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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V O L U M E 6 8 ( 2 0 1 5 ) • N U M B E R 2 207 Florida dered n. to Henderson Lake, Citrus 18-23 Feb (Mary Radscheid). The ad. Great Black- Hawk continued at Virginia Key, Miami-Dade, where it has been seen for more than a decade (RoD). A late Broad-winged Hawk was found at Destin, Okaloosa 16 Dec (BrP). Usually re- stricted in winter to the peninsula s. of Lake Okeechobee, Short-tailed Hawks were identi- fed much farther n., with single light morphs at Lake Woodruff N.W.R., Volusia 6 Dec (AlH et al.) and New Port Richey, Pasco 9 Dec–27 Jan (DGa) and a dark morph at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, Pinellas 11 Dec (Sue Tava- glione). Very rare n. of the Everglades, and only casual in the panhandle, as many as 3 Swainson's Hawks were reported at the Oka- loosa County S.T.F. 5 Dec–24 Feb (L&RAD, MS), while farther singles were noted e. of Ho- mosassa, Citrus 11-16 Dec (KB et al.) and Ar- cher, Alachua 8-24 Dec (Noah Mueller et al.), and 6 were at S.T.A.-1W, Palm Beach 10 Feb (Susan McKemy et al.). RAILS THROUGH ALCIDS A Yellow Rail at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve S.P. 5 Jan (Chris Butler et al.) and another at Cedar Key, Levy 18 Jan (Adam Zions) made the only reports. As many as 3 Black Rails were found at Merritt Island N.W.R. through 28 Jan (GW et al.), while up to 12 were count- ed at the Coastal Prairie Trail, Everglades N.P., Monroe 29 Dec–28 Jan (LaM, MBe et al.), and one was reported at St. Marks N.W.R. 14 Dec (Rob Lengacher). A remarkable 114 King Rails and 152 Soras were counted at Lake Apopka 18 Dec (HR). Purple Swamphen continues to expand its range, with reports of one at Lake Okeechobee, Clewiston, Hendry 6 Dec (DaS) and 3 at Harney Pond Canal Recreation Area, Glades 9 Feb (CF et al.). Single Whooping Cranes were noted in Alachua at San Felasco Hammock S.P. 10 Feb (Mercedes Panqueva) and Paynes Prairie 13 Feb (Andi Christman) and in Brevard at Broadmoor W.M.A. 13 Feb (Carolyn Cimino). Late and early American Golden-Plovers appeared at opposite ends of the state, with loners at Tyndall A.F.B., Bay 14 Dec (Pam Overmyer et al.) and STA-1E, Palm Beach 16 hatchee Wetlands, Palm Beach from Nov until at least 3 Jan. In all, 9 presumed hybrid cor- morants fedged; two other mixed pairs failed; and at least 2 ad. Neotropics remained at Wa- kodahatchee throughout the season (all MBe). Least Bitterns are casual in winter in n. Florida. Three singles were reported this sea- son, from St. Marks N.W.R. 18 Jan (Simon Mitchell, Richard Hall), Big Lagoon S.P., Es- cambia 25 Jan (BrC, Bridgette DeArman), and Paynes Prairie 31 Jan (RR, MO). Rare in the n. half of the state, single Great White Her- ons were at Port Orange, Volusia 7 Dec (MBr), St. Augustine, St. Johns 14-31 Dec (DiR), and Myakka River S.P. 10-23 Jan (Susan Daughtrey et al.). Casual inland, a juv. dark-morph Red- dish Egret was noted at Lake Apopka 8 Dec (HR). The Panhandle seldom hosts wintering Cattle Egrets, so 13 at Pensacola, Escambia 20 Jan (L&RAD) was a noteworthy count. Single White-faced Ibis were reported at Paynes Prai- rie 8 Dec+ (JoH, Debbie Segal et al.); Lake- land, Polk 21 Dec (CF); Lake City, Columbia 4 Jan (JKr); Chapman's Pond, Alachua 11 Jan (Thomas Lyons); Merritt Island N.W.R. 26 Jan (Reinhard Geisler et al.); and Lake Apopka 26 Jan and 7 Feb (HR). Most remarkable were 12 White-faced Ibis at St. Marks N.W.R. 15 Feb (AW). Usually, Roseate Spoonbills occur inland in rather small numbers, so 135 at Or- lando Wetlands Park, Orange 4 Feb (JL) was a signifcant count. There were reports of at least 6 White- tailed Kites, including an apparent mated pair at or near S.T.A-5, Hendry 4 Jan (Nancy Price, Laura Odlum, Kim