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.

Issue link: http://nab.aba.org/i/502371

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 272 N o r t h e r N C a l i f o r N i a Norton). Western Gulls are rare in Sacramento away from Sherman Island, so one in the Nim- bus Fish Hatchery/Lake Natoma area 29 Dec–12 Jan (ClH, DaW) and another at the American River Parkway 24 Jan (WEH) were interesting. Single Thayer's Gulls at Colusa N.W.R., Colusa 15 Dec (Claire Gallagher, Tobias Rohmer) and Sac- ramento N.W.R., Glenn 27 Dec (KPa) represent- ed our typical smattering of upper Sacramento Valley records. Six reports of Kumlien's Iceland Gulls (p.a.) accompanied by photographs sug- gestive of this taxon were received; frst-cycle birds were at Baldwin Creek Beach, Santa Cruz 27 Dec (ph. JPo), with a different bird there 22 Jan (ph. JPo), and Clifton Court Forebay, Contra Costa 9 Jan (ph. Noah Arthur), and ads. were at Schollenberger Park, Sonoma 27-28 Dec (†ESH, ph. Ron Storey) and Tiburon, Marin 14-20 Jan (2; ph. Noah Arthur, ph. Rob O'Donnell, TEa). Lesser Black-backed Gull numbers continue to increase, with 10 reports this season. Differ- ent individuals were at the Yolo County Landfll, Yolo 7-12 Dec (second-cycle; ph. SCH), 7-18 Jan (ad.; SCH), and 14-15 Feb (second-cycle; TEa, SCH, MP); an ad. was at the Fresno W.T.P., Fresno 31 Dec (ph. †JLD), with a fourth-cycle bird there 28 Dec (ph. Marshall J. Iliff); Tulare's second and third were at Bravo Lake 21 Jan (sec- ond-cycle and ad.; ph. SDS, Priscilla Summers), with the ad. lingering through 26 Jan; one was s. of Corcoran, Kings 1 Feb (JLt); San Benito's frst was at San Felipe Lake 8 Feb (second-cycle; SCR, DLSh); and an ad. was near Vacaville, Solano 13 Feb (ph., †JM, DSg). Slaty-backed Gulls were at Tiburon, Marin 7 Jan (ad.; ph. Noah Arthur) and 31 Jan (ad.; TEa, DSg, Noah Arthur, JsC); Half Moon Bay, San Mateo, 9 Jan (third-cycle; ph. AJ) and 11 Feb (ad.; AJ); and the Vacaville/Dixon area, Solano 7 Feb–1 Mar (RMu, ph. TEa). The 31 Jan ad. at Tiburon had a distinctive white co- vert identifying it as an individual seen at several S.F. Bay locations in Jan 2013; this winter, the (RbF) and at Ferndale Bottoms 18 Dec–23 Feb (TKz, Casey Ryan, m.ob.). Another in Pope Val- ley 1 Jan (DRs, SRs, RLCL, Herb McGrew, Ellen Sabine) was only the fourth for Napa. SHOREBIRDS THROUGH GULLS American Avocets at Crowley Lake 6 Dec (5 birds; DHo) and Mono Lake 21 Dec (2 birds; ES, IMb) provided the frst Dec records for Mono. Black Oystercatchers were found again in So- lano, with 2 at Benicia 18 Jan (JSL) and 9 Feb (RMu); a Wandering Tattler at the same loca- tion 7 Feb (JSL) was also notable. In a welcome change, Mountain Plovers were found in sev- eral locations away from their usual wintering area in Solano. Flocks of 25 were found in both Madera 29 Jan (ph. GaW) and Fresno 1 Jan (EE) and 24 Feb (SDS), 20 were e. of Gustine, Merced 17 Feb (Joe Devine), and singles were near Ab- botts Lagoon, Marin 3-16 Dec (Mark Dettling, ph. Caroline Lambert, m.ob.) and at Beale A.F.B., Yuba 18-19 Dec (ph. JLa). Notable anywhere in the Region in winter, a Solitary Sandpiper at Ball Ranch 28 Dec (ph. EE) provided the frst winter record for Fresno. Unexpected inland Willets in- cluded one along W. Hamilton Rd., Butte 2 Dec (†Matt Forster, Charles Cornell) and Mono's frst in winter, at Mono Lake 17-18 Dec (Deanna Du- len, ph. Kathy DuVall). The highest number of Lesser Yellowlegs was found inland, at Los Banos W.T.P., Merced, with 19 present 10 Dec (KVV) and 22 there 26 Dec (PJM, ADeM). Other no- table inland occurrences included Mono's frst for winter, at Hot Creek 15-23 Dec (2100 m eleva- tion; KNN, m.ob.), and one in Isabel Valley, San- ta Clara 30 Dec (710 m elevation; MMR, MJM, Nateri Madavan). Both Ruffs were inland, with one at Los Banos W.T.P., Merced 4-26 Dec (†KVV, ph. PJM, ADeM) and Stanislaus's second at Ceres W.T.P. 28 Jan (ph. JHG, m.ob.). The only Stilt Sandpiper reported was a continuing bird