Ida Giriunas, well-known to generations of Massachusetts & regional birders and 
a mentor and inspiration to many, has left us to meet her maker. Long a 
stalwart of the Brookline Bird Club of Massachusetts, she was active and had 
been at the forefront of making serious pelagic birding a part of that club and 
by extension, birders around the northeast and beyond, aware of the horizons on 
the sea in our area. Her legacy to birds, birders, and birding is 
broad-long-deep. Among countless achievments, she helped put the phrase 
“Extreme Pelagic” into the lexicon, a boat trip she pushed to organize for a 
couple of decades, & saw the expansion of what is possible on and from the 
ocean that is nearby.  She also saw to it that many a northeastern birder, as 
well as many from farther afield, saw great birds in the Machias area of Maine, 
on an annual big trip for the Brookline Bird Club to that region, finding sea & 
boreal birds & more.  She is now gone from us, but a true legend and legacy 
remains; tributes have been flowing in from biirders and others, some to the 
Mass. Birds list-serve & in many other forums. Ida Giriunas reached 91 years of 
age, and passed just this Tuesday, Aug. 20th. Rest in peace & although for her 
- as likely soaring.

-   -   -   -   -   -   -   -  -
Updates to the week, for Friday & on into the weekend are likely, as much 
migration of a wide variety of species is ongoing & increasing as 
fully-expected now, coming into the end of August.

Manhattan, N.Y. City (Including Central Park - & multiple other parks)
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 19-20-21-22 August, 2019 -

A report was made to eBird for a (‘putative’) "Eurasian Collared-Dove" at 
Battery Park at the south edge of Manhattan, N.Y. City mid-day of Wed. 8/22; a 
single photo was included in the report, which (to this writer’s eyes viewing 
the somewhat low-res. photo in the report) seemed a bit inconclusive as to 
definitive species conclusion, even as it appears to be a dove species other 
than mourning dove.  Details in the photo don’t seem to make it clear; the 
single photo is available at  If it 
was not a Eurasian Collared-Dove, issues could include both species-ID and then 
also provenance: some doves are commonly held as pets & for-sale, & also are 
used in planned releases; the more so (potentially) at a site such as that, 
near to where many have a variety of celebrations, remembrances, & so forth - 
Battery Park is enormously popular with all manner of visitors, & very near all 
of the lower-Manhattan landmarks; sites of remembrance, historical and 
modern-day.  There do not appear to have been any further sightings of the 
reported dove there.

- - -
Fair amounts of migration took place; although likely much was only overhead at 
night & very early mornings, there were also some drop-ins, & a bit of diurnal 
movement detected.  Warblers continued as the most species-rich group seen with 
at least 15 species, & that number was found just in Central Park (with 
warblers also showing well in some other parks & greenspaces).  A few tanagers 
started to appear, as did a few more migrant thrushes. Uncommon, especially in 
the city & the 3rd week in August, an adult Broad-winged Hawk came into the 
Ravine/Loch area of Central Park on 8/20, in mid-morning, a rather 
early-migrant drop-in (but Broad-winged Hawk migration had already begun as is 
typical for the date, with of course very modest no’s. of birds thru the region 
so far.)  There have been ongoing swallow movements all week, with Barn & Tree 
the most evident, also some N. Rough-winged, & (few) Bank;  Cliff Swallows have 
been noted on the move elsewhere in N.Y. City.

An ongoing highlight has been the occurence of Semiplamated Plovers, in numbers 
ranging well up in low double-digits, along the river-estuary mudflats at 
Sherman Creek & Swindler Cove Park, east of the east end of Dyckman Street & 
slightly north, in northern Manhattan. These are 'formerly-uncommon’ with the 
exception of a few sites in New York County. Multiple observers have been 
coming to see these & the other ‘waders' of the island of Manhattan this 
summer; at least 8 spp. of these shorebirds have been found most regularly on 
the island, as well as some on the adjacent isles of N.Y. County.

Some highlights, including warblers:

Broad-winged Hawk (adult, the Loch, Central Park, 8/20 - uncommonly early for a 
“drop-in”)  A Merlin also appeared in Central Park on Monday, 8/19.  N.B. - 
some area hawk-watches saw their first B.-w. Hawks on 8/20, or in prior days, & 
multiple Broad-wingeds were reported from watch-sites across the wider region, 
although in predictably very modest numbers so far.

Chimney Swift (modest but evident movement, some days to 40+ per day in 
southward movements)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (increasing, daily)

Belted Kingfisher (at least several; new arrivals)

Yellow-billed Cuckoo (at least several, including in 4 of the larger Manhattan 

Eastern Kingbird (modest movements on some mornings; also still present around 
the county, esp. some of the larger parks)  Other flycatcher species in 
Manahattan include E. Wood-Pewee, Great Crested, & some Empidonax, almost all 
appearing to be still of “Traill’s” type, or Willow/Alder, with Willow still 
being a bit more likely of those; a few giving calls indicating Willow; also a 
couple of reports of potentially other migrant Empidonax such as 
Yellow-bellied; & others not identified beyond genus. A very few E. Phoebes 
also have appeared - a scarce breeder here.

