Note, for SATURDAY May 14th, ’22 - Welcome to the World-Migratory-Bird Day… 
AND, there was-is a good migration on and ongoing for the day! 

- - - - -
Friday May 13th - for Manhattan and New York County (and the much-broader 
region of multiple states, including at least eastern NY state and, in 
particular also Connecticut, N.J. and other nearby states) -

The almost-unparalleled (for this century, perhaps even ever, in the sense of 
any *N.Y. County* occurrences?) influx of (partially storm-moved) ARCTIC Terns, 
found in (how many in total still being looked-at) localities all around the 
region from NY state as well as New Jersey, some of Pennsylvania, through 
southern New England INLAND areas (and in N.Y. County, in the Hudson River 
estuary well north of NY Harbor’s entrance - by several miles north of even the 
Statue of Liberty, and much farther inland of the Verrazano Narrows (bridge) 
which is the modern-marker of the upper (or ‘inner” harbor area, & outside of / 
south of which lies the edges of the open Atlantic sea) - this influx, or 
‘invasion’ if you will in the context of bird-movements - is unknown in this 
area this century, and a very rare phenomenon esp. for the numbers of Arctic 
Terns involved in total, and the dispersement so far-inland for some on the 
day.  We’ve had some of NY’s (and this country’s) keenest observers (and 
including a a partial-set of team eBird and Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology) 
visiting the county named “New York” and containing the locations named above 
in this report’s top line-header, and happily getting out to see much of the 
recent migration in action, including a big part of this Arctic Tern movment 
for later in the day on Friday; with local N.Y. County-based birders as well in 
the lucky and happy circumstance of an ability to get to watch this rather 
exceptional movement and occurrence of these beautiful and unexpected migrants 
(which move between Polar Regions on their amazing long journeys each calendar 
year). Many who were able to get over to the Hudson river pier at W. 70th-71st 
St. ‘latitude’ have thanked New York’s Andrew Farnsworth for assisting 
in-person with ID’s and oberving of the terns on the day, and for alerting as 
well. All out and about to see & report on this amazing day are also thanked in 
their individual efforts.

For those not all that familiar with this species of tern, or of terns 
more-generally, and for any who have not read of this, an article on the 
nearly-sixty-thousand mile ANNUAL journey of the Arctic Tern, as reported from 
one bird in particular - - 
and, some of Britain and Ireland’s nesting populations of this species are 
among the more-southerly *breeding areas* of the species, thus there are 
almost-certainly even-lengthier journeys made each year by members of this same 
tern species.

We seem to be dealing with a total for the region of possibly-hundreds of 
species of rare-inland Sterna terns on May 13th - and almost-all thus far noted 
(as rarities where seen, and from May 13th) were being reported as Arctic Tern 
(in terms of a tern species that was / is very unexpected for given inland 
areas, at *any time of any year*).  For N.Y. County, we may be dealing with a 
movement of nearly (or more than) 30 individuals in the genus Sterna of which 
almost all seem to have been *Sterna paradisaea*!  The most reported number of 
total Arctic Terns by any one observer or group seems to be 29 of that species, 
plus the 1 ‘odd’ tern out, a Forster’s.   In eBird records (only) before this 
date, it appears that there *may have been* at best, reports of *tern-species* 
or possibly also of *Common/Arctic* Terns (ie, not identified to species, and 
perhaps ID’d. to genus Sterna, but again not to species) for New York County in 
N.Y. City - these however are not / would not be the entirety of all historical 
birds / sightings for the county.

In the state of Connecticut, it appears that a minimum of five counties in that 
state saw Arctic Terns move inland, and in multiple locations within some or 
maybe even most of those counties, with varying numbers reported all on May 
13th, with possible maxima-per-site of up to 26 or 27 Arctic Terns (by any one 
observer) at one site in CT - and many lower no’s. also in multiple locations 
over the day there.     In Massachusetts, there was a confirmed May 13th report 
of at least 18 Arctic Terns at Quabbin Reservoir which is far from any part of 
the Atlantic ocean in that state, and there were additionally at least several 
confirmed of that species for Berkshire County, Mass. which as many will know, 
takes in a part of the mountains of western-most Massachusetts.  The maximal 
no’s. of reported Arctic Terns from Connecticut for 5/13/’22 appeared to be 
from the northwestern-most county of that state (Litchfield County, CT).

