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 2 219 I l l I n o I s & I n d I a n a on 9 Dec (fde BF). The bitter cold clearly pushed Sandhill Cranes to the south, as numbers reported were only a fraction of the totals from the previ- ous two winters. SHOREBIRDS THROUGH HUMMINGBIRDS On the West Gibson C.B.C. in Gibson, IN, a Spotted Sandpiper was seen 29 Dec (fde DC), and another was re- ported on the Mermet Lake, IL C.B.C. 30 Dec (fde FKB). An early Lesser Yel- lowlegs was found in Warrick, IN 21 Feb (JHC). The lone Purple Sandpiper of the season was at Portage Lakefront Park, Porter, IN 30-31 Dec (MPS, ph. CSw, ph. MT). A tardy Least Sandpiper was present on the Rend Lake C.B.C., Franklin, IL 14 Dec (ph. DMK). The frst American Woodcocks of the "spring" were one in Johnson, IL 16 Feb (KAM) and 3 at Bluegrass F.W.A., Warrick, IN 18 Feb (JHC). A juv. Black-legged Kittiwake was a nice fnd on a C.B.C. in Marseilles, La- Salle, IL 21-22 Dec (CKM, ph. AAA, m.ob.). A Franklin's Gull