North American Birds

VOLUME 70 NO3-NO4 2019

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/1115839

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V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 9 ) • N U M B E R S 3 / 4 341 S O U T H E R N G R E AT P L A I N S Dowitchers were reported only from Oklahoma in their usually tight migration window; one in Payne 9 May (SL), 5 at Hackberry Flat 10 May (L&MT), and 2 in Washington 11-14 May (JE). The 5,000 Long-billed Dowitchers at Chey - enne Bottoms 21 Apr (RP) were impressive. A peenting American Woodcock was westerly in Buffalo, NE 10 Mar (CV). Other early sandpip - ers were a Spotted in Pottawatomie, KS 3 Mar (JN), a Solitary in Tillman, OK 19 Mar (JAG), a Willet in Payne, OK 4 Apr (SL), and Wilson's Phalaropes (5) at Cheyenne Bottoms 12 Mar (BS), one in Clay, NE 21 Mar (JGJ), and 7 at Hackberry Flat 19 Mar (JAG). A good count of Red-necked Phalaropes was the 28 at Quivira 28 May (WCT). Generally more rare southeast - erly in the Region, Red-necked Phalaropes were found in Butler, NE 15 May (JGJ), Lancaster, NE 18 May (BH, MW), Johnson, KS 20 May (MG), Douglas, KS 24-28 May (MG), and at Hackberry Flat 21 May (3; JAG). A Red Phalarope is a Re - gional "zootie" at any time; one was at Quivira 25-30 May (MGo, JMi). The only report of Laughing Gull for the Region this season was a subadult at Hefner 23 May (JAG). The only reports of California Gull away from McConaughy, where expect - ed, were of 3 in Scotts Bluff, NE 21 May (fide WRS) and one in Cimarron, OK 4 May (DR). Lesser Black-backed Gull is a regular spring and fall migrant in the northern Region and a winter visitor southward; some 17 reports were received from all three states (fide WRS, CO, JAG). Nebraska's third Glaucous-winged Gull was a well-described individual at McCo - naughy 23 Apr (CRu). A Pacific Loon in Sedg- wick, KS 27 Mar (AM, JMi) was the only one reported this season. A Common Loon 12 Mar in Lancaster, NE (CGr, JGJ) was an early ar - rival there; lingering were Commons in Kiowa, KS 20 May (JC) and Hefner through 31 May (m.ob.). A true surprise for rarity and date was a Yellow-billed Loon found at Hefner 21-31 May (PV, m.ob.). Neotropic Cormorants have been trending northward, with 3 making it to Nebraska, about 11 in all (fide WRS, CO, JAG). An Anhinga was early at Red Slough 15 Mar (DA), its only normal location in the Region. A surprising 2 Brown Pelicans were reported, Black-necked Stilts easterly; this spring, 5 re- ports came from e. Nebraska 27 Apr-23 May (fide WRS), with 2 at Red Slough 24 May (DA) and one in Tulsa 18 May (JWA). An American Golden-Plover in Phelps, NE 15-16 Mar (BSm, m.ob.) was the fourth earliest on record for the state. Four Snowy Plovers were reported in Ne - braska, where breeding occurs on occasion, 24 Apr-28 May (fide WRS), and two were at Qui - vira by 11 Mar (BM, DB). An early Piping Plo- ver was in Alfalfa, OK 12 Apr (ST); the species is rare, but regular in the southern Region. The best tally of Mountain Plovers was only 9; that came from Kimball, NE 23 Apr (KD). Whim - brels, rare but regular, were noted in Nebraska (5 reports) 4-23 May (fide WRS) with 11 for Oklahoma 30 Apr-25 May (fide JAG). A Long- billed Curlew in Frontier, NE 24 Mar (CH; photo) was easterly. A Hudsonian Godwit in Morrill, NE 23 May (GR, D&JP) provided only the fourth Panhandle record; 650 were at Chey - enne Bottoms 22 Apr (MR). Marbled Godwits appeared in Lancaster, NE 2 Apr (BH, MW) and at Cheyenne Bottoms 25 Mar (MR), both early. The only Ruddy Turnstones reported were in Oklahoma; singles were at Hackberry Flat 6 May (L&MT), Alfalfa 17 May (AG, DHi), and Johnston 23 May (JRc). Very rare in spring, a Red Knot was at Cheyenne Bottoms 21 Apr (MR). A Sanderling noted in Alfalfa, OK 