There did *NOT* appear to be reports from either New Hampshire, Maine, nor 
Vermont of *any INLAND sightings* of the same tern species - at least, not 
appearing in eBird-alerts for each of those 3 northern New England states, as 
of time of this writing.   Reports came from at least 3 counties in 
Pennsylvania of this tern species - each of those PA counties being inland 
(Bucks County, PA - with reports of at least 7 Arctic Terns in one location, 1 
Arctic Tern for 1 location in Lehigh County, PA and Chester County, PA with 
reports of at least two Arctic Terns in one location) - all also on May 13th.   
 There seem to be *NO* reports of this tern species from Ohio (which is 
just-west of western PA) for recent days including on May 13th, and also *NO* 
reports of this tern species for Delaware nor for Maryland, nor for Ontario, 
Canada (at least inland) - any of this may change if / as any further reports 
are / were made for that date.

 ***The reports of Arctic Tern from **New Jersey on 5/13/’22** may be numerous, 
perhaps from 7 or more different counties in that state on the day.*** - some 
of those reports from areas near to the Hudson River, and a number of them from 
areas that are quite near to N.Y. City (& some also *near to* Manhattan), but 
within New Jersey.

Congratulations to ALL who came in time to witness this in N.Y. County - and a 
huge thanks to the first-alerters of these birds showing at all in the county, 
on the day, as well as for current and forthcoming video & photos and all 
commentaries.  I’ve been lucky enough to see this species in some 
breeding-areas and colonies over the decades, and of course in those 
much-desired places and times of (now known as rather-regular but still 
qualifying as ‘rare’) Long Island’s southern-shore barrier beach & headlands 
locations, as detailed for many years now by some of our best observers and 
reporters to this list - always a thrill to see the paradisaea in action, 
anywhere and at any time.  A species-of-concern as well, apparently in some 
decline relative to historically-reported known world population[s].  For all 
known N.Y. County records & history, I’m not sure if this is a first-county 
*documented* record, but in any event, this is (was) a very rare event for the 
county (as well as for the inland areas where so many of this species were 
well-documented for Friday-the-13th of May 2022!)   Thanks also to observers / 
reporters from all around the *multi-state region* who caught the fever of this 
Sterna paradisaea phenomenon-event on the day.   We had some observers also 
post sightings, comments, and photo-videos from at least pier[s] on the Hudson 
River off Manhattan near W. 23rd Street & the Chelsea waterside park part of 
the Greenway trail system along Manhattan’s far-west edges, and some other 
observers also trying their luck from various vantage points.   Happily we also 
had one keen ‘younger' birder who, in 2021 had the highest 
*all-fully-documented tally* of birds for the county in that calendar year and 
one of a number of our best-and-brightest new-generations of observers, present 
in time to witness this 5/13/’22 'Arctic-amazement’.  There may also be some 
reports where amended notations or changes of site-locations / positions are 
changed-adjusted to properly reflect accurate and actual specifics on just 
where the observations were made (for N.Y. County reports, that is, in regards 
to fly-by Sterna terns.  No terns in these groups were reported as feeding, and 
seemingly none for N.Y. County seen sitting, ‘milling’ etc. in any county 
waters (as far as all reports and observations indicated). This again in 
reference *solely to the N.Y. County (in NYC) occurrences*, and not in 
reference to any sightings / reports from any other counties or other states.   
There were also some observers out seeking potential fly-by birds from other 
sites in the county, including on the East River, as well as some who came out 
to look at water-side areas on the Hudson river or elsewhere even to the 
sunset-hour if not after that (with, *it seems, no luck* in tern-spotting that 
late, or from locations in the county not along the Hudson river edge).

This may all be *far-more-eruditely, and poss. also much more-thoroughly* 
written-up by some of the others who were there on-site[s] to see it happen, as 
well as (perhaps) by those very versed in the movements and habits of Sterna 
paradisaea, or Arctic Tern.  Also quite notable and a bit remarkable was that 
at least one Forster’s Tern (oddly also fairly-rare for modern era in N.Y. 
County even on migration periods) was observed by many of those present for the 
multiples of Arctics passing along Manhattan’s Hudson River shore in late-day 
light (and thru some rains) in the odd weather patterns of Friday (& also 
having been so for odd weather systems and pattern of time prior to local-time 
Friday hours) - the Forster’s singleton seen with some of the passing Arctics 
which is (comments on this appreciated esp. by Laridophiles and esp. by 
“Sterna”-philes - re. the family, Laridae - of gulls and terns and skimmers, 
and then the genus Sterna of these particular noted terns, respectively noted 
here) - a most unusual ‘grouping’ even if for just-one of Sterna forsteri, with 
(altogether) many Arctic Terns… all on the move.   

