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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V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 8 ) • N U M B E R 2 227 N O R T H E R N C A L I F O R N I A seawatch at Pt. Pinos, Monterey tallied 111 Short-tailed Shearwaters, as compared with 75 Sooty and 102 identified only as Short- tailed/Sooty 1-15 Dec. That location also produced all 5 Manx Shearwaters: singles 12 Dec, 5 Jan, and 17 Feb, and 2 birds 23 Dec (Tony Leukering, BLS, ph. DR, †BTM). Black-vented Shearwaters continued in high numbers after a huge fall influx, with 34,492 recorded at Pt. Pinos 1-15 Dec (Tony Leuke- ring et al.), 15,600 at Pigeon Pt., San Mateo 9 Dec (RSTh), and 45 far north at the Klam- ath R. mouth, Del Norte 2 Jan (LBr); 4 birds 60 km southwest of Pt. Arena, Mendocino 1 Dec (DVP, LHa et al.) were unusually far offshore. A second-cycle Masked/Nazca booby at Pt. Pinos, Monterey 1 Feb (ph. BLS, PFw, AHo et al.) had orange color appearing on the bill, confirming the Region's first record of Nazca Booby. Brown Booby numbers at F.I. steadily increased from 16-17 in Dec to 30 in Jan before peaking at a Regional record-high 32 on 25 Feb (Point Blue). Birds were even seen carrying nesting material on several oc- casions! Other Brown Boobies were 65 km west-southwest of Fort Bragg, Mendocino 1 tions can occur. Among the 25 coastal Red- necked Grebes (an average showing), one at Lake Merced 15 Dec (CLo) represented a rare "inland" record for S.F. Others farther inland included up to 3 at Calero Res., Santa Clara 27 Dec–4 Feb (RCP, Lucy Clifford, m.ob.); one at South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado 1-2 Dec (ScD); a continuing bird at Potter Valley, Mendocino to 6 Dec (GEC, ph. RJK, m.ob.); one at Whiskeytown Lake, Shasta 12-26 Dec (ph. B&CY, MSw). A concentration of 400 Eared Grebes at Black Butte Res., Glenn 10 Jan (LKe, Bruce Mast) was a high count for the Sacramento Valley. In contrast, very few have been present during Dec at Mono Lake, Mono the past few years, with double- digit counts only a shadow of the hundreds of thousands recorded there in years past (KNN). A Mottled Petrel found dead at Clam Beach, Humboldt 25 Dec (ph. GSL) was the first reported in the Region since Fall 2014. Buller's Shearwaters infrequently linger past early-Nov; 4 seen 16 km off the Mendocino coast 1 Dec (Jason Pietrzak et al.) were late. The only Flesh-footed Shearwaters were sin- gles near the aforementioned Buller's and off Santa Cruz 19 Dec (AMR, NLv). Leukering's WATERFOWL A Brant at Clovis, Fresno 8-13 Jan (Chris Hi- att, ph. Rick Saxton, m.ob.) was unexpected so far inland. A Cackling Goose at Swanton Pond 27 Nov–4 Jan (ph. Jeff Bleam, ph. Sharon Hull, Pete Sole', m.ob.) was iden- tified as the first of the taverneri subspe- cies to be found in Santa Cruz. Trumpeter Swans were widely reported, with the first found northwest of Stockton, San Joaquin 20 Dec (†DGY). Up to 6 were found south- east of Chico, Butte 3-21 Feb (m.ob.), one was at Manchester S.P. 6 Feb+ (first well- documented Mendocino record; TDB, ph., m.ob.), one was at the Smith R. Bottoms, Del Norte 12-19 Feb (ph. LBr, ph. TKz, ph. Dave Bengston), and 8 were in two Modoc loca- tions 28 Feb (SCR). A Bewick's Tundra Swan was at Goose Lake, Modoc 27 Feb (SCR). Ten Eurasian Green-winged Teal found in seven counties 19 Dec+ included 4 in Hum- boldt (ph., m.ob.). Male Tufted Ducks were at Clifton Court Forebay, Contra Costa 17 Dec (Albert Linkowski); Inverness, Marin 19-25 Dec (ScC); Stafford Lake, Marin 23- 29 Feb (Todd Plummer, ph., m.ob.). A fe- male Tufted Duck was at Hudemann Slough, Sonoma 5 Dec (Mark Stephenson). The