North American Birds

VOLUME 70 NO2 2018

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

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V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 8 ) • N U M B E R 2 235 Baja California Peninsula Gull-billed Tern was at San Carlos on Bahía Magdalena 3 Mar (GM). DOVES THROUGH FINCHES Inca Dove has a tortured history in Baja Cali- fornia Sur. Reports (all poorly documented at best) date back decades and extend the length of the state, but a sight record from Bahía Tortugas 8 Oct 2007 has been the only one deemed "acceptable" by us. The intrigue continued this season when Mark Billings discovered an Inca Dove image among was a Magnificent Frigatebird at Bahía Todos Santos 10 Feb (ph. MAMD). Reports of Neo- tropic Cormorants in the Mexicali Valley lag far behind those from the Imperial Valley of California. Two birds this season were at the Mexicali Country Club 16 Dec (ph. RMA). American Bitterns were reported from both states with one at Lagunita El Ciprés 17 Jan (ph. NAL) and one at Laguna Guerrero Ne- gro 7 Feb (VAP). Rare in Baja California Sur were White-tailed Kites on the Magdalena Plain 28 Dec (TH) and at Todos Santos 23 Jan (2; GM, AHÁ), a Red-shouldered Hawk near Loreto 29 Jan (ph. TH), and 5 Broad- winged Hawks in the foothills of the Sierra de La Laguna (VAP, SGM, NM, PA). Histori- cally rare, Swainson's Hawk is reported with increasing frequency and the species was reported more widely than ever this season. Approximately 90 in Baja California Sur in- cluded 60 at Todos Santos 23 Jan (ph. GM, AHÁ); 3 were reported on the two C.B.C.s in ne. Baja California 14-15 Dec (fide ACF). A Black Oystercatcher accompanied an American Oystercatcher for at least the sev- enth winter at La Ventana on the gulf coast of Baja California Sur (GJS). Two Pacific Golden-Plovers at Bahía de San Quintín 30 Dec (BM) followed what was a good fall for the species in the Region. Four Moun - tain Plovers at Laguna Figueroa 15 Jan (ph. NAL) were the only ones found. Unusual shorebirds seen in the La Paz area included Solitary Sandpiper, a Ruff from fall that re- mained to at least 10 Jan (ph. GM, AHÁ), and an extraordinary-in-winter Baird's Sandpiper 15 Jan (†SGM, GM, NM). Also believed to be wintering was a Stilt Sand- piper at the Guerrero Negro saltworks 6 Feb (ph. VAP), but a Pectoral Sandpiper at Estero San José 27 Feb (ph. NB) was probably an early spring migrant. Northern seabirds in the far north of the Region, at Bahía Todos Santos, in- cluded 4 Common Murres in Dec and Jan and 4 Black-legged Kitti - wakes 14 Dec (MAMD et al.). Win - ter Franklin's Gull observations were again restricted to the Cape Dis- trict, with one remaining at La Paz to 10 Feb (VAP) and one at Estero San José 11 Dec (SNGH). Two Mew Gulls at a small pond near the south end of Laguna Ojo de Libre 23 Jan (ph. AH) were quite a surprise. This year's crop of winter terns in the Cape District included 3 Gull-billed Terns in the La Paz area, ca. 10 scat- tered Common Terns, and up to 25 Black Terns at Estero San José 4-11 Dec (VAP, SNGH). Farther north, a Richard A. Erickson Roberto Carmona Gorgonio Ruiz-Campos –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– A s usual in winter, most highlights came from Baja California Sur. On a Regional scale these included Galapa- gos Shearwater, Ruff, Groove-billed Ani, and Streak-backed Oriole. State rarities included Broad-billed Hummingbird in Baja Califor- nia and Mew Gull, Inca Dove, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and Red-breasted Sapsucker in Baja California Sur. Seasonal rarities includ- ed Baird's Sandpiper, Prothonotary Warbler in Baja California, and large numbers of swallows at the tip of the peninsula. WATERFOWL THROUGH TERNS Black-bellied Whistling-Duck has been a regular feature of southernmost Baja Califor- nia Sur for about 25 years; 2 at La Purísima, 15 miles south of San Juanico 29 Feb (GJS) were about half way up the state's Pacific coast and the northernmost yet reported. In addition to the more numerous Brant and Greater White-fronted Goose, a Snow Goose was near La Paz 16 Dec (ph. JV) and a Ross's Goose and Canada Goose were together at Ensenada for most of the period (ph. EDZH et al.). Ducks rare in the Region included Eurasian Wigeon at Lagunita El Ciprés 17 Jan–2 Mar (ph. NAL, ph. RP et al.), Greater Scaup at Salinas Punta Colorado 16 Feb (ph. C&DL), Long-tailed Duck at Estero Punta Banda 14 Dec (ph. BCS et al.), Black Scoter at Bahía de San Quintín 15 Jan (ph. NAL), and a far-south Hooded Merganser at Todos Santos 15 Dec (†GM). Two Galapagos Shearwaters were at Pta. Arena 13 Jan (†SGM). The only previ- ous Regional report was from the same lo- cation 16 Jul 2006. Far north for the date This was one of two Mew Gulls at a small pond adjacent to Laguna Ojo de Liebre on 23 January. There were only two pre- vious records for Baja California Sur. Photo by © Alan Harper. This Inca Dove at Estero San José 8 December was the first to be photo-documented in Baja California Sur. Photo by © Todd Pepper. Groove-billed Ani made an impressive showing in Baja California Sur with 20 at four locations. This one was at Salinas Punta Colorado 6 December 2015. Photo by © Chris and Debbie Llewellyn.

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