photographed on 4/18 at Clark’s Harbor in Nova 
>Scotia, in the Canadian Maritimes - these passerines both observed feeding in 
>the wrack-line on arthropods in seaweeds; see: 

There’ve been a number of other migrant species showing up rather earlier than 
typical/expected “first arrival date" ranges, as well as the few species which 
are out-of-range, some notably so such as Black-whiskered Vireo anywhere north 
of Florida or the Bahamas.  White-faced Ibis have been reported along with far 
more Glossy Ibis in locations up the New England coast, to 4/21.

There may be some that turned up farther north by now, but it’s seemed that 
Yellow-billed Cuckoos were spared the ignonimies of having to come north along 
with other neotropical-wintering migrants that did so in recent days above the 
latitude of Virginia (and that is where a smattering of Y.-b. Cuckoo reports 
came as of Sat., 4/20 in coastal VA.) - but they may yet be discovered in NY or 
at some other sites along the coast or inland to our north or east soon. 
Indeed, it looks like there is at least a single report of Y.-b. Cuckoo for 
Westchester County, N.Y. on Sunday April 21st. So there it is - more may be 
uncovered soon.

Rhode Island had 2 Summer Tanagers, 2 Blue Grosbeaks and at least 3 Indigo 
Buntings all in one location (Trustom Pond N.W.R.) on 4/21. Other Blue 
Grosbeaks in the widely-dispersed event of overshooting neotropical-wintering 
migrants included one photographed at the SW corner of the Bronx (county) in 
N.Y. City on 4/21, not a lot more than a long stone’s throw from the edge of 
New York County, or, from the north tip of Manhattan island at Inwood. 

New Jersey continued to host a Black-headed Grosbeak (at Morristown, N.J.) as 
well as the Swainson’s Warbler in Cape May County, N.J. and some of many 
arrivals in that state included a reported European form of Whimbrel - the 
rare-in-North America nominate taxon [Numenius phaeopus phaeopus], & various 
rarities such as White Ibis (Cape May Co., New Jersey) on 4/21, & many other 
spp. some of which are at least slightly “early”. [N.B, there are some authors 
who would split the Whimbrel taxons into at least 2 species, if not more: it’s 

On the subject of rarities near NY state, a California Gull has been seen in 
New Haven County Connecticut for several days from its discovery by Nick Bonomo 
(w/ Julian Hough also on-scene on the day) on April 18, to at least Sunday, 
4/21. An adult bird in alternate plumage, it has been seen by multiple 
observers & well-photographed.  Connecticut has also seen Yellow-throated 
Warbler in recent days, and an early arrival of Indigo Bunting.

And getting back into NY state, the Broad-winged Hawk derby was likely won for 
Sunday 4/21 by the Derby Hill hawk-watch at Mexico, New York, where 15, 353 
migrant raptors & vultures were tallied on the day, all but about 500 of those 
being Broad-wingeds. The bulk of others were Turkey Vultures, but also seen 
were Golden Eagle, Rough-legged Hawk, and 2 each of the 3 falcon species, plus 
5 additional raptor spp. - over 8,000 of the Broad-wingeds passed in the 1-2 
p.m. hour, and at low elevation.  See 
<> for more hawk-watch results daily.

good birding,

Tom Fiore


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