con- tinuing Black Scoter at Richmond was joined by two additional Black Scoters 20 Jan–10 Feb (Albert Linkowski, ph. m.ob.), up to 2 White-winged Scoters through 13 Feb (m.ob.), and a Long-tailed Duck 9-10 Feb (ph., m.ob.); all are scarce in Contra Costa. Seven other Long-tailed Ducks were found in four coastal counties (m.ob.). Red-breast - ed Mergansers continued to be well reported inland, with 15 found in seven C.V. counties throughout the period (m.ob.). LOONS THROUGH CORMORANTS Continued operation of Monterey Audu- bon Society's Pt. Pinos, Monterey seawatch (see the Fall 2015 report for details) 1-15 Dec produced 1108 Red-throated Loons and 96,958 Pacific Loons (Tony Leukering et al.). Eighty Red-throated Loons at Coy- ote Pt., San Mateo 4 Jan (RSTh) furnished a high count so far inside S.F. Bay. In addi- tion to 6 inland Pacific Loons, single Red- throateds were at Lake Shastina, Siskiyou 15-16 Dec (ph. DbP, JmP) and Folsom Lake, Placer 11 Jan (CDu). A Yellow-billed Loon at Heron's Head Park, S.F. 24 Jan (ASH, ph. Bob Gunderson, m.ob.) furnished the sixth record for S.F. Horned Grebes are scarce at most inland locations, but counts of up to 61 at Thermalito Afterbay, Butte 31 Dec–14 Jan (BED, JCS, m.ob.), as well as triple-digit counts from Lake Almanor, Plumas in winter 2013-2014 indicate that local concentra- SA Leach's Storm-Petrels were recorded in numbers that were unprecedented for winter, with more than 50 reported, mostly from shore during high winds. One at the mouth of Crescent City Harbor, Del Norte 10 Dec (ADB) was followed by a pulse of 15 during high winds at Pt. Pinos, Monterey, 13-14 Dec (ph. Tony Leukering, m.ob.), including one dark-rumped bird 14 Dec. (ph., †Tony Leukering). One was seen from a cruise ship 61 km west-southwest of F.I. 17 Dec (Michael Harrison et al.), and another was at Pt. Pinos 22 Dec (ph. PFw). High winds 23-24 Jan then brought Leach's inshore over a broader area. On 23 Jan, 11 were at Pt. Pinos (ph. BLS, m.ob.); S.F. recorded its first four City records, with one at Ocean Beach (STu), 2 at Land's End (one being car- ried by a Peregrine Falcon; ASH, ph. PSar, HuC), and one headed inland at the S.F. Zoo (KnS, †STu, m.ob.); additional singles were at Bodega Harbor, Sonoma (Will Anderson, Brook O'Connor) and Drakes Estero at Point Reyes N.S., Marin (†Will Anderson, Gordon Bennett, et al.). The next day, a boat 3.2 km off Pt. Pinos recorded 2 (Bernardo Alps), and 6 were seen from Pigeon Pt., San Mateo (LBt, RSTh, MKu). Another was found dead at Mattole Rd., Humboldt 27 Jan (Elizabeth Feucht). The last were 7 birds at Pt. Pinos 1 Feb, including one all-dark bird (ph., †BLS, DR et al.). The Region had only a handful of prior winter records, as this species typically winters off Central and South America. Leach's Storm-Petrels may have been enticed to linger farther n. than usual due to unusually warm offshore waters, and strong storms then blew the birds landward where they were detected. The two records of all-dark birds at Pt. Pinos are particularly interest- ing. Dark Leach's-type storm-petrels are presumably of the subspecies chapmani that breeds off Baja California and possibly farther n., though the taxonomy of dark-rumped birds recorded (and possibly breeding) north to the Farallon Islands still requires more investigation. All prior records of dark-rumped birds in the Region were from May–Sep, and none had been seen from shore before this winter. Other storm-petrels seen from Pt. Pinos during these storms included 17 Fork-tailed 24-25 Dec (ph. DR, ph. BLS et al.), 11 Fork-tailed and 6 Ashy 1 Feb (ph. BLS, ph. PFw, †DR et al.).

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