Willis, DGa) and 2 at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve S.P., Okeechobee 14 Jan+ (GW et al.). A lone Snail Kite wan- Charlotte 20 Dec–18 Feb (Jeff Bouton et al.). Although Hooded Mergansers are widespread in the state in winter, 382 at Brighton Bay 14 Dec (MBu) was a signifcant concentration. Common Mergansers are casual in Florida, so photographs of 2 lone females were extraordi- nary: at Gulf Breeze, Santa Rosa 8-18 Dec (BB) and Fort Island Beach, Citrus 3 Jan (KB). Also in greater numbers than usual, up to 18 Red-throated Loons were scattered across coastal n. Florida, including a high of 7 at Al- ligator Point, Franklin 23 Jan (JMu). Single Pacifc Loons appeared on the coast at Gulf Breeze 7 Dec–8 Jan (L&RAD et al.) and at Fort Pickens 24 Feb (RAD, Ron Sinclair), the species' usual haunts; casual inland, one was at Lake Santa Fe, Alachua 6 Feb+ (RR, MM, JoH) for the second consecutive winter. A rare Florida breeder, Pied-billed Grebes with 2 downy young were at Paynes Prairie 24 Feb (MO), very early for n. Florida. Although com- mon along Florida's coast, Horned Grebes are locally distributed inland; an impressive 107 were counted at Lake Santa Fe 6 Feb (RR, MM, JoH). Single Eared Grebes graced Canaveral N.S., Brevard 1 Dec (JE et al.), Margate, Bro- ward 12 Dec+ (Greg Jones), and Taminco Sanc- tuary, Santa Rosa 27 Dec–27 Jan (LK, m.ob.). A Sooty Shearwater was unusual in winter at Fort De Soto Park 6 Dec (Lee Rogers), as was an Audubon's Shearwater at Alligator Point 1 Jan (JMu). A Brown Booby stopped at Fort De Soto Park 5 Jan (CaC), while as many as 3 vis- ited Cape Canaveral, Jetty Park, Brevard 9-15 Feb (Mark Wallace et al.). Successful breed- ing of Neotropic Cormorant was noted for a second season, with two mixed pairs of Neo- tropic/Double-crested Cormorants at Wakoda- Sa The banner season for all three species of scoters that began in fall continued well into winter. Surf Scoter highlights included the farthest s., 3 of Key Biscayne, Miami-Dade 1 Dec (RoD) and 2 at Sanibel Island 8 Dec (Don & Lillian Stokes); one inland at Joe Overstreet Landing, Osceola 2 Dec (Paul Cooper); and a high of 25 at Salt Run, St. Johns 7-15 Feb (GW, JoH et al.). White-winged Scoters are the rarest of the scoters in Florida, but 48 were counted among six locations along the Gulf coast, with highs of 14 in Santa Rosa 13 Jan–2 Feb and Fort De Soto Park 5 Jan+ (CaC) and one far s. at Lemon Bay, Charlotte 20 Feb (Bill Dunson). Along the Atlantic coast, 56 White-wingeds were reported from seven locations, with a high of 24 at Lanceford Creek, Nassau 17 Feb (PaL); the farthest s. was at Parrish Park, Brevard 25-26 Jan (BHA, MG et al.). In addition, 2 White-wingeds were inland at Lake Seminole, Jackson 19 Jan (Ken Blankenship), 2 at Tram Road S.T.F., Leon 14 Feb (ES, Ed Woodruf ), and one at Alligator Lake Park, Columbia 1 Feb (JKr et al.). However, the season really belonged to Black Scoter, with unprecedented numbers invading the state, including as many as 1000 on the Gulf Coast at Alligator Point, Franklin 1-2 Dec (JMu, AW) and up to 10,000 on the Atlantic at Ormond- by-the-Sea, Volusia 4-25 Dec (MBr)—by far the largest fock of this species ever recorded in Florida! Black Scoters wandered s. to Sanibel Island on the Gulf Coast, where up to 150 win- tered (fde CE), and to Fort Lauderdale Beach, Broward on the Atlantic coast, where 68 were counted 10 Dec (RuT). Inland, single Black Scoters were reported at Spring Hill, Hernando 3-5 Dec (B&AH) and Lake Apopka 15 Jan (HR), with 2 at Welling Park, Polk 18 Jan (CF). This female Common Merganser at Fort Island Beach, Citrus County 3 January 2014 was one of two verifed in Florida in winter 2013-2014. Photograph by Kevin Brabble.

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