For those that like to plan well ahead, please note your calendars that next 
season's Southern Nassau CBC will be held on Saturday January 2nd 2021.

> ---------- Original Message ----------
> From: Shaibal Mitra <>
> To: "NYSBIRDS (" <>
> Date: January 2, 2020 at 2:53 PM
> Subject: [nysbirds-l] Southern Nassau County CBC--Preliminary Results
> Saturday 28 December 2019 was a fine day for the 80th iteration of the 
> Southern Nassau County CBC, with mild temperatures, light winds, and no 
> precipitation. The total of 135 species recorded on count day was above our 
> recent average of about 130. This count has an impressive resume of genuine 
> rarities discovered on count-day, and our participants added to this legacy 
> twice again this year: a Painted Bunting found near the Gatsby restaurant at 
> Jones Beach by Pete Morris and Taylor Sturm, and a Townsend's Warbler found 
> at the Florence Avenue Beach, along the bay shore in Massapequa, by John 
> Gluth. By my calculations, the overall count probably missed three or four 
> species that would otherwise have been found, as a result of effort 
> re-directed to admiring these little green birds.
> As usual, there were many other notable species as well:
> Blue-winged Teal at Bellmore Mill Pond
> Red-necked Grebe from Jones Beach
> Clapper Rail from the boat
> Common Gallinule at Bellmore Mill Pond
> 12 Red Knots at Point Lookout
> 36 Purple Sandpipers at and westward from Point Lookout
> 99 Razorbills along the oceanfront
> Black-headed Gull at Jones Beach West End
> American Bittern at Tobay
> 2 Barn Owls somewhere near water of some kind
> Short-eared Owl also, curiously, somewhere near water of some kind
> Northern Saw-whet Owl somewhere
> 6 Eastern Phoebes at various places in Jones Beach, Hempstead Lake, and 
> Mitchell
> House Wren in Massapequa
> 3 Marsh Wrens from Jones Beach and the boat
> a count-week Grasshopper Sparrow at Point Lookout
> 3 Eastern Meadowlarks in the Five Towns
> Nashville Warbler in Baldwin
> 3 Orange-crowned Warblers from Jones Beach, Tobay, and the Five Towns
> Common Yellowthroat in the Five Towns
> Palm Warbler at Jones Beach
> As often is the case on good-weather days, high counts were recorded for many 
> species: 
> 23 Cooper's Hawk
> 40 Red-tailed Hawk
> 213 Blue Jay
> 130 Carolina Wren
> 24 Gray Catbird
> 190 Northern Mockingbird
> 17 Hermit Thrush
> 660 Song Sparrow
> 66 Swamp Sparrow
> 288 Boat-tailed Grackle (this impressive number being the remainder after 
> careful excision of potential duplicate flocks)
> 16 Common Ravens (again, after adjustment for possible duplications; 
> meanwhile, Bald Eagle has aged out of being notable!)
> 7 Chipping Sparrows
> Only two species were recorded in unusually low numbers:
> 25 Snow Bunting
> 2573 Herring Gull 
> And only three more or less regular species were missed:
> Purple Finch
> Lapland Longspur
> Rusty Blackbird
> --though Snowy Owl should be cued here, too, given their documented presence 
> (and torment) within the circle, both before and right after the CBC.
> There are many lessons to be learned from these data, but I'd like to take 
> this opportunity to point attention to just two questions. First, it is not 
> by chance that all three of our rarest species (Grasshopper Sparrow, Painted 
> Bunting, and Townsend's Warbler) have shown distinct waves of occurrence in 
> the Northeast this season. Those who dismiss vagrancy as a passive 
> consequence of weather systems ought to ponder why so many other species, 
> present in the same source regions and experiencing the same weather 
> patterns, have NOT been lining up along our shores lately, as these species 
> have.
> But perhaps even more mysterious is the great Chipping Sparrow flood of 2019. 
> Although our tally of 7 was admittedly smaller than the rounding errors 
> suffered by Hugh McGuinness et al. in Accabonnac, it is still a very large 
> number for urban western Long Island. And all of the counts I know of or 
> participated in this season, from southern New England to Long Island, 
> encountered this species in much higher than usual numbers--close to triple 
> digits in some cases. There are a lot of parallels between Chipping Sparrow 
> and White-crowned Sparrow: both are good CBC species at our latitude, but 
> unlike other half-hardies, both show a preference for inland and rural 
> settings vs. coastal/urban migrant traps. And this December's Chipping 
> Sparrow phenomenon reminds me a lot of last year's large numbers of 
> White-crowned Sparrows on all the CBCs. How does this happen?
> Many thanks to our 90+ participants and to Otto's Freeport for hosting our 
> compilation.
> Happy New Year and the best of birding in 2020!
> Shai Mitra & Patricia Lindsay
> Bay Shore
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