at Hudeman Slough, Sonoma through 10 Jan (ESH, MBe, ph. LHg, m.ob.). Three Pectoral Sandpip- ers lingered 4-10 Dec at Los Banos W.T.P., Mer- ced (†KVV). Large focks (totaling 2000+) of Red Phalaropes streamed past F.I. 7 Dec (Point Blue); small groups were noted on the nearby main- land 2-11 Dec, and up to 2 were seen slightly in- land at Alviso, Santa Clara 7-8 Dec (PDu, MJM). Pigeon Guillemots are scarce in winter, so 2 at Point Arena, Mendocino 4 Jan (MtB, GEC, CEV) were noteworthy. A total of 4420 Rhinoceros Auklets at Baldwin Creek Beach, Santa Cruz 9 Jan (AMR) provided a high shore-based count. Stanislaus's fourth Little Gull, an ad., was at the Modesto W.T.P. 27 Jan–9 Feb (ph., †HMR, SSa, m.ob.). Our only Franklin's Gull was at Mon- terey Harbor, Monterey 6 Dec (BLS). Among 17 Mew Gulls in the Central Valley away from the Sacramento River Delta, the most notable was Sutter's second, at Yuba City 19 Dec (Richard docino. Northern Fulmars were in good numbers along the coast in Dec and Jan, with a high of 3500 in 2 hours at Point Pinos, Monterey 21 Dec (BLS). We received single reports of two of our less common shearwaters: a Flesh-footed was on Carmel Bay, Monterey 27 Dec (TAm et al.), and a Manx was seen from McClures Beach, Point Reyes N.S., Marin 21 Dec (PP). An imm. Magnif- cent Frigatebird came aboard a whale-watching boat less than 2 km off Fort Bragg, Mendocino 7 Jan (ph. Rick Thornton). Up to 8 Brown Boobies were reported. Imms. included one found dead at Oakland, Alameda 2 Jan (specimen to Museum of Vertebrate Zoology; ph. Philip Howard) and one at Moss Beach, San Mateo 17 Jan (RSTh), while single ads. were at Pillar Point, San Mateo 22 Dec (AJ), Humboldt Bay 18 Jan (ffth Hum- boldt record; ph. RbF, m.ob.), Ocean Beach, S.F. 30 Jan (female; BFi), and Agate Beach, Marin 7 Feb (†Mark Dettling); the ages of one at F.I. 21 Jan and 2 there 20 Feb (Point Blue) were not re- ported. The long-staying Northern Gannet con- tinued at F.I. throughout the period (Point Blue). Single American White Pelicans, rare on the n. coast, were at Arcata, Humboldt 13 Dec (Casey Ryan) and various coastal Del Norte locations 19 Jan+ (Wendell Wood, m.ob.). HERONS THROUGH CRANES Coastal Cattle Egrets included singles in Hum- boldt, Alameda, and Santa Clara and 3 at Pes- cadero Marsh, San Mateo 22 Dec (ph. Sergey Pavlov). Up to 5 coastal White-faced Ibis were near the Santa Cruz/Monterey line throughout the period (m.ob.). Humboldt's third (and the Region's fourth) Black Vulture was at Ferndale Bottoms 20-23 Feb (ph. Brad Elvert, Samantha Bacon, ph. RbF, KBu, m.ob.). The Sonoma Com- mon Black-Hawk was seen near Laguna de San- ta Rosa 15 Dec (Guy Smith). A Swainson's Hawk near San Bruno, San Mateo 22 Feb (ADeM) was presumably an early northbound migrant but at a surprising coastal location. Thirteen Harlan's Hawks in eight counties (over half from Hum- boldt and Shasta) were more than expected; in- creased observer effort and awareness likely ac- count for some of this increase. Rough-legged Hawks included cen. coast singles in San Mateo 6 Dec (LFl) and Santa Clara/San Benito 8 Jan (frst in six years for Santa Clara; DLSh). Eight Black Rails calling from Alviso Slough, Santa Clara 15-17 Feb (SCR et al.) indicated continued occupancy of the Alviso area, where the species was detected last year for the frst time in at least 100 years. Another along Spring Valley Rd., Yuba 19 Dec (John York) was in a new area, although not far from locations of previous winter reports. Coastal Sandhill Crane reports from the nw. corner of our Region are on the increase. This season, single cranes were found in Humboldt over Arcata Bottoms 9 Dec Inca Doves have been slowly expanding their range northwestward over many decades. Consequently, Northern California's frst, a bird that visited a feeder in Tulare, Tulare County 16 May 2013 (here) through 5 January 2014, was not entirely unexpected. Photograph by Dane Fagundes.

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