2005 Year Summary

2005 Year Summary


RIARC Number Vote (Accepted-Not Accepted-Natural Status Uncertain): # of birds reported; location; date(s); reporters (I = initial observer, R = report submitted, P = photograph submitted).


THICK-BILLED MURRE (Uria lomvia)2005-9 (6-0): One; Weekapaug, Westerly; 30-Jan to 20-Feb--2005; Brian Sweisford (I,R).

Sometimes Thick-billed Murres stay near the coast where they can be observed easily by many observers. That was the case with this bird as it stayed in Weekapaug near the breachway for a few weeks.





SANDHILL CRANE (Antigone canadensis)

2005-8 (6-0): One; Schartner Farms, Exeter; 1-27-Feb-2005; various observers.

This Sandhill Crane was observed by many birders in the fields of Schartner Farms in February of 2005.


WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)2005-2 (7-0): One; Jamestown; 2-3-May-2005; John McGill (I,R).John Magill located this White-faced Ibis in a flock of about 250 Glossy Ibis in the fields north of Weeden Lane in Jamestown. The birds flew to the south side of the road, and then down to Marsh Meadows. John followed the bird, and had pretty good looks at it for about an hour. The next day John went back and relocated the bird north of Weeden Lane. This time John was able to clearly make out the red facial skin and red iris.


SEDGE WREN (Cistothorus platensis) nest

2005-1 (7-0): Three +, Breeding; Newport County; 25-Jun thru 22-Aug-2005; Rachel Farrell (I,R), Robert Emerson (R), Geoff Dennis (P).

Rachel Farrell heard two Sedge Wrens calling in a field on private property. The vocalizations indicated that there may be nesting in the area. Geoff Dennis was able to get photographs to confirm the presence of the birds. Furthermore, one of the Sedge Wrens, presumably a female, was observed repeatedly carrying food to the base of a clump of grass. These observations provided evidence of nesting.





SABINE'S GULL (Xema sabini)

2005-7 (6-0): One; 25 mi S of Block Island; 11-Sep-2005; Paul L'Etoile (P).

On a pelagic trip about 25 miles south of Block Island, several birders were rewarded by this rare adult Sabine's Gull. Paul L'Etoile was able to get an outstanding photo of this normally hard to find gull.





2005-4 (6-0): One; Warwick Neck, Warwick; 1-Nov-2005 through 17-Jan-2006; Henry Coupe, (I), Geoff Dennis (P).

Henry Coupe, a homeowner on Warwick Neck, observed this hummingbird coming to his feeders on 1-Nov-2005. Geoff Dennis went to photograph the bird on 15-January-2006. By that time the homeowner’s son was rotating feeders several times a day because the outside feeder was slushing up. The photos taken by Geoff were not sufficient to identify this bird as to species. A return trip for photographs was not possible because the bird was last seen on 17-January.


FRANKLIN'S GULL (Leucophaeus pipixcan)

2005-10 (6-0): One; Succotash Marsh, South Kingstown; 3-Nov-2005; Jan St. Jean (I,R).

This bird was found in a group of about fifty assorted gulls on an exposed mudflat behind Capt'n Jack's Restaurant in South Kingstown. Hurricane Wilma had passed by around October 25. North American Birds Volume 60: NO. 1, 2006, noted from New England "An amazing 10 Franklin’s gulls were found this autumn; most of these were found in November, after Wilma, but earlier birds were found at S. Beach 6 Aug, Acoaxet 20 August….". Thus it is possible that this bird was associated with hurricane Wilma.

RUFOUS/ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus sp.)2005-6 (6-0): One; Wakefield; 4-Nov to 19-Dec-2005; Barbara Chaves (I,R), Geoff Dennis (R,P).Barbara Chaves reported this hummingbird in her yard on 4-Nov. The bird moved back-and forth between a neighbor's house about 1/3 mile away. The bird eventually settled in on the neighbor's house until its departure in December. The image on the left is from 7-Nov at Barbara Chaves' house, and the image on the right is from 13-Nov at the neighbor's house.

RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus rufus)

2005-5 (7-0): One; West Warwick; 20-Nov-2005 through 20-Apr-2006; Carol Simas (I), Geoff Dennis (P).


Carol Simas reported this Rufous Hummingbird coming to the feeders on 20-November-2005. The bird stayed through the cold winter months. During that time the feeders were warmed by a 150 Watt light bulb a few inches from the feeder. In the extremely cold part of the winter, a 500 Watt bulb was used. Geoff Dennis was able to photograph the bird several times. Remarkably, this bird is the first hummingbird known to have overwintered in Rhode Island, and was last seen on 20-April-2006. Geoff put together two photos of the bird from November and April. These photos show the molting of the gorget over that period of time.




GOLDEN EAGLE (Aquila chrysaetos)2005-11 (6-0): One; Misquamicut, Westerly; 3-Dec-2005; Dan Finizia (I,R,P).This bird was photographed by Dan Finizia in Westerly. About a half-hour earlier Scott Tsagarakis had observed a Bald eagle heading west over Charlestown. The two reports were likely the same bird, and it was fortunate that Dan was able to get a photograph it as the bird flew over.REDWING (Turdus iliacus)

2005-3 (7-0): One; Wakefield, South Kingstown; 26-Dec-2005; Christian Nunes (I,R).

At about 8:45 AM during the South Kingstown Christmas Bird Count, Christian Nunes was birding in a wooded area on Old Mountain Field Road. He was observing several robins in the area when he heard an unusual bird above him that sounded somewhat like a European Starling. When Christian looked up with his binoculars he immediately knew that the bird on the Oak branch above him was a Redwing. Over the next ten minutes Christian observed the bird at fairly close range, and heard the bird singing many times. He recorded details of both the appearance of the bird and the song. His detailed written report and sketch provided documentation for this first state record of Redwing in Rhode Island. The next day several birders scoured the area, but there were no additional confirmed reports after the original sighting.