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 54 of 115

V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 8 ) • N U M B E R 2 189 I O WA & M I S S O U R I Tennessee & Kentucky WATERFOWL THROUGH GREBES Peak waterfowl counts included the follow- ing: 17,750 Greater White-fronted Geese at Sauerheber 10 Dec (CP) with 4300 at Ballard W.M.A., Ballard, KY during the last week of Dec (KK); 15,000 Snow Geese at Sauerheber 13 Jan (CP) with 40,000 at the Long Point Unit of Reelfoot N.W.R., Fulton, KY 11 Feb (GP); 700 Redheads at Lexington, KY (RO, LCo, et al.) and 700 at Lake Cumberland, Russell, KY (RD), both 1 Dec, with 925 on lakes at the Bluegrass Army Depot, Madison, KY 2 Dec (TE); 252 Red- breasted Mergansers at Tom's Creek Boat Ramp, Perry, TN 1 Dec (RS, AT), with 200 at Lexing - ton, KY the same day (RO, LCo, et al.). Reports of Ross's Geese in Kentucky away from the western part of the state (where ex - pected in small numbers) included one south- east of Mt. Zion, Allen 1 Dec (MB); 2 south of the London, Laurel airport 19 Dec (ph. KVe); one along the Bluegrass Parkway, Nelson 9 Jan (JSo); one on the east side of Lexington 14 Feb (DSv); and at least 79 along Horseshoe Road, w. Henderson 22 Feb (BP, ph. JBa, SG, TG). Tennes - see experienced a greater-than-usual number of reports of Ross's Geese in middle and e. Ten - nessee, with one to 2 individuals reported from 13 locations. One to 20 Cackling Geese were reported from seven locations during the season in Kentucky. In Tennessee, 75 were at Duck R. 12 Feb (CW, NW) following an earlier report of 65 there 12 Dec (RSt); only 2 were report - ed elsewhere. Tennessee experienced an unusual influx of Mute Swans during midwinter, with one to 2 reported from seven lo - cations 19 Jan–18 Feb. The wintering flock of Tundra Swans at Sauerheber peaked at 150 there 24 Dec (CC) and 197 there 3 Feb (CP); other reports of interest in Kentucky included 4 at Bernheim Forest, Bullitt 24 Jan–1 Feb (MRi, ph. KVo, BDa, et al.). The only report in Tennessee detailed one at John Sevier Lake, Hawkins 20 Feb–1 Mar (SHu). Dabbling duck birds in Kentucky included Great Egret, two Green Herons, Spot - ted Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Least Flycatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Black-and- white Warbler, no less than 14 Or - ange-crowned Warblers, American Redstart, Prairie Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, two Lark Sparrows, Grasshopper Spar - row, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and three Baltimore Orioles. Similarly, in Tennessee, lingering summer residents and migrants included Green Heron, Sora, Semipalmated Plover, Blue-headed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Gray Catbird, Common Yellowthroat, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Vesper Spar - row, Lark Sparrow, Summer Tanager, and Balti- more Oriole. Rarities in Kentucky included Sa- bine's Gull, Snowy Owl, and continuing Black- chinned Hummingbird and Black-throated Gray Warbler. Tennessee vagrants were head - lined by a state first Lesser Goldfinch. Ad- ditional headliners included Western Grebe, Black-legged Kittiwake, Iceland Gull, Common Ground-Dove, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Townsend's Solitaire, and Yellow-headed Blackbird. Winter finches (including three Common Redpolls) were present in relatively normal numbers and variety when compared to recent winters, although Red-breasted Nut - hatches were essentially absent for the third winter in a row. Abbreviations: Barkley Dam (Lyon, KY unless otherwise noted); Duck River (Duck River Unit, Tennessee N.W.R., Humphreys, TN); Jonathan Creek (Jonathan Creek embay - ment of Kentucky Lake, Mar- shall, KY); Kentucky Dam (Livingston/Marshall, KY); Sauerheber (Sauerheber Unit Sloughs W.M.A., Henderson, KY); Sinclair Unit (Sinclair Unit Peabody W.M.A., Muhlenberg, KY). Chris A. Sloan Brainard Palmer-Ball, Jr. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– C limatic conditions during winter 2015- 2016 were not as severe as during the previous two winters. The season be - gan much warmer than normal, with all ma- jor stations recording average temperatures for December well above normal. In contrast, the average temperatures during January and February were near normal Regionwide. Most of Kentucky and east Tennessee received an above-average amount of rainfall during De - cember, with Lexington recording nearly two times the normal. In contrast, January was drier than normal with most major stations record - ing one-third to one-half the normal amount of precipitation. February turned wetter than nor - mal again, with most major stations recording one and a quarter to one and three-quarters the normal amount of precipitation. January 22-23 brought the biggest snowstorm in 13 years to middle Tennessee, with up to 14 inches report - ed across the midstate and on the Cumberland Plateau. Otherwise, no major winter storms occurred in Kentucky during the season, but a period of dreary weather 1-2 December combined with a movement of southbound waterbirds produced a decent fallout of several species on the Region's reservoirs. Some factor, perhaps simply the milder temperatures during the season combined with better communica - tion through the ever-increasing use of social networking and eBird, resulted in an unprec - edented number of reports of lingering sum- mer residents and migrants. The list of such Greg Leonard (GL), Ann Lilies (AL), Micky Lou- is (ML), Kendall Lloyd (KL), Charlene Malone (CM), Jim Malone (JM), Debbie Martin (DM), Steve Martin (SM), Chrissy McClarren (CMc), Kyle McCommis (KM), Eric Mosley (EM), Rob - ert Mustell (RM), Marky Mutchler (MM), Mary Namecek (MN), Larry Olpin (Lol), Brian Ort - man (BO), Lisa Owens (LO), Dick Palmer (DP), Bryan Prather (BP), Andrew Reago (AR), Dave Rogles (DR), Bill Rowe (BR), Mike Rowe (MR), Laurie Shawver (LS), Garrett Sheets (GS), Al Smith (AS), J. Steele (JS), Daniel Swofford (DS), Edge Wade (EW), Donald White (DW), Wil - liam Wood (WW), Karen Wosiliat (KW), Ellen Zellmer (EZ). n –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Francis Moore, 336 Fairfield Street, Waterloo, IA 50703 • Western Grebe is rare in Tennessee, but may now occur annually in the Kentucky Lake area. This individual, photographed 12 January, was present from at least mid-Dec and regularly seen from viewing areas in the Big Sandy Unit of Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge, Henry County. Photo by © Victor Stoll.

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