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 218 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 ten Gardner, Vernon Gauthier, Greg Grove, Sue Hannon, Paul Hess, Tom Johnson, Steve Kapski, Geoff Malosh, Andrew Markel, John McNamara, Jerry McWilliams, Paul Michaly, August Mirabella, Ken Rieker, Mike Rosengar- ten, Bob Schutsky, Matt Sharp, Steve Smith, Su- san Smith, Jack Solomon, Sue Solomon, Scott Stollery, Sam Stull, John Tramontano, Aden Troyer, Renee Van Wyck, Rick Wiltraut, Frank Windfelder, Matt Wlasniewski, Marsha Zwier- lein. We wish to thank Geoff Malosh and Greg Grove for their assistance in summarizing the records of this season. n –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Victor W. Fazio, III, 18722 newell road, shaker Heights, Ohio 44122, (bcvireo@sbcglobal.net) Tom Johnson, 24 Meadowood drive, Hummelstown, pennsylvania 17036, (tbj4@cornell.edu) cluded: up to 4 in Wayne on 22 Dec (Levi & Melvin Troyer), 3 Feb (Kent Miller), and 15 Feb (2; James F. Yoder); 2 in Holmes 19 Feb (Eli M. Miller); and one in Stark 11 Dec–21 Feb (Laura Dornan, m.ob.). After a few bountiful winter fnch fights in recent years, all was quiet on that front this season. Evening Grosbeaks and crossbills were largely absent, and there was only a scattering of reports of Pine Siskins. There were only two re- ports of Common Redpolls this season: 2 were at Presque Isle S.P., Erie, PA 7 Jan (Susan Smith), and 5 were on the Johnstown C.B.C. 15 Dec. Observers: Mary Ache, George L. Armistead, Robert & Marion Carmack, Barb Chapman, Martin Dellwo, Devich Farbotnik, Todd Fel- lenbaum, Nikki Flood, Kevin Fryberger, Kris- ing, OH feeder 2 Dec–23 Jan (ph. Leslie War- ren). A Scarlet Tanager at a feeder in New Hope, Bucks, PA was present late Dec–16 Jan (Renee Van Wyck). This marks the third win- ter record for Pennsylvania after Dec records from 1955 and 2004, and a remarkable record anywhere in the United States in winter. Two Indigo Buntings were photographed this sea- son, at Penn Hills, Allegheny, PA 21 Dec (Barb Chapman) and at Sayre, Bradford, PA 24 Feb (Marsha Zwierlein). Decidedly rare in winter for the Region, a Bobolink was well seen on the Cleveland lakefront 3 Dec (Kent Miller, m.ob.), not far from the Le Conte's Sparrow. A hand- some male Bullock's Oriole returned 5 Dec to Gilbertsville, Montgomery, PA for its fourth win- ter and stayed through the season (Mary Ache). Yellow-headed Blackbird reports in Ohio in- were tallied at Patoka River N.W.R., Gibson and Pike (HDH), providing Indiana's highest ever total. A fne assemblage of 570 Canvasbacks was on Hovey Lake, Posey, IN 18 Feb (RMM). Among 7 Harlequin Ducks seen in Illinois were 2 at Waukegan, Lake 15 Dec (AS), 2 on Lake Michigan at Chicago's Loyola Park 29 Dec (ph. SGS), and an imm. male on the Fox River in Elgin, Kane, IL 11 Jan–9 Feb (Kane County Audubon, ph. ASn, m.ob.). Single Surf Scoters at Eagle Creek Park, Indianapolis 8 Dec (AR) and at Lake Monroe, Monroe 23 Feb (MSE, GL, SRE et al.) provided the only inland records for Indiana; the peak count was 5 at Illinois Beach 15 Feb (SZ). The Region, however, was awash with White-winged Scoters as a record total of 676 was reported in 16 different counties in In- diana and 1786 in 20 counties in Illinois. The largest counts included 150 at the e. end of the Calumet-Saganashkee Channel, Cook, IL 19 Feb (LJK, GN, JRRS), 131 in Lake, IN 25 Jan (KJB, JKC, MK), and 110 at Montrose 8 Feb (SBB). The highest inland totals included the 150 at the Cal-Sag Channel noted above, 62 at Lockport, Will, IL 20 Feb (PAM), and 43 on the Ohio River in Clark, IN 8 Feb (DS, D&SC). Five Black Scoters were seen on Lake Michi- gan off Chicago's Lincoln Park 22 Feb (DKA, JIE, FRM), while 5 inland birds were noted at Yellowwood Lake, Brown, IN 8 Dec (JB). Illi- nois's only Black Scoters well away from Lake Michigan were singles at Lake Springfeld, San- gamon 9 Dec (HDB) and an imm. male 4 Jan+ (HDB, m.ob.). Long-tailed Ducks were pres- ent in good numbers on Lake Michigan this winter, with Illinois's peak tallies 60 at North Point Marina, Winthrop Harbor, Lake 11 Jan others. The season's biggest story, however, was the unprecedented invasion of Snowy Owls. Other signifcant sightings included Ferrugi- nous Hawk, Slaty-backed Gull, and the frst Re- gional winter record of Louisiana Waterthrush and frst Indiana winter record of Bobolink. Abbreviations: Carlyle (Carlyle Lake, Bond, Clinton, and Fayette, IL); Dunes (Dunes S.P., Porter, IN); F.P. (Forest Preserve); F.W.A. (Fish and Wildlife Area); Goose Pond (Goose Pond F.W.A., Greene, IN); Illinois Beach (Illinois Beach S.P., Lake, IL); Miller (Miller Beach, Lake, IN); Montrose (Montrose Point in Chicago's Lincoln Park). WATERFOWL THROUGH CRANES Healthy numbers of geese were present in the s. tier, as evidenced by the 7095 Greater White- fronted seen at Horseshoe Lake C.A., Alexander, IL 28 Dec (SDB, PAM) and the 5780 counted on an aerial waterfowl survey in sw. Indiana 15 Feb (HDH). At Lake Gibson, Gibson 30 Jan, a similar aerial survey recorded an Indiana record 357,610 Snow Geese (JSC, AP). Two focks of Trumpeter Swans totaling 414 near Atlas, Pike, IL 26 Dec (SS) and 392 tallied on an excursion through Universal Mine, Vigo and Vermillion, IN and adjacent Edgar, IL 29 Dec (SLL) provided evidence of the continuing growth in numbers of this species. An apparent Gadwall x Mallard was noted at Kenneth L. Schroeder Wildlife Sanctuary, McLean, IL 26 Dec (ph. BM). Late Blue-winged Teal included 2 males in Perry, IL 27 Dec (DA) and a single bird found on the Western Gibson C.B.C. in Gibson, IN 29 Dec (fde DC). On 21 Feb, 32,700 Northern Pintails James D. Hengeveld Keith A. McMullen Geofrey A. Williamson –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– T he Region experienced an "old-fash- ioned" winter with more snow (3.6 cm more than the average) and colder tem- peratures (3° C colder than average) through- out. It was the third snowiest winter in Chica- go. The Polar Vortex pushed into the Region in the beginning of January, bringing heavy snow and frigid temperatures, and this pattern was repeated several times throughout the period. Ice cover on Lake Michigan reached 50% on 3 February and remained at least that much through season's end, exceeding 82% on 12- 13 February and exceeding 85% on 28 Febru- ary, providing just a fraction of the normally available waterbird habitat and contributing to large numbers of inland White-winged Scoters, Long-tailed Ducks, Common Mergansers, and Illinois & Indiana

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