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 174 Jan (Jen Brumfield, ph. Nancy Anderson, m. ob.). Farther east, King Eiders were seen twice in Erie, PA; the only county where the species is regular. An imm. male passed by Walnut Creek on Lake Erie 6 Dec, and an - other passed Sunset Pt. 20 Dec (Jerry McWil- liams). A female Barrow's Goldeneye was on the Delaware R. 25 Jan–19 Feb in Northamp - ton, PA (Jason Horn). Single Harlequin Ducks were in Lake 16 Dec (John Pogacnik) and at Cleveland 20-21 Dec (ph. Jen Brumfield, Elizabeth Quaid, m. ob.). Three Surf Sco - ters on Tygart Lake, Taylor 26 Dec (ph. Mike Slaven) were the only ones reported from WV. The resurgent White-winged Scoter was well represented along Lake Erie. Four on Alpine Lake, Preston 23 Dec were noteworthy for the WV highlands (David Daniel). Four Long- tailed Ducks traveled south to the Ohio R. in Brooke 16 Jan (Derek Courtney) with one at The Wilds, Muskingum, OH 26 Dec–2 Jan (Margaret Bowman, ph. Corey Husic, ph. Da - vid Carr, m. ob.). A late Red-throated Loon lingered at Clear Fork Res., Richland 30-31 Dec (John Herman). Whether by closer scrutiny or a real change in frequency, the detection of Pacific Loons in the region is becoming predictable. One off Rocky River, Cuyahoga, OH 6 Dec (Jen Brum - field et al.) follows the established pattern but farther west along the shoreline of Lake Erie 9 Jan (ph. Dan Gesauldo) one was decidedly late. Two imm. Pacific Loons were found in Erie, PA during the period, with both at Pr - esque Isle, Lake Erie where there are more records of the species than anywhere else in PA. One was off the North Pier 4 Dec, and an - other was at the Niagara boat launch 21 Dec; both stayed until 8 Jan (Jerry McWilliams). Most years see the bulk of Horned Grebes depart the Region by the first week of Jan. This season saw flocks numbering in the dou - ble-digits linger in Clark, OH 5 Jan (11; Eric Elvert) and on Lake Erie in Cuyahoga 15 Jan (15; Marty Celebrese). A spring fallout 15-16 Feb brought down flocks along the Ohio R. in Wetzel, WV 27 Jan (Mike Slaven), in Jack - son, WV 21 Feb (2; Gary Rankin), and 21 Feb in Cabell, WV (David Daniels). Midwinter re - ports from OH were almost exclusively of 1-4 individuals north and west of the Glaciated Plateau. Two Barnacle Geese were at FDR Park, Philadelphia, PA 19 Feb+ (Jim McConnell) for a first county record. By far the rarest goose for the state was the Black Brant at Peace Val - ley Park, Bucks, PA 1-4 Jan (Devich Farbot- nik, Holly Merker). Despite a small population in se. OH, Trumpeter Swans are rarely detected in WV. Two birds were on the Ohio R. at Hannibal Dam, Wetzel 19 Feb (Wilma Jarrell). Rarely well documented during winter in OH, sev - eral Blue-winged Teal were photographed this season. Two birds lingered among a flock of Green-winged Teal at Killdeer Plains W.A., Wyandot 9 Dec (ph. Irina Shulgina) while one at Dayton, Montgomery 23 Dec–2 Jan (ph. Eric Elvert, ph. Marge Bicknell, m. ob.) represented a rare mid-winter record. Spring migrants had returned by 27 Feb in Warren (Rene McGill, Tyler Ficker et al.) and in Dela - ware 29 Feb (Ed Bremer). Equally rare in PA was a male Blue-winged Teal seen through at least 15 Jan on ponds at Pottsgrove, Montgom - ery through at least 15 Jan (Kenneth Rieker). Not common within the WV highlands in mid-winter, up to 4 Northern Shovelers were found throughout Jan in Monongalia (Terry Bronson, m. ob.). Three early, northbound Eurasian Wigeons in OH included singles in Pickaway 19-20 Feb (Margaret Bowman, Dave Smith), in Greene 21 Feb+ (ph. Daniel Delapp, ph. Jeremy Dominguez, m. ob.), and in Wayne 27-29 Feb (Su Snyder, ph. Joseph Boros, m. ob.). In PA, 7 Eurasian Wigeon were reported during the period, all from central and eastern counties: Centre, Dau - phin, Lancaster (3), Luzerne, and Philadelphia. A Gadwall X Mallard was documented at Cleveland 15 Dec (Andy Jones). A King Eider visited Sims Park, Cuyahoga, OH 3 Dec–19 Victor W. Fazio, III Tom Johnson –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– T he Region experienced both a mild start and a mild end to the winter. Pennsylvania enjoyed its warmest De - cember ever, with temperatures a stagger- ing 13°F above normal. While January was around normal temperature-wise, February was >4°F above normal. Snowfall was lower than normal throughout the state, with one major snowstorm 22-24 Jan that left over 20" of snow across a swath of southern counties. The warm start to the winter had dramatic ramifications for wintering landbird diversity this season in Pennsylvania; warblers and Cardinalids were particularly well represent - ed. These conditions were further reflected across Ohio and West Virginia, influencing exceptional wintering efforts from waterfowl, herons, and a remarkable eleven species of shorebirds. WATERFOWL THROUGH CRANES The spring and fall migrations of geese through the Region blend to a degree dur - ing the winter period and can challenge the interpretation of one versus the other. The 34 Snow Geese in Highland, OH likely rep - resented late-fall migrants as concentrations dropped to single digits thereafter, with num - bers not picking up again until Feb. Ross's Goose in the western part of the Region are now too numerous to enumerate, though only about 12-15 could be found in OH during Jan. Away from these areas, individuals were discovered in Ross, OH 19 Jan (Mark Maier) and in Wayne, WV 3 Jan (Gary Rankin). A flock of 30 in Mercer, OH 9 Feb (ph. Kosh King) again speaks to the strength of the spring movement in the far western part of the Region. Farther east, in Appalachian OH, a surprising flock of 8 on the Hocking R., Athens 12-14 Feb (Phil Cantino, ph. Zachary Allen, Sam Romeo, m. ob.). Still noteworthy within the highlands of WV, singles were in Hardy 27 Feb (ph. David Carr), and in Taylor 2-4 Feb (ph. David Daniels, ph. Terry Bron - son, m. ob.). Noteworthy along the Ohio R., Cackling Geese were found late in the season Eastern Highlands & Upper Ohio River Valley SA Just 20 years ago, Greater White-fronted Goose was almost unknown as a winter- ing species across most of the Region, aside from OH where a few late-fall (Dec) and early-spring (Feb) migrants were noted occasionally. This changed in 1997 when a flock of 15 overwintered for the first time. The species has only increased since. More than 40 mid-winter reports were led by flocks of 13 at Maumee Bay S.P., Lucas 20 Jan (Ryan Jacob, ph. Kim Warner); 10 in Wayne 9 Jan (Su Snyder et al.); 6 at Fremont, San- dusky 23 Jan (Eric Leibold). The Allegheny foothills hosted singles in Muskingum, OH 26 Dec–16 Jan (Nathan O'Reilly, m. ob.), and along the Ohio R. 19 Jan Wood, WV (Jon Benedetti). Significant spring flocks in WV included 14 and 22 at Green Bottom W.M.A., Cabell 7 and 20 Feb (David Patick), and 5 in Preston 27 Feb (David Daniels). As recently as 15 years ago, Greater White-fronted Goose was regarded as a rarity in PA. This season, the species was recorded from an astonishing 28 counties.

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