Thanks to the multiple observers who rather quickly e-birded and also “local 
N.Y. County-bird-alert group-me’d” their sightings (of which, at some point 
more details and videos, photos, etc. may be amended) and where the first 
notifications came. as is appropriate for some of the group who assembled at 
Riverside Park “south” Pier 71, off the western edge of Manhattan & a bit south 
of the southern end of Riverside Park “proper” - as planned - and accessed by 
way of paths from east, north, and south in the Hudson River Greenway set of 
paths and out on the extended pier itself, which gives a feeling (and 
actuality) of being out on the river to an extent greater than many other piers 
off that river and the mid to upper parts of Manhattan’s west edges - the next 
outlook / observation points being from Riverbank State Park at W. 137th to W. 
145th St. (elevated views high above river-level, and unobscured to the G.W. 
bridge area, a bit less-visibility far to the south) and then again from the 
smaller pier and a few more points at and north of the western terminus of 
Dyckman Street (which is next to the s.-w. corner of Inwood Hill Park’s 
“Dyckman Fields” sports and rec. areas, with views to the north available as 
far as - distantly - the M. Cuomo (or still known as Tappan-Zee) bridge, and to 
the south just-part the G. Washington bridge. 

Full write-ups and more details on all of the above-noted and more might well 
take up many pages of text and also include links to ultimately thousands of 
photos and multiple videos - from many many observers - esp. if many regional 
(out of NY state) sightings were to be added!   The full scope of this Arctic 
Tern mass inland movement-influx also might take (at least) some days to 
understand more thoroughly.  It is certain that some -perhaps many- were seen 
from elsewhere in N.Y. City, and from multiple counties in eastern N.Y. state 
as well as some of the counties of (at least) southern New England - many of 
those being inland localities - and reports.

Not surprisingly in the midst of the Sterna-excitement, there were a modest 
number of Common Terns seen on and from Governors Island (part of N.Y. County) 
on Friday afternoon (5/13), but apparently no reports of any other tern species 
from there on 5/13. (Common Tern is regular -in season- at the "Lima pier" on 
that island, and can form a relatively-small colony, which show each year; more 
of same are likely to be arriving there in coming days and weeks.)   There were 
at least some birders present in parts of Friday on Randall’s Island which is 
in and adjacent to the East River estuary east of all of manhattan-island, and 
none of those observers gave reports of any tern species from Randall’s, nor 
from any locations other than from the Hudson River.

- -
A small passerine-plus for the day, as well - Purple Finches were still to be 
found in several locations in Manhattan, including in Central Park & elsewhere, 
for Friday, 5/13 as noted by multiple observers at varying times and disparate 
locations.  Vastly more reporting in sightings, for the strong migration 
weekend for so many birds (and birders!) of the area, yet to come… perhaps with 
a delay of some time, in assessing all of that!  

It could be added that, on recent days of this past week, there has been quite 
a movement-north of both Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (and at least a few 
Fulvous Whistling-Duck, in reports) from multiple locations in the greater 
Northeast, including in N.Y. State. The numbers appeared to be working into at 
least the many-dozens in total, perhaps far more (for all localities and all 
combined sightings from multiple U.S. states, &/or provinces of Canada).  And 
while a bit far from any parts of NY state, a drake GARGANEY has been seen and 
photo’d. - and *reported as* a wild-occurring bird - in the *Canadian 
Atlantic-Maritime province of New Brunswick*, thru May 13th (poss. 1st-found on 
May 11th there, town of Dorchester).  Various other birds have been showing in  
N. America which are primarily seen as with origins in Europe or northern Asia 
and some are occuring in the eastern U.S. &/or eastern Canada in recent days.   
In addition to at least several sightings / reports for Curlew Sandpiper in the 
greater northeast, there is a confirmed MARSH Sandpiper (an 
Eurasian/Siberian-breeding migrant species) for Lambton in Ontario, Canada this 
past week, and also a number of other ‘European' waders in the northeast / 
eastern USA & Canada in recent days, some being fairly-regular and known at 
this season in some areas (such as for Newfoundland, Canada).

Good terns to all, and super-mid-May birding over all this region,

Tom Fiore


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