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 2 231 Southern California Imperial 21 Dec (PEL); another at Sunbeam Lake/Fig Lagoon near Seeley, Imperial 16- 21 Jan (MK, GMcC). Red-throated is the least common of the three regularly occur - ring loons this far inland. A Pacific Loon at Tinemaha Res., Inyo 2 Dec (T&JH) and an - other at N.E.S.S. (Ave 84) 4 Dec (CMcG) were the only two reported inland. A Red-necked Grebe at Oceanside, San Diego 30 Dec–28 Jan (PAG) was the only one reported along the coast, but single birds at Lake Havasu 30 Dec (JBo); Castaic Lagoon, Los Angeles 25 Nov–21 Mar+ (JFGa); Anaheim 8 Jan–10 Apr (JF) were inland where normally much scarcer than on the coast. Northern Fulmars were quite common off s. CA as evidenced by 100+ as far south as off San Diego 21 Jan (Dave Povey). On the other hand, Short-tailed Shearwaters remained ex - ceptionally scarce, with singles off San Diego 1 Jan (DP) and 21 Jan (DP) the only two re - ported. An ad. Blue-footed Booby was at Ana- capa I. 27 Feb (JBa). At least 120 Brown Boo- bies on and around Anacapa I. 16 Jan (JBa) well illustrates the number of birds involved in the northward expansion of this species' pelagic range off CA. A Neotropic Cormo - rant remained on the Colorado R. at Parker Dam, San Bernardino 5 Dec–16 Jan (MW). Neotropic Cormorants started returning to the Salton Sink in late Jan following a near absence of more than two months, with at least 25 known at S.E.S.S. and in the Imperial Valley at the end of Feb (GMcC). One Neo - tropic at Puddingstone Res. in San Dimas 17 Feb–20 May (RHi) was west of the mountains and provides the first record for Los Angeles. A Brown Pelican far inland on Lake Havasu 5 Dec (MW) was noteworthy. The only Reddish Egrets reported north of Orange, where up to 6 were present in Dec, were 2 at P.M.N.A.S. through the winter. Up to 5 and 22 Yellow- crowned Night-Herons were at Imperial Beach, San Diego and at P.M.N.A.S., respec - tively, through the winter. The only other one found in the Region was at San Pedro, Los An - geles 8-23 Dec (DE). VULTURES THROUGH TERNS A Black Vulture at Morro Bay 14 Dec (JAN) and neighboring San Luis Obispo 13 Feb (HDE) was believed to be the same bird pres - ent off and on in this area of San Luis Obispo since 2013. Single Swainson's Hawks at Lake Forest, Orange 13 Dec (BTE) and near Glen - dale, Los Angeles 31 Dec (KLG) may have been exceptionally late fall migrants, but one at Ca - marillo, Ventura 5 Jan (AJS) and another near El Centro, Imperial 8 Jan (KZK) were more likely wintering locally; others, such as one at Legg Lake, Los Angeles 22 Jan (JFGa) and an - Guy McCaskie Kimball L. Garrett –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– T he strong El Niño pattern that devel- oped in 2015 kept ocean temperatures relatively high through the winter pe - riod and perhaps contributed to the unprec- edented numbers of Brown Boobies along the coast and offshore islands. However, the pre - dicted well-above-normal precipitation failed to materialize and apart from a few significant storms (particularly in early-January) rain - fall was well below normal through most of southern California. By the end of the period there were signs that El Niño conditions were transitioning to a more neutral pattern. Tem - peratures were above average through much of the winter, and February was exceptionally warm and dry. The clear highlights of the winter were two new species for the Region found, coinciden - tally, the same day (4 February) but 250 miles apart: a Kelp Gull at Pico Rivera, Los Ange - les County and a Barred Owl at Bishop, Inyo County. Among other noteworthy occurrenc - es was a mid-December Philadelphia Vireo in the Imperial Valley and a Field Sparrow in Inyo County that showed characters of the bright nominate subspecies, unrecorded in California. There were no major irruptions, although Red-breasted Nuthatches were in above-average numbers in the lowlands. Abbreviations: C.L. (China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, extreme n.e. Kern); F.C.R. (Furnace Creek Ranch, Death Valley National Park, Inyo); N.E.S.S. (north end of the Salton Sea, Riverside); P.M.N.A.S. (Point Mugu Na - val Air Station, Ventura); P.P. (Piute Ponds on Edwards Air Force Base, n.e. Los Angeles); S.E.S.S. (south end of the Salton Sea, Impe - rial); S.J.W.A. (San Jacinto Wildlife Area near Lakeview, Riverside); V.C.G.P. (Ventura County Game Preserve near Pt. Mugu Naval Air Station, Ventura). Museum collections abbreviated in the text are: SDNHM (San Di - ego Natural History Museum). Because most rarities in s. California are seen by multiple observers, only the observer(s) initially find - ing and/or identifying the bird are included. Documentation for species on the California Bird Records Committee (C.B.R.C.) review list (see www.californiabirds.org) is for - warded to the C.B.R.C. and archived at the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology in Camarillo. WATERFOWL THROUGH HERONS A Brant at S.E.S.S. (Obsidian Butte) 14 Dec (AJS) provides the first December record for the Salton Sink. Two Tundra Swans in flight over Borrego Springs, San Diego 20 Dec (PA), one near Niland, Imperial 15 Dec (DM) and 5 in flight over the nearby Wister Unit 3 Jan (MGo) were the southernmost this winter. About 30 Eurasian Wigeon were known in the Region with 8 well inland. Single male Eurasian Green-winged Teal, rare in CA, were at Goleta, Santa Barbara 4 Jan–9 Feb (PW) and Carpinteria, Santa Barbara 1-19 Feb (MAH). A Tufted Duck at Goleta 9 Dec–11 Jan (LM) was the same bird present through the last two winters, and another at Anaheim 23 Jan–9 Feb (RS) was a new species for Or - ange. Three Harlequin Ducks at Estero Bluffs S.P., San Luis Obispo through the winter were the only ones known present. A Surf Sco - ter along the Colorado R. at Senator Wash Dam, Imperial 19 Dec–9 Jan (HD), and single White-winged Scoters on the San Bernardino portion of Lake Havasu 12 Dec (DoK) and at N.E.S.S. (Ave 81) 2 Jan (RMcK) were the only scoters reported inland. Only 12 Black Sco - ters were reported, with all along the coast as expected. Four Long-tailed Ducks along the coast was less than expected, but single birds were inland, where much scarcer, at Silver Lake/Hollywood Res., Los Angeles 7-13 Dec (JP, SJS); on the Salton Sea at North Shore, Riverside 25 Dec (ES); and shot at the S.E.S.S. (Wister Unit) 3 Jan (MGo). A Barrow's Gold - eneye on the Kern R. near Lake Ming, Kern 16 Dec (RAB) was at an unexpected location, while 2 at Senator Wash Dam 21 Dec–23 Jan (PEL) were at the southern limit of this spe - cies' regular winter range on the Colorado R. A flock of 38 Red-breasted Mergansers on the Salton Sea at North Shore 24 Feb (RMcK) rep - resented a large number for winter. A Greater Sage-Grouse at 10,300 ft in the White Mts.' Silver Canyon, Inyo 31 Dec (SLS) was at the southern extreme of the species' range in CA. Unexpected were up to 2 Red-throated Loons at Lake Havasu 20-30 Dec (AEK); one at Lake Perris, Riverside 18 Jan (RMcK); up to 2 at Sheldon Res. west of Imperial, Imperial 4-21 Dec (GMcC); one at the Warren Brock Res. between Holtville and Winterhaven,

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