The Month in Birds, August 2014

View Excel File of Noteworthy Sightings for August, 2014

As published in the Little Gull. Compiled by Bob Spahn.

Underlined items indicate noteworthy factors.
F indicates first record for the year.
FF indicates first record for the fall migration, though reported earlier.
RE indicates record early fall arrival date.
B indicates trapped and banded this season.
HANA = High Acres Nature Area I Town of Perinton.
NMWMA = Northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area in Wayne County.

10-year Average
2014 2013 (2004-2013)
Total species for August 196 194 188.1
New species for the year 4 6 6.3
Total for the year to date 277 271 274.9

  1. August brought a quiet end to the summer season. The month seemed cool but ended not far from normal due to a surge of hot, humid weather in the final week. There were no 90° days, and the high of 67° on the coolest day was the lowest high in an August since 2009. The period from the 17th-30th was the longest dry spell of the summer. Temperatures averaged 68.2°F, 1.1° below normal, and precipitation at 2.27” was 1.20” below normal. The summer ended right on normal for average temperature and 2.26” above normal for rainfall.
  2. The total number of species reported was the highest for an August among the years for which I have tracked the data; since 1974. Still there were some surprising misses, some of which were apparently seen but not reported. Good variety of shorebirds and passerines, especially warblers, pushed the total above average to the new high.
  3. Waterfowl numbers were again poor all across the region this summer, with only three diving duck species plus the mergansers reported. Breeding Canada Geese, Mute and Trumpeter swans, Wood Ducks, and Mallards were in typical numbers. There was an early Red-throated Loon early in the month, a scattering of Common Loons and Red-necked Grebes, and White-winged Scoter and Horned Grebe toward the end of the month off Hamlin Beach.


Red-throated Loon, Charlotte (© Dominic Sherony)

Red-throated Loon, Charlotte (© Dominic Sherony)

  1. There were no reports of rarer, wandering, post-breeding herons in the region, and as usual the rails and their allies were poorly reported.
  2. There again was no official summer hawkwatch tally, though Mike Tetlow posted a summary of a good flight past Braddock Bay on August 26. Again, the late summer brought passing Merlin and Peregrine Falcon sightings, but there were no details on Merlin nesting success.
  3. Again shorebird habitat was not great, but the many observers checking spots scattered across the region and watching for passing birds along Lake Ontario turned up an impressive 24 species, with at least five other species seen at sites only a short distance outside the region to the east and west.
  4. Among the gulls and terns, only Lesser Black-backed Gull was on the “rarer” side, and that species is now reported in every month most years. Caspian Tern counts were again below those of years past, but there still were a couple birds among those on the beaches or piers with color bands placed on them as chicks approaching 10 years ago. Late in the month a couple of distant jaegers showed passing Hamlin Beach.
  5. Between the multitude of observers in the field and the BBBO banders, nearly all of the expected passerines were reported, even most that are borderline for arrival either in late August or early September. There were 25 species of warblers plus “Brewster’s” hybrid reported. Interestingly, there were no real rarities and most of the early migrants were noted in very small numbers. A concern? Fish Crow numbers near the mouth of the Genesee River were good; apparently they are breeding successfully. But there were no Eurasian Collared-Dove reports. Among the missed passerine species, most were ones where searches in particular habitats would have turned them up easily: Acadian Flycatcher, Blue-headed Vireo, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Vesper Sparrow.
  6. The rarity of the month was a White-winged Dove found by Chris Wood on Curtis road near Manitou Road on August 31; a 4th record for the region.
  7. Please send your reports (if not entered in eBird or posted to geneseebirds) each month by the 5th of the month to the RBA records committee or Robert Spahn, 716 High Tower Way, Webster, NY 14580.

Jim Adams, Janet Akin, John Ballou, Jessie Barry, Jim & Liz Barry, Sue Barth, Mike Bergin, Lynn Bergmeyer, Barry Bermudez, John Boettcher, Lynn Braband, BBBO, Bruce Cady, Doug Cameron, Brad Carlson, Kelly Close, Andrew Consler, Dawn Crane, Doug Daniels, Rich Downs, Sarah Dzielski, George Ford, Andrew Garland, Jay Greenberg, Kevin Griffith, Mike Gullo, Judy Gurley, Andy Guthrie, Anita Gwara, Chris & Helen Haller, Kim Hartquist, George Haskins, Jim & Allison Healy, Alec Humann, IBA Monitoring, Carolyn Jacobs, Ryan Kayhart, Tom Kerr, Jim Kimball, Kathy Kirsch, J. Gary Kohlenberg, Chris Lajewski, Tom Lathrop, Tim Lenz, Joan & Vern Lindberg, Peggy Mabb, Pat Martin, Jay McGowan, Bob McGuire, Celeste Morien, Brian & Brooke Morse, Allen Nash, Ann Nash, Dave Nicosia, David Nutter, Andrea Patterson, Emily Patterson, Norma Platt, Jay Powell, Mike Powers, David Prill, RBA Field trips, Wade & Melissa Rowley, Jennifer Rycenga, Livia Santana, Shirley Shaw, Dominic Sherony, Tom Smith, Robert & Susan Spahn, Dave Spier, Chris Stanger, Joseph Stevenson, Kimberly Sucy, Jim Tarolli, Steve Taylor, Mike & Joann Tetlow, Andrew VanNorstrand, Mike Wasilco, Dave Wheeler, Joe Wing, Chris Wood.

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