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.

Issue link: http://nab.aba.org/i/1028840

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 170 vided the second record for Algonquin P.P. Small numbers of King Eiders wintered on the western shore of Lake ON, while single birds were found at both Sarnia, Lambton 22 Nov–Dec (DDN et al.) and Prince Edward Pt., Prince Edward 19 Dec (TLH). Multiple sightings of Harlequin Ducks were submitted from the lower Great Lakes, particularly the Lake ON shoreline between Hamilton and Oshawa. A high count of 8 was notched at Lynde Creek, Durham 3 Dec (TLo, BW, TLH), followed by a single female observed at Prince Edward Pt. 8 Jan (MDR). Rare for n. ON was a male at Thunder Bay 26 Dec (MChi). Notable for the inland location, 3 frequented London, Middle - sex 15-21 Feb with one lingering to May 15 (MCha, GC). Providing a late record for Kawar - tha Lakes were 2 female Black Scoters were at Sturgeon Pt. 13 Dec (CJE). A male Bufflehead at Lake Travers 16 Dec (JHS, GV) established a record late date for Algonquin P.P. A male Bar - row's Goldeneye found at Tommy Thompson Park, Toronto 7 Nov–Dec 5 (PNP) entertained many birders during its month-long stay. In addition to the usual 3-5 Barrow's Goldeneyes wintering in Ottawa, solitary males were also reported at Corunna, Lambton 14-19 Feb (JRB, m. ob.), Wolsey Lake, Manitoulin 23-29+ Feb (CTB, JB) and Lake Dore, Renfrew 31 Oct–25 Dec (CRe). A Common x Barrow's Goldeneye found at Burlington, Halton 28 Jan (RZD) was likely the same bird reported at Hamilton 29 Jan (BC). Certainly one of the rarest species observed in ON during the winter period was a female Smew discovered at Cornwall 13-14 Dec and later at Ault Island, Stormant, Dundas and Glengarry 19-28 Dec (Jacob K. Bruxer, m. ob.). The fact that a female Smew was reported in the same general area but on the New York side of the river 16 Feb 2013 suggests that this may be the same bird returning to overwinter. A Ruddy Duck found at Thunder Bay 24-28 Dec (JOB) provided an unusual winter record. PARTRIDGES THROUGH SHOREBIRDS Gray Partridge were not encountered in sw. ON for yet another winter; however, small numbers continue to be reported locally in e. ON. A Red-throated Loon continuing in Bar - rie until 2 Dec (DES) represented a somewhat late record for Simcoe. Mild temperatures and a resulting late freeze-up allowed a Red-throated Loon to linger at Lake Dore, Renfrew until 20 Dec (VA). The only reported Pacific Loon was an ad. at Pt. Pelee N.P. 1 Dec (JLH). A single Eared Grebe was reported at Rondeau P.P. 14 Nov–5 Dec (BAM, SRC), while an Eared Grebe was observed at Baie du Dore, Bruce 29 Dec–8 Feb (B&A-MT), providing an unusual Feb re - cord for the province. There are few records of Northern Fulmar in s. ON and most have Yellow-rumped Warbler, Spotted Towhee, Pink-sided Dark-eyed Junco, Bullock's Oriole, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, and Eurasian Tree Sparrow. Other winter rarities included Sora, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, and Yellow-breasted Chat. Species in boldface are reviewable by the Ontario Bird Records Com - mittee (O.B.R.C.). Abbreviations: H.S.A. (Hamilton Study Area); O.B.R.C. (ON Bird Records Committee); Point Pelee (Point Pelee Birding Area, a standard C.B.C. circle centered just north of Point Pelee N.P.); and Rondeau (Rondeau Birding Area, a standard C.B.C. circle centered around Ron - deau P.P.). Place names in italics refer to a coun- ty, district, or regional municipality. WATERFOWL Certainly one of the birds of year, a long-await- ed Pink-footed Goose at the LaFleche Landfill near Moose Creek, Stormont, Dundas and Glen - garry 10 Oct–Dec 26 (JMBo) was a new addi- tion to the province's list of avifauna. A warm spell in early-Feb allowed early migrants to flood into s. ON. Snow Geese were reported across s. ON in low numbers. After building up at Rondeau over several weeks, an unprec - edented 225 Snow Geese were observed at Shrewsbury, Chatham-Kent 21 Feb (SRC, JTB). Greater White-fronted Geese continue to be seen with increasing frequency in s. ON. This winter there were at least 27 sightings involv - ing 135 birds; many of these occurred after the warm spell in early-Feb. Thirty-seven found at Owen Sound 16 Dec (AN) likely established a record high count for Grey. Ross's Geese were also reported in good num - bers, especially after the early-Feb warm spell. At least 16 records totalling 49 individuals were logged throughout the period. Providing a record late date for Algonquin P.P., 2 Canada Geese were at Lake Travers 16 Dec (JHS, GV). Trumpeter Swan has become more regular in sw. ON in recent years, and this winter 2 were reported at Shrewsbury 17 Jan–23 Feb (SRC, m. ob.), along with 2 at Amherstburg, Essex 10 Jan (KJR) and up to 5 in the Harrow, Essex area 31 Jan–7 Feb (JLH, KJR, m. ob.). Two Bewick's Tundra Swans were found in the same Tundra Swan flock at Shrewsbury 6-9 Feb, though not associating with the others. One individual was leucistic (BAM, m. ob.) while the other showed typical plumage (RDM, PM, m. ob.). A Gadwall x Mallard was discovered at Lakeside Park, Halton 14 Feb (RDM). Many sightings of Canvasbacks were received dur - ing Dec and at unusual inland locations in s. ON, including more northerly areas such as Ottawa, Parry Sound, and Haliburton. Two fe - males at Lake Travers 16 Dec (JHS, GV) pro- Joshua D. Vandermeulen –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– T he winter of 2015-2016, when com- pared to the previous two winters, could be described as relatively mild. Unsea - sonably warm weather in early-December al- lowed many interesting migrants to linger and was the primary reason 221 species of birds were recorded, the highest winter total since 224 species were reported in 2011-2012. Snow cover was limited in southwestern Ontario until late-December and early-January, allowing several species of songbirds to persist beyond expected late dates. The season's mild start also allowed many waterways and lakes to remain open into January, resulting in sev - eral late records of waterfowl species in central Ontario. Snow and more seasonal temperatures did finally arrive in mid-February and a cold snap caused temperatures to plummet 30 de - grees below freezing into central Ontario, ef- fectively clearing out whatever few remaining migrants had persisted at these latitudes. Expectedly, the end of the winter brought periods of warm southerly winds and tem - peratures consistently above freezing. This encouraged northbound waterfowl and other early migrants to flood into the southwest of the province. Species associated with this event included Ross's Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, dabbling ducks, Tundra Swans, Kill - deer, and various blackbirds. The winter was unremarkable with regards to owls, finches, or other northern species that occasionally irrupt into southern Ontario. It was not a big flight year for any owl species and finches were limited to small numbers of Common Redpolls, Purple Finches, and Pine Siskins. Several notable rarities were reported during the season and included Pink-footed Goose, Bewick's Tundra Swan, Smew, Great Cormorant, Northern Fulmar, Eurasian Col - lared-Dove, Rufous Hummingbird, Vermilion Flycatcher, Mountain Bluebird, Audubon's Ontario

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