2013 Year Summary

2013 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).


HOARY REDPOLL (Acanthis hornemanni)

2013-24 (7-0): Two; Little Compton; 3-Jan-2013; Geoff Dennis (I,R,P).


These two Hoary Redpolls were photographed and identified as they foraged on goldenrod seed heads in Little Compton. They were identified by the grayness of the back, the thin sparse streaking, and the overall paleness.

WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana)

2013-1 (7-0): One; Block Island; 10-Jan-2013; Maggie Komosinski (I,R), Don Mawhinney (I,R,P).

Maggie Komosinski observed this Western Tanager on Block Island in the area of Dorrie’s Cove Road. Later that same day Don Mawhinney independently found a Western Tanager in his yard about a mile from Maggie’s sighting. Don quickly grabbed his camera and took photos through the screen door. The bird flew off shortly after those photos were taken.


WESTERN GREBE (Aechmophorus occidentalis)

2013-2 (7-0): One; Sachuest Point; 15-Jan-2013; Geoff Dennis (I,R,P).

This Western Grebe was found by Geoff Dennis late in the afternoon. The grebe was seen from a boat, about 150 yards off the South corner of Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was still closed due to Hurricane Sandy damage therefore land access to try to view the bird was not available to birders.



NORTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus vanellus)

2013-5 (7-0): Two; Treaty Rock Farm, Little Compton; 1-7-Feb-2013; John Park (I,R,P), Robert Weaver (P).

John Park first found two Northern Lapwings on a private farm in Little Compton. These birds were sometimes visible from the road, but often remained out of sight for long periods of time. The birds were observed in a couple of different fields over the seven-day span. A blizzard hit the area dropping a large amount of snow, and the Northern Lapwings were not reported after the storm.

The occurrence of these Northern Lapwings and others in the Northeast may have been related to Super-storm Sandy that impacted the area in late October 2012.

PACIFIC LOON (Gavia pacifica)

2013-6 (7-0): One; Newport 15-Feb to 6-Mar-2013; John Magill (I,R), Dan Finizia (P), Rey Larsen (P), Paul Champlin (P).

John Magill found this Pacific Loon at the Newport Navy Base just north of the Newport Bridge. In the next few weeks the bird was seen intermittently in the area just north of the base of the bridge.


ATLANTIC PUFFIN (Fratercula arctica)

2013-3 (7-0): Two; Pelagic; 21-Jan-2013; Paul L'Etoile (I,R,P).

While aboard the cod-fishing trip aboard the Lady Frances out of Galilee Paul L’Etoile found and photographed two Atlantic Puffins. One was 7 miles SE of Block Island and one was seen on the return trip from Cox's Ledge shortly after leaving the Ledge.

SANDHILL CRANE (Grus canadensis)

2013-4 (7-0): One; Seapowet, Tiverton; 27-Jan-2013 to 28-Feb-2013; Marjorie Bradley (I,R), Jim Spears (P), Robert Weaver (P).

Marjorie Bradley found this bird near the Seapowet Marsh in late January. The bird was seen in the area for about a month, and was reported by several observers.

ATLANTIC PUFFIN (Fratercula arctica)

2013-13 (7-0): One; Second Beach, Middletown; 31-Jan-2013; Chris Raithel (R,P).

This bird was found alive but weakened on Second Beach in Middletown. It was brought to a rehabilitation facility, but subsequently died. The skin was prepared and sent to the American Museum of Natural History.




2013-8 (7-0): One; Braman's Lane farm pond, Portsmouth; 7-Apr to 7-May-2013; Tom Auer (I,R,P), Rey Larsen (P).

Tom Auer found this bird in the farm pond on Braman’s Lane in Middletown. The bird stayed in the area for a month and was seen by several other birders.


WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)

2013-16 (7-0): One; Beavertail Road at Fort Getty; 1-May-2013; Carlos Pedro (I,R,P).

Carlos Pedro observed this White-faced Ibis in the field at the entrance to Fort Getty in Jamestown. He photographed the bird, and was able to confirm the identification when he later viewed the photograph. A few days later a White-faced Ibis was reported from Marsh Meadows.


2013-7 (7-0): One; Weekapaug, Westerly; 23-24-Mar-2013; Dan Finizia (I,R,P) and Sue Talbot (I,R).

Dan Finizia and Sue Talbot found this Eurasian Green-winged Teal in the marsh on the east side of Weekapaug Road.


SOUTH POLAR SKUA (Stercorarius maccormicki)

2013-14 (6-0): One; Cox's Ledge; 27-May-2013; Carlos Pedro (R,P).

This South Polar Skua was photographed by Carlos Pedro while on a dedicated pelagic trip out to Cox’s Ledge.


BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus major)

2013-9 (7-0): One; Charlestown Breachway; 11-12-May-2013; Tom Auer (I,R), Carlos Pedro (P), Dan Finizia (P), Sue Talbot (P).

Tom Auer found a Boat-tailed Grackle singing and moving between a few perches in the boat launch parking lot of the Charlestown Breachway. It was calling frequently, and Tom was able to get audio recordings. The next morning it was seen and heard as well, but was not seen after early morning.

BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus major)

2013-10 (7-0): Two; Andy's Way, Block Island; 12-May to 2-Jun 2013; Scott Tsagarakis (I,R), Sean Camillieri (I,P), Dan Finizia (P).

Scott Tsagarakis and Sean Camillieri found a singing male and a female Boat-tailed Grackle in the marsh at Andy’s Way. Sean was able to get photographs of both birds. Six days later Dan Finizia and Sue Talbot located both birds, and observed them in the marsh flying back and forth to Beane Point.

SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus)

2013-11 (7-0): One; Swan Point, Providence; 15-May-2013; Sue Talbot (I,R), Dan Finizia (P).

Sue Talbot spotted this Swallow-tailed Kite flying over the Swan Point area of Providence. It circled once or twice then slowly flew NNW over the Swan Point Cemetery and disappeared. Dan Finizia photographed the bird in flight.

SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis)

2013-12 (7-0): One; Third Beach, Middletown; 23-May-2013; Rey Larsen (I,R,P).

Rey Larsen found this Sandwich Tern near the boat ramp at Third Beach in Middletown. It later moved a good distance south of the boat ramp, but was still able to be seen through a scope.


SANDHILL CRANE (Grus Canadensis)2013-15 (7-0): One to Two; Cottrell Farm, West Kingston; 17-Jun-2014 thru 5-Mar-2014; Susan Boyce (P), Dan Finizia (P).

In early June a Sandhill Crane was reported from multiple locations in the West Greenwich area. On 17-June the Sandhill Crane was located at the Cottrell Farm on Route 138 in Kingston, and it remained there until 5-March-2014. In January and February the bird was observed at the farm with a second Sandhill Crane.




SOUTH POLAR SKUA (Stercorarius maccormicki)2013-25 (7-0): One; pelagic Cox's Ledge; 4-Aug-2013; Paul L'Etoile (P).Seven birders went out on the 12 hour cod boat journey and observed many shearwaters, Storm-Petrels, and a few gannets. The highlight was this South Polar Skua that flew right over the boat.

YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus)

2013-17 (7-0): One; Cox's Ledge to Galilee; 10-Aug-2013; Carlos Pedro (R,P), Keith Mueller (P).

This Yellow-headed Blackbird was found by birders in the extremely unlikely location of cod-fishing boat on Cox’s Ledge. The bird landed on the boat in the area of Cox's Ledge and spent 5 hours aboard. As the boat was returning to Galilee, the bird spent its time eating bread crumbs and drinking water. Upon entry to the harbor, the bird spotted land and flew off towards the Galilee marsh.


AUDUBON'S SHEARWATER (Puffinus lherminieri)

2013-26 (7-0): Ten; pelagic 70 miles south of Block Island; 3-Sep-2013; Paul L'Etoile (P).


During an offshore pelagic out to the shelf break at Block Canyon 3-Sep-2013, these10 Audubon's Shearwaters were reported.


LONG-TAILED JAEGAR (Stercorarius longicaudus) 2013-27 (7-0): Four; pelagic 50 miles south of Point Judith; 3-Sep-2013; Paul L'Etoile (P)During an offshore pelagic out to the shelf break at Block Canyon, there were 3 Parasitic Jaegers, 2 Pomarine Jaegers, and these 4 Long-tailed Jaegers reported.

EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis)

2013-18 (7-0): One; Bullock Cove, East Providence; 27-Sep-2013; Harriet Moore (I,R,P).

At around 1 PM, just inside the mouth of Bullock Cove, Harriet Moore found and photographed this Eared Grebe. The photographs generated much discussion that led to the confirmation of this bird as an Eared Grebe. The bird was not relocated after the initial observation.



YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus)

2013-19 (7-0): One; Block Island; 5-Oct-2013; Sue Talbot (I,R), Dan Finizia (P).

Sue Talbot and Dan Finizia found this Yellow-headed Blackbird along the shrubs in the pond just north of Southeast light. When they checked the area the following day, they did not find the bird.

NORTHERN WHEATEAR (Oenanthe oenanthe)

2013-20 (7-0): One; Peckham Farm, South Kingstown; 19-25-Oct-2013; Carlos Pedro (I,R,P), Rey Larsen (P), Bob Weaver (P).

Carlos Pedro found and photographed this Northern Wheatear at Peckham Farm in South Kingstown. One of the photos was taken when the bird landed on the hatchback of Carlos’ car. The bird stayed for about a week and was seen by many birders.

CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus calliope)

2013-23 (7-0): Two; Little Compton; one bird 21-26-Oct-2013; other bird 21-Oct to 5-Nov-2013; Geoff Dennis (R,P).


A resident of Little Compton noticed hummingbirds in the yard, and called a local photographer to have him take a look. Geoff Dennis went over and photographed the two Calliope Hummingbirds coming to the feeders. The homeowner insisted on privacy and expressly requested that the report NOT be made public. Fortunately we now have excellent documentation of Rhode Island's first record of Calliope Hummingbird.


ROSS’S GOOSE (Chen rossii)

2013-21 (7-0): Exeter; 23-Nov to 1-Dec-2013; Sue Talbot (I,R), Dan Finizia (I,R,P), Rey Larsen, (P), Danielle Crudden (P).

Dan Finizia and Sue Talbot found this Ross’s Goose on Yawgoo Mill Pond in Exeter. It was seen with about thirty Canada Geese from the bridge on Bridge Road. During the next week or so, the goose was located by many other birders on Yawgoo Mill Pond, an adjacent turf field, or another nearby pond.



PACIFIC LOON (Gavia pacifica)

2013-22 (7-0): One; Point Judith, Narragansett; 21-Dec-2013; Phil Rusch (I,R), Glenn Williams (I,R).

While doing a seawatch at Point Judith for the South Kingstown Christmas Bird Count, Phil Rusch and Glenn Williams observed this Pacific Loon flying by close to the shoreline. During the 20 to 30 second observation Glenn and Phil called out field marks to each other, and checked each as the bird flew past. A detailed written report was submitted, along with a sketch showing the field marks observed.