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 70 of 115

V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 8 ) • N U M B E R 2 205 S O U T H E R N G R E AT P L A I N S at two OK locations: 12 were at Hackberry 7 Dec with 9 there 13 Jan (L&MT); Plegadis are rare but annual there in midwinter. Up to 5 were also found at Sequoyah N.W.R., Sequoyah 1-22 Jan (L&MT, KM), somewhat north of expected wintering locations. VULTURES THROUGH PIPITS Turkey Vulture is arriving earlier each year, evidenced again this season with 8 in NE by 19-20 Feb (fide WRS). Lingering Ospreys in KS were located in Lyon 12 Dec (fide CO) and Pratt 17 Dec (MR). The only reports of North - ern Goshawk entailed 4 sightings from NE, where still rare (fide WRS). Red-shouldered Hawks keep spreading westward, with one in Morton, sw. KS 3 Jan (MTh, EY). An imm. Swainson's Hawk photographed at Hackberry 12-13 Feb (JA, LA, BA) was part of a short series of exceptional winter records in recent decades. A southerly Rough-legged Hawk was in Johnston, OK 25 Feb (PL), a species whose southern wintering limit is moving northward. Easterly Ferruginous Hawks were in Johnson, KS 30 Jan–7 Feb (fide CO) and Lancaster, NE 12 Feb, the latter described as a "dark juv." (LE). Golden Eagles spread eastward sparingly during winter with singles in Dixon, NE 14 Dec (fide BFH); Saunders, NE 15 Feb (J&LS); at Red Slough 8 Dec and 4 Feb (DA); and in Sequoyah, OK 13 Feb (fide SB). There was a good showing of Snowy Owls this winter in the northern part of the Region; at least 12 were found in NE 7 Dec–16 Feb (fide WRS), a possible "echo" flight following the huge in - vasion of winter 2011-2012. Most southerly were the Snowies in Russell, KS 20 Dec–16 Jan (DK, RS), and at Quivira 21 Dec (BJ). Rare, but probably under-detected, Long-eared Owls in - cluded one in Tulsa, OK 2 Dec (DJ); 7 in Geary, KS 1 Jan (CO); 4 in Lyon, KS 11 Jan (MG, m.ob.). The only Northern Saw-whet Owls re - ported were vocalizing in Brown, NE 22 Feb (WF) and Doniphan, KS 23 Feb (AB, SF). With many species wintering more northward, it is of note that Red-headed Woodpeckers were essentially absent from se. NE, suggesting dis - with an additional 2 at Quivira 21 Feb (JL). Our "Where's-Waldo" Black-legged Kitti - wakes were at McConaughy 1-2 Jan (fide SJD) and Russell, KS 20-29 Dec (MR). Recent years have seen a number of mid-winter reports of Franklin's Gull, often in alternate plumage. This winter, mid-winter reports detailed singles in Tulsa, OK 6 Feb (BC); Woodson, KS 23 Jan (AB); Oklahoma, OK 1 Jan (CEl, BE); and Pot - tawatomie, KS 3 Jan (ER). A Regional rarity, mostly in NE, Mew Gulls were noted in Harlan, NE 20-21 Dec (JGJ) and Lincoln, NE 1 Jan (fide CNK). California Gulls are rare in the Region south of McConaughy. This season, Califor - nias were found in Jefferson, KS 25 Jan (JM) and Linn, KS 29 Jan (MMH). While Thayer's Gull has been lumped with Iceland (includ - ing Kumlien's Iceland Gull), these and their "swarm-form" intermediates have different ex - pectancies in the Region. Thayer's is regular if rare, intermediates rarer, and Kumlien's much more rare. Rather pale singles photographed and identified as Kumlien's Iceland Gulls were at McConaughy 23-28 Jan (JGJ, MRe) and in Lancaster, NE 28 Feb (NAr). Reports of Lesser Black-backed Gull, also rare but regular, in - cluded two northerly for the season at McCo- naughy 1-28 Jan (JR, MRe, m.ob.) and 2-3 in Oklahoma, OK 6 Jan–6 Feb (JAG, BD). About 13 Glaucous Gulls were reported throughout (fide WRS, CO, JAG), southernmost the singles in Canadian, OK 9 Jan (LM) and Oklahoma, OK 6 Feb (JAG). The