North American Birds

VOLUME 68 NO2 2015

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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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 268 O r e g O n & wa s h i n g tO n Common Goldeneye x Barrow's Goldeneye hy- brids in w. Washington was impressive; though found annually in the Region, a typical winter tally for this cross would be lower. Strong southbound fights of loons were still passing Boiler Bay into early Dec, with 32,000 Red-throated Loons tallied there 2 Dec (PP) and 25,000 Pacifc Loons there 12 Dec (PP). A Pacifc Loon at Port Kelley, Walla Walla 19 Dec (William Rockey) made the only report from e. Washington, which now averages about 6 per winter. Fifteen Yellow-billed Loons was about the triple the norm for w. Washington; these included a single-site record-tying 10 be- tween Protection Island and Dungeness Spit, Clallam 16 Dec (CW, BL). Single Clark's Grebes were at White Salmon, Klickitat 22 Feb (B. Emmons) and Wallula Gap, Walla Walla 23 Feb (M&MLD); this species was considered less than annual during winter in e. Washington, but detections have been on the increase. As the total population recovers, Short-tailed Albatross reports have been on the increase in the Region, where this species is now found annually; a frst-cycle bird was off Newport 22 Feb (D. Mandell, SF et al.). Fourteen Pink- footed Shearwaters off Westport 25 Jan (RS, BT) were noteworthy, as this species is typically missed by Washington's winter pelagic trips. Six Short-tailed Shearwaters seen from Boiler Bay 2 Dec (PP) and 5 off of Westport 25 Jan (RS, BT) provided the season's only reports for this species. Two Manx Shearwaters were noted, with singles at Cape Meares, Tillamook 14 Dec (PP) and Boiler Bay 19 Feb (PP). A continuing American White Pelican at Seattle through 5 Dec (m.ob.) provided a rare winter record for w. Washington. The 116 pelicans at Ice Harbor Dam, Walla Walla 7 Dec (M&MLD) represent a seasonal record count for e. Washington, where this species now winters annually. After back-to- back winters (2010-2011 and 2011-2012) that featured big numbers of Brown Pelicans along the Washington coast, this species was scarce last winter and completely unreported this win- ter, marking a return to the long-term norm; traditionally pelicans have been less than annual Dec–Feb in Washington. During winter, Snowy Egrets are rare anywhere in the Region away from a few favored sites along the s. Oregon coast, so one at Sauvie Island 7 Jan (D. Coggswell) was exceptional; most W.V. records come during late summer/early fall. With the disappearance of the few birds from a n. Portland roost, the winter status of Black-crowned Night-Heron in the W.V. is once again murky. One at McMinnville 21 Jan (DI) was in Yamhill, where this species is not an- nual at any season. Turkey Vultures, still rare in w. Washington before mid-Feb, seem to be increasing as a wintering species, with 3 noted from three Blaine, Whatcom 8 Feb (N. Sanday); this cross is now found annually in the Region. Eurasian Teal and Eurasian Teal x Green-winged Teal continued on a recent downward trend, with just 6 Eurasians and 2 hybrids reported; this wane may refect a reduced level of observer in- terest, as both have proven to be regular in the Region. Although the numbers of Canvasbacks wintering on Coos Bay—which had dwindled from hundreds to near zero over the past three decades—has rebounded slightly of late, 192 there on 13 Jun (TR) was the highest for Coos in at least a quarter century. The wintering Redhead fock at Federal Way, King continues to grow, with 61 noted on 20 Jan (K. McCallister); this is an exceptional count for w. Washington. Wintering site fdelity is apparently strong for Tufted Ducks, as all but one of 6 in the Region this season were presumed returnees. Similarly, a Tufted Duck x scaup hybrid spent at least its fourth straight winter along the Columbia River near Vancouver, Clark (RH). Oregon's tenth King Eider, a female, frst appeared just n. of Newport on 5 Jan and remained through the period (L. Norgren, D. Villaescusa, m.ob.). A Black Scoter at Lake Wenatchee, Chelan 31 Jan (M. Mathis), just the fourth inland winter record for the Region, adds to about 15 total re- cords for e. Washington. Six Long-tailed Ducks on Winchester Bay, Douglas 31 Dec (MH, RN) was an exceptional single-site count for the Oregon coast, where it is rare to fnd more than one or 2 in a single estuary. Only 2 Long- taileds were detected in e. Washington, which averages about 7 per winter. A Buffehead x Common Goldeneye graced Nisqually 5 Feb (P. Kelley, ST); there are few records for this cross in the Region. Barrow's Goldeneyes are now annual during winter along the Oregon coast, where historically rare; 4 this season in- cluded 3 at Siletz Bay, Lincoln 15 Feb (JG). Four WATERFOWL THROUGH CRANES Until recently, Greater White-fronted Geese were considered less than annual in winter in e. Washington. Over the past fve years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of presumed northbound birds in the Columbia Basin, with focks arriving as early as late Jan. A near-record 1650 was tallied at McNary 27 Feb (M&MLD). Washington's lone Emperor Goose was near Discovery Bay, Clallam/Jefferson 16 Dec+ (B. Parker, K. Parker, B. Iddins); most of Washington's records come from the outer coast. At McNary, where large numbers of late-winter Snow Geese are a comparatively re- cent phenomenon, a count of 6500 on 1 Feb (M&MLD) established a new e. Washington high count; this species was still scarce in e. Washington during winter a mere seven years ago. Although they are found annually among the Snow Geese wintering in Skagit/Snohomish, 2 Blue Geese at Vancouver Lake, Clark 2 Jan–19 Feb (L. Topinka), and another at Brady, Grays Harbor 6 Feb (J. Anderson) were at sites where they are less expected. Two Blues at McNary 1 Feb (M&MLD) were rare for e. Washington. Six westside Ross's Geese 18 Dec was on par with recent winters. Two more were in e. Washington, where there have been just three winter records over the past decade: at Flying Goose Ranch, Pend Oreille 10 Jan–22 Feb (M. Moskwik) and at McNary 1 Feb (L. Ness). Brant, which are rare but annual away from salt water, showed well inland, with 8 recorded 24 Dec–20 Feb; all were w. of the Cascades. Lesser Canada Geese were previously considered rare in the P.T., but this winter, 190+ were noted at over a half-dozen locations. Two Dusky Canada Geese near Ferndale, Whatcom 19 Jan (P. Wegener) were well n. of this taxon's winter range in sw. Washington. A Northern Pintail x Mallard hybrid visited With the ongoing recovery of the global population of Short-tailed Albatross, sightings have been on the increase in the north- eastern Pacifc Ocean, where this species is now encountered annually. This immature (taking fight) was studied of Newport, Lincoln County, Oregon on 22 February 2014. Photograph by Shawneen Finnegan.

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