5 Apr (ETi) could have been the bird wintering there, while a Dunlin at Cheyenne Bottoms 12 Mar (BS) was likely an early migrant. An amazing 50,000 Baird's Sandpipers were at Cheyenne Bottoms 21 Apr (RP). Early arriving shorebirds included 2 Baird's Sandpipers in Lancaster, NE 6 Mar (SK), with 7 in Coffey, KS (SN), a Least Sandpiper in Douglas, KS 5 Mar (WC) and an - other in Kearney, NE 13 Mar (DWe), 6 White- rumped Sandpipers in Seward, NE 28 Apr (LE), a Buff-breasted in Saunders, NE 22 Apr (LE), 2 Pectoral Sandpipers in Douglas, KS 5 Mar (AP), and 2 Semipalmated Sandpipers at Cheyenne Bottoms 12 Mar (BS). There were 3 Nebraska reports of Western Sandpiper, a Regional rar - ity in spring; singles were reported in Platte 25 Apr (JGJ), Phelps 29 Apr (AF), and Dixon 8 May (HW); there were reports of 1-4 birds from 7 localities in Oklahoma (fide JAG). Short-billed of Oklahoma; three were more northerly in Cleveland, OK 18 May (ZD, BB). Much rarer, a Common Ground-Dove was at Hackberry Flat 21 May (JAG). White-winged Dove continues to expand in Nebraska where it is mostly a summer visitor; at least 8 were reported state - wide (fide WRS). The only reports of Black- billed Cuckoo in Oklahoma were from Tulsa 23 May (BC) and Washington 31 May (MD); only two were reported in Nebraska, one in Dixon 18 May (JJ) the other in Dawes 31 May (DH, CGr). Somewhat early singers were the 3 Common Poorwills in Ellsworth/Russell, KS 8 Apr (MR). Two Chuck-will's-widows in Thayer, NE 29 May (JGJ) were at the westernmost cur - rently-known site for the species in Nebraska. Westerly Eastern Whip-poor-wills were in eastern Cherry, NE (2; RT), Thomas, NE 26 May (BP), and Ellis, KS 19 Apr (HA). A Ruby- throated Hummingbird was westerly in Cherry, NE 21 May (KC). An early arriving male Black- chinned Hummingbird was in Comanche, OK 27 Mar (KM). Nebraska's fourth spring record of Broad-tailed Hummingbird, all 2014-2016, was a female in Dawes, where 3 of the 4 records originated, on 22 May (JWh, MW, BP, WRS). A Rufous Hummingbird in Delaware, OK sur - vived the winter through 30 Mar (EW). RAILS THROUGH PELICANS Black Rail maintains an enigmatic metapopula- tion at least from west-central Kansas to north- western Oklahoma. Difficult to find, one was in Texas, OK 21 May (MPa). The only King Rails reported were one in Sedgwick, KS 29 May (PJ), two at Hackberry Flat beginning 16 Apr (L&MT, m. ob.), and at the staple for the Re - gion—Red Slough. Two Soras in Woodward, OK 8 Apr (CC) were a bit early. Purple Gallinule is expected in the Region only at Red Slough, so one in Payne 21-30 May (CR, m. ob.) was northerly. Another marshland species regular at Red Slough, but wavering with water cycles elsewhere, Common Gallinules (1-2) were in Douglas, KS 30-31 May (MGo, m.ob.) and at Hackberry Flat 24 Apr (TSo). Arriving early was a Common Gallinule at Red Slough 16 Mar (DA). The peak number of Sandhill Cranes re - ported was 479,000 in the central Platte River Valley, NE 13 Mar (CTr), an historic high count for the central Platte. Tardy or lingering were Sandhill Cranes in Shawnee, KS 11 May (JH), Leavenworth, KS 15 May (AFr), and Buffalo, NE 29 May (CCh); easterly were singles in Labette, KS 17 Mar (HA) and Neosho, KS 18 Mar (ABu). As in recent years, Whooping Cranes showed up early; 7 were over Barton, KS 1 Mar (RP), a single bird appeared early in Buffalo, NE again this year 19-22 Mar (BWe, m. ob.), and two were over Buffalo, NE 19 Mar (LL). Recent years have seen more reports of This Eurasian X American Wigeon in Norman, Cleveland County, Oklahoma 6 March peaked some interest. Eurasian Wigeon is still an extreme rare vagrant in Oklahoma, making a hybrid an intriguing occurrence. Photo by © Joseph A. Grzybowski

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