only Great Black-backed Gulls reported were singles in KS: one in Geary 26 Jan (MHk) and another in Lincoln, KS 12 Feb (DK). Red-throated Loon is a Regional rarity; a juv. was at McConaughy 2 Jan (fide SJD); others were noted at the Regional loon mecca, Lake Tenkill - er, Cherokee/Sequoyah, OK with 3 present 4 Dec (JWA). A surprising 5 Pacific Loons were found in KS, with singles in Douglas 1 Jan (PW) and Linn 23 Jan (MMH), 2 in Jefferson 1 Dec (GP), and one in Russell 20 Dec (MR); 4 Pacifics were at Lake Tenkiller 4 Dec (JWA). As expected, Common Loons congregated on Lake Tenkiller with 377 counted there 4 Dec (JWA). Still rare in winter, the only Neotropic Cormorant reported was at Red Slough 16 Dec (DA). More exceptional was the Anhinga at Red Slough through 30 Dec (DA). The 250 American White Pelicans in Reno, KS 31 Jan (PJ) represented a large number for KS in midwinter. Among tardy herons were a Great Egret in Latimer, OK 12 Dec (LM); a Snowy Egret in Alfalfa, OK 1 Dec (GH); a Cattle Egret in Cotton, OK 4 Jan (JA). Juv. Black-crowned Night-Herons at Hackber - ry 3 Dec (L&MT) and in Tulsa, OK 23 Feb (NDG) may have overwintered. Several Plegadis ibis were noted during the period Quivira 15 Dec (fide MR). Movement of Sand- hill Cranes into the northern part of the Region begins in late-Jan; 7 were in Pottawatomie, KS 30 Jan (ND), and as many as 900 were north - bound over Kingman, KS 17 Feb (SS). A tardy group of 6 Whooping Cranes was in Thayer, NE 16 Nov–1 Dec (m.ob.); there are only two other Dec records for NE. A group of three Whoopers were in Clay, KS from ca. 20 Nov through 13 Dec (fide CO). American Avocets lingered; one was at Qui - vira 3-15 Dec (BJ) and as many as 80 were in Alfalfa, OK 8 Dec, with 5 still there Jan–Feb (GH, ST). Other shorebirds hanging north this season included 4 Long-billed Curlews at Hackberry 4 Dec (JS, KWi, JA) along with 3 Marbled Godwits there 15 Dec (JA); a (more surprising) Sanderling in Alfalfa, OK 23 Feb (GH); and Dunlins in Sequoyah, OK 16 Feb (RG) and Alfalfa, OK 27 Feb (KL), with an addi - tional 3 at Cheyenne Bottoms 8 Dec (AB). Per- haps the Regional rarity of the season was a first KS record Purple Sandpiper, photographed at Wilson Lake, Russell, 23 Dec (BG, DK, m.ob.). There are only two previous records for the Re - gion, both in OK. Early were 7 Baird's Sand- piper at Hackberry 29 Feb (L&MT), and espe- cially so were 3 at Quivira 25 Feb (BJ). Most northerly were the one to 2 Least Sandpipers in Lancaster, NE 19-25 Dec (JSS, m.ob). Four Pectoral Sandpipers were early at Hackberry 29 Feb (L&MT). At least 6 mid-winter Long-billed Dowitchers were at Hackberry 13 Jan (L&MT), with the first slug of 47 migrants noted there 29 Feb (L&MT, KM). Part of a normal scatter of winter Spotted Sandpiper records in OK, singles were in Tulsa 19 Dec (JD, JSm) and Mc - Curtain, OK 23 Jan (FH); more exceptional was one northerly individual in Riley, KS 1 Jan–10 Feb (KC). Greater Yellowlegs now winter in most of OK and into KS with singles north to Webster, NE 21 Feb (MB) and Buffalo, NE 27 Feb (MB). Much rarer, and a species subject to identification errors, Lesser Yellowlegs were exceptional at Cheyenne Bottoms 8 Dec (AB), The first Purple Sandpiper for KS, and third for the Region, visited Wilson Lake, Russell County on 23 December. Photo by © Dave Klema. A Regional rarity, this adult Black-legged Kittiwake was at Lake McConaughy, Keith County, NE on 1 January. Its appearance was made even more unusual by the fact that almost all noted in the Region are immatures. Photo by © Justin Rink.

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