Philadelphia Vireo (1, giving some calls and even bits of song, in northwest 
woods of Central Park, Wed., 8/21; not re-found in same area on 8/22)  N.B., 
Red-eyed Vireos also are starting to trickle in, added to those which had 
nested or fledged in Manhattan this summer.  Warbling Vireos also have been 
about in numbers, after a fairly good breeding year in Manhattan - by far the 
commonest of breeding vireo species in New York County, & generally in N.Y.C.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (many, also including much exodus)

Veery (at least several locations, still in small no’s.)

Scarlet Tanager (several, as of 8/21)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (a very few have come through, many seen so far are 
female or immature males)

Indigo Bunting (at least 2; species is a somewhat-local nester but possibly 
some have been on longer migrations recently)

Baltimore Oriole (several in early flights on the Hudson river edges, as well 
as many still around which nested in Manhattan & N.Y. County)

Blue-winged Warbler (multiple; not all that many)
Tennessee Warbler (several; first noted by 8/21)
Northern Parula (several; the very minor influx may have been since early in 
the week)
Yellow Warbler (multiple; not all that many, by comparison to midsummer’s large 
Chestnut-sided Warbler (at least several, & very modest fresh influx, as of 
Prairie Warbler (multiple; not all that many)
Black-and-white Warbler (multiple, & seen in some smaller parks & greenspaces 
American Redstart (multiple; still not new mass influx, but fair amount of 
recent exodus)
Worm-eating Warbler (at least several; at least a bit of influx since last 
Ovenbird (several, with a bit of influx lately)
Northern Waterthrush (multiple; not all that many)
Common Yellowthroat (multiple, including some present all of summer)
Hooded Warbler (several, & some or all perhaps lingering just recently)
Wilson's Warbler (at least 2, & a possible indication along with arrival of 
Tennessee W., & of Philly Vireo, of more boreal-breeders starting to filter 
Canada Warbler (multiple; still not all that many)  …. 
additional warbler spp. in some early first-light flights, but not many, some 
of them visually ID’d - Yellow Warbler & also American Redsatart & others not 

Of interest as a N.Y. City & western Long Island occurrence, a (non-banded) 
female Golden-winged Warbler was photographed at Far Rockaway, Queens County, 
N.Y. City by David Lichter on Wed., 8/21.  And quite a bit east, off Long 
Island / New York, at Great Gull Island, a Prothonotary Warbler was found by 
Joe DiCostanzo on 8/20.  The same day, one of this species was also reported 
from Braddock Bay (& not at the hawk-watch) in Monroe County NY, by several 
observers there.

Butterflies observed in the past week in New York County have included: Giant 
Swallowtail (several),  Black Swallowtail (many),  Eastern Tiger Swallowtail,  
Spicebush Swallowtail,  Checkered White (scarce),   Cabbage White (generally 
common),  Orange Sulphur (common at some locations),  Cloudless Sulphur 
(multiple),  Gray Hairstreak (multiple), White-M Hairstreak (scarce),  
Red-banded Hairstreak (multiple in some locations),  Eastern Tailed-Blue (many 
in some locations),  Summer Azure (many),  American Snout (still going strong), 
 Variegated Fritillary (multiple; probably most numerous at Governors Island, 
within N.Y. County),  Pearl Crescent (many in some locations),  Question Mark,  
Eastern Comma,  American Lady (many),  Painted Lady  (multiple),  Red Admiral  
(multiple, but not that many),  Common Buckeye (multiple, and abundant at least 
in one location - Governors Island), Red-spotted Purple (multiple),  Hackberry 
Emperor (scarcely sighted, but may not be scarce if sought; northern Manhattan 
is a good place),  Monarch (many, some have been migrating),  Silver-spotted 
Skipper (fairly common),  Wild Indigo Duskywing (not scarce),  Common 
Checkered-Skipper (multiple, esp. evident in parts of Governors Island),  
Common Sootywing (multiple),  Fiery Skipper (notably increased to no longer 
scarce this week),  Tawny-edged Skipper,  Peck's Skipper,  Sachem (increased 
this week),  Zabulon Skipper (fairly common in some locations), Broad-winged 
Skipper (apparently scarce, few locations in N.Y. County are at all reliable),  
Dun Skipper,  Ocola Skipper (rare; a ‘southern-stray that is best looked-for in 
late summer to early fall in the region).  That’s more than 3-dozen butterfly 
species in one week, which is a very good number for N.Y. County- or nearly 
anywhere in the region at this season. In N.Y. City, the season which tends to 
produce highest butterfly diversity is now through perhaps early fall, somewhat 
dependent on warmer weather continuing.

Many, many other insects & arthropods have been seen & some photo-documented 
this week in N.Y. County. Dragonflies, many of which are migratory or have such 
movements in summer & fall, have been noted on the move in some locations & 
that activity will pick up with cool fronts.  All of migrant activity can also 
be noted on days when the weather may not appear so conducive, as the 
imperative to move on is also strong in migratory creatures, and it is not only 
a particular wind-direction that gets all to move even if that is part of what 
observers look out for.

.    .   .
"Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you 
haven't done a thing. You are just talking.” 
- Wangari Muta Mathaii (1940-2011; activist, author, planter of trees, member 
of Parliament in Kenya, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, the first 
environmentalist in the world and first African woman to receive that honor)

Good & quiet-observing to all,

Tom Fiore


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