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 2 215 E a s t E r n H i g H l a n d s & U p p E r O H i O r i v E r va l l E y Black-crowned Night-Herons attempted to winter at traditional sites in Ohio, although roosts diminished 90% with the arrival of polar air. Elsewhere, one on the Ohio River in Jeffer- son, OH 1 Feb (Hallie Mason) was unexpected, while one at Alcoa Marsh, Lancaster, PA 11 Jan (Brent Musser) marked the only mid-winter re- port for Pennsylvania. VULTURES THROUGH FALCONS Northerly Black Vultures of note were singles in Wayne, OH 28 Feb (Donna Kuhn) and in Susquehanna, PA 22 Feb (Drew Weber). Good counts for w. West Virginia included 40 in Har- risville, Ritchie 23 Jan (Cynthia Burkhart) and 39 at Cedar Lakes, Jackson 22 Feb (Gretchen Nareff). An ad. dark-morph Western Red-tailed Hawk hunted along a creek in an agricultural area near Alburtis, Lehigh 8 Jan−12 Feb for its second winter (Barbara Malt, Linda Freedman); this subspecies is rarely adequately document- ed in the state. Soras rarely linger into the winter period, so one in ne. Ohio at Frohring Meadows, Geauga 5 Dec (Wes Hatch, Kelly Kozlowski) was unique for the season. That American Coots have been wintering in ever- greater numbers n. to the Lake Erie shoreline has been evident for a two decades, although a triple digit count like 103 birds off downtown Cleveland 31 Jan (Patricia McKelvey) marks a new mid-winter maximum. That proved a Virginia, a Harlequin Duck was near Parkersburg, Wood 27 Jan (ph. David Patick). Barrow's Golden- eye is quite rare in Pennsylvania, so it was heartening to see reports of up to 3 females from the Dela- ware River this season. In Bucks, a female was at Morrisville 1 Jan; an- other was at Uhlerstown 8-16 Feb (DF). A female was also at Portland, Northampton 16-21 Feb (Rick Wil- traut). Extraordinary numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers lingered into midwinter on Lake Erie, with 15,000 estimated off the mouth of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland 21 Jan (Jen Brumfeld). While the bulk left before the Arctic blast of Feb, thousands were still caught within ever thinning ice leads on Lake Erie, resulting in hundreds perishing across much of the Central Basin (fde Andy Jones). A Hooded Merganser x Common Goldeneye, a rare but regular combination in the Region, was on the Scioto River, Franklin, OH 12- 13 (Alex Champagne, m.ob.) & 24 Feb into spring (m.ob.). This was likely the same bird found the previous winter just 10 km upstream. The usual scattering of Red-throated Loons produced rare fnds in West Virginia in Kanawha 17 Feb (Richard Gregg) and on the Monongahela River at Morgantown, Mononga- lia 2-7 Jan (John Boback, Mike Slaven, Joe Hil- dreth, m.ob.). The species was missed almost entirely from Lake Erie, with but one in Erie, PA 19-23 Dec (JM, James Flynn, m.ob.). Still ex- ceptional in late winter, single Common Loons held out in the Columbus, OH area on the Scioto River 2-23 Feb (Kevin & Amy O'Neil, Steve Landes, m.ob.) and at Hoover Reservoir 12-19 Feb (Margaret Bowman, Ron Sempier, Charles Bombaci, m.ob.). The only other veri- fed report for the Region in Feb was a bird in Monongalia, WV 12 Feb (Joey Heron). The Brown Pelican in residence off the Cleveland lakefront since late Jun was last reported 11 Jan (The Ohio Cardinal), producing the frst winter report for Ohio. A rare-in-winter American Bittern spent the season at John Heinz N.W.R., Philadelphia, PA 2 Dec–8 Feb (FW, m.ob.) to the delight of many. Exceptional in ne. Ohio in winter, one was n. of Maysville, Wayne from mid-Dec through 1 Jan (The Bobolink). Great Egrets lingering into Jan along Lake Erie were limited to 2 at Medusa Marsh, Erie 4 Jan (Dan Gesauldo) and an unexpected single on the Cuyahoga River, Cuyahoga 5-16 Jan (ph. Rich Kassouf, Philip Chaon). Modest numbers of 19 Dec (ph. Frederick Atwood). Pennsylvania Trumpeter Swans were found in Bucks, Chester, Montour, and Warren. Most notable in Bucks, one juv. at Lake Nockamixon 15 Dec (DF) provided a frst county record; 3 imms. were also in Bucks at the Penn-Warner Tract 1-16 Feb (DF, Steve Smith). Eurasian Wigeon put in an average showing in Pennsylvania, with 2 between Chambers Lake and Coatesville Reser- voir, Chester 12-13 Dec (Rick Robinson, Brian Raicich) and one at John Heinz N.W.R., Phila- delphia 1-4 & 27 Dec (FW, Matt Sharp, GLA, Mike Rosengarten). Early spring birds in Ohio were found at Castalia, Erie 26 Feb (Mary War- ren, Paul Sherwood, m.ob.), at Mohawk Dam, Coshocton 23 Feb+ (Leroy E. Yoder, m.ob.), and at Funk Bottoms, Wayne 26 Feb (Dave Brum- feld). A Eurasian Wigeon x American Wigeon hybrid caused excitement near Cincinnati 27- 28 Feb (ph. Allan Claybon, ph. Ethan Rising, m.ob.). The 27 Northern Shovelers on Tygart Lake, Taylor, WV 7 Dec (Joe Hildreth) made an exceptional count for the state. The count of 146 wintering near Lake Erie at Castalia, Erie, OH 30 Jan (Victor Fazio III) is among the high- er mid-season tallies for the state. An apparent Gadwall x Green-winged Teal hybrid was at Buck Creek S.P., Clark, OH 1 Dec–22 Feb (ph. Doug Overacker et al.). A male Eurasian Teal was in Upper Uwchlan Twp., Chester 25 Dec–4 Jan (Scott Stollery, Nikki Flood), perhaps re- turning for a second winter. Part of the Feb exodus of diving ducks from the frozen Great Lakes included unprec- edented numbers of Greater Scaup dispersing across the Region. In the west, most did not fnd open water until they reached the Ohio River. Lake Erie shore sites hosted triple dig- its 2-5 Feb, led by 500 at Avon Lake, Lorain, OH (Robert Jackson). Shortly thereafter, it was the more southerly rivers that saw remarkable concentrations. The Morgantown riverfront (Monongahela River) was lined with focks to- taling up to 100 birds (Ian Batterman, Terry Bronson, Kyle Aldinger, m.ob.). A scattering of birds could be found along the upper Ohio River, but it was the far southwest that became a focal point. Counts here were led by 110 (of 165 total) at Higginsport, Brown, OH 13 Feb (ph. Brian Wulker), 65 on the Cincinnati riv- erfront 15 Feb (ph. Brian Wulker), and 50 at Crooked Run State Nature Preserve, Clermont, OH 15 Feb (ph. Bill Stanley). An especially strong showing by Harlequin Ducks in Ohio involved singles on Lake Erie in Cuyahoga 5-8 Dec (Jen Brumfeld, ph. Kent Miller, Kurt Grenig, m.ob.), Ashtabula 11 Dec (Craig Holt), and Lake 25 Dec (John Pogacnik). Still notable though expected there in winter, a female Har- lequin was at Presque Isle S.P., Erie 4-20 Dec (Sam Stull, JM). An exceptional fnd for West This female Barrow's Goldeneye on the Delaware River near Portland, Pennsylvania 16-17 (here 16) February 2014 provided a second record for Northampton County. Photograph by Rick Wiltraut. As ice cover expanded in the Great Lakes, numbers of White-winged Scoters increased in ice-free portions of the lakes as well as other nearby bodies of ice-free water. Some 150 were counted from 20-22 January (here 1 February) 2014 in Erie County, Pennsylvania, a very high count for this well-watched county. Photograph by Jerry McWilliams.

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