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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Page 20 of 115

V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 8 ) • N U M B E R 2 155 d'Entremont, Rick Whitman). Given the lack of reports over the last few years, it was a little surprising when an ad. Yellow-legged Gull was reported at Quidi Vidi L., St. John's, NL (Lance Cheng, ph. BM, m. ob.). Interestingly, later analysis of photographs demonstrated that this individual was of the subspecies atlan - tis, a very rare visitor to N.F. (fide BM). A high count of 15 Great Shearwater during the Brier I. C.B.C. was a surprise and the highest count for this portion of NS since 1952 († John Lock). Out of place and decidedly late, 2 Northern Gannets were observed off the southern coast of St. Pierre I., S.P.M. 7 Dec (Laurent Jackman) and provided the French I. with its fifth and sixth records of this species. Also unseasonably late and rare to NS, 2 American White Pelican discovered at Pubnico Harbor, Yarmouth, NS 7 Dec (ph. Coral & Ellis d'Entremont) were the latest ever recorded in the province. An Ameri - can Bittern located at Tatamagouche, Cumber- land, NS 3 Jan was extremely late (fide Jake Walker). A Great Egret lingered at Masstown, Colchester, NS until 7 Dec while another dis - covered at Cape Sable I., NS 26 Dec remained until 14 Jan (John Nickerson, m. ob.). The presence of a Turkey Vulture at Stratford, PE 26 Dec (Rosemary Curley) was a rare and short- lived occurrence for the province. Uncommon to St. Pierre I., SPM a Northern Harrier was ob - served 12 Dec (Nathalie Michel) and lingered through 20 Dec (Laurent Jackman). A late Red- shouldered Hawk observed at Pleasant L., Yar - mouth, NS 30 Dec–7 Feb was assumed to be the same individual that overwintered the previous year at the same locale (ph. Alix d'Entremont). Rare to Prince Edward I. in winter, a staggering 18 Red-tailed Hawks were reported throughout the province this season. A decided vagrant in winter to Prince Edward Island, a Northern Pictou (fide Ross Hall); a female discovered at Baker's Flats L., Stoney I., Shelburne 27 Jan (ph. Mark Dennis); and another male located at Glace Bay Wharf, Glace Bay, NS 26 & 28 Jan (David McCorquodale, Angela Gramchilli). A total of 17 Spruce Grouse were reported through NS during the regular C.B.C. period, representing an increase of almost double for the 10- and 15-year averages and suggesting that the species is making a gradual comeback to NS (fide Blaine MacDonald). A rare vagrant to New Brunswick in winter, a White-winged Dove was present at Bouctouche, Kent, NB 31 Dec (Stella & Jean Paul LeBlanc). An American Coot was well out of season when found at Frog Pond, Sir Stanford Fleming Park, H.R.M., NS 12 Jan (ph. Krista Melville). Two American Coot were discovered at Murry R. 3 Jan (ph. Dale Murchison); the species is accidental to Prince Edward Island in winter. Eight Sandhill Cranes that arrived during late- Nov lingered within the H.R.M. through 20 Dec (fide Jake Walker). Quite unusual for NS was a male Ruff discovered at the Windsor S.T.P, Hants 22 Dec (Bernard Forsythe); it remained until 28 Dec (ph. Richard Stern, m. ob.). Two Purple Sandpipers were at North Cape, PE 30 Jan (Donna Martin); the species is considered occasional to the Province. A Long- billed Dowitcher located at the Salt Marsh Trail, H.R.M. 31 Jan was out of place (Cory McGraw), though members of that species occasional linger in NS during winter (fide Jake Walker). Exceptional were the 200 Dovekie observed within Miquelon Harbor., Miquelon I., SPM 6 & 8 Jan (fide RE). Several hundred Dovekies were observed flying south off St. Pierre I., SPM 18 Jan (Laurent Jackman)— also unprecedented for the French Is. Quite unexpected and rare to N.F., a Sa - bine's Gull discovered at St. Vincent's 31 Jan (Ed Hayden, Alvan Buckley, Alison Mews, et al.) remained until 7 Feb (ph. Jared Clarke, ph. BM, Les Sweetapple). It was the third Sabine's Gull observed by BM from land since 1976 and apparently represents the first winter record for the Region (fide BM). Regular to N.F. dur - ing winter, an ad. Mew Gull was discovered at Quidi Vidi L., St, John's 7 Dec and was sub - sequently observed 2-3 Jan (ph. BM, et al.). A single Mew Gull was at Tuft's Cove, Dartmouth, NS 20–29 Jan (Dennis Garrett, ph. Mark Den - nis, Liz Voellinger). It then apparently relocated to nearby Lower Sackville, NS 1-12 Feb (Den - nis Garratt, m. ob.) before returning to Tuft's Cove 20 Feb (James Hirtle). Unexpectedly, another Mew Gull was found at Meteghan, Digby, NS 27 Feb (Clarence Stevens, ph. Joan Comeau). Subsequent analysis of photographs led to the discovery that this individual was of the subspecies kamtschatschensis (fide Alix David Seeler –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– I t is difficult to generalize weather conditions for a large Region such as the Atlantic Prov - inces. El Niño and the Arctic Oscillation played a role in the Region's mild and stormy weather this season, and a number of signifi - cant storms impacted the Region after Decem- ber. Temperatures were generally above normal for the season, while only Newfoundland & Labrador and St. Pierre et Miquelon recorded precipitation at near or below normal levels. January was drier than most previous years, but precipitation quickly increased as the new year progressed, giving the rest of the Region above- normal precipitation. It is possible that the warmer weather allowed a number of species to linger within the Region this season. A Sabine's Gull was the first observed from land in the winter season for Newfoundland and Labrador. A Mew Gull of the subspecies kamtschatschen - sis was present in Nova Scotia this season, and a Yellow-legged Gull of the subspecies atlantis was a first for Newfoundland and Labrador. Mountain Bluebirds continued their incursion into Nova Scotia. A Redwing of the nominate subspecies iliacus provided Nova Scotia with its third record of that species while an additional Redwing at St. Pierre, St. Pierre et Miquelon represented the French Island's second record. ABBREVIATIONS: H.R.M. (Halifax Regional Municipality, NS); N.F. (Insular Newfoundland); S.P.M. (St. Pierre et Miquelon, France) WATERFOWL THROUGH VIREOS Rare in New Brunswick, a Tufted Duck located at Marsh Creek, St. John 26 Jan (Ian Stead, Karen Miller et al.) lingered through 29 Feb (Karen Miller et al.). Three reports of Tufted Duck in NS included a single male observed 13 Jan–21 Feb at Pictou Landing, Big Gut, Atlantic Provinces & St. Pierre et Miquelon This Sabine's Gull was a first for the winter season in Newfoundland, seen at St. Vincent's 31 January through 7 February (here 31 Jan). Photo by © Bruce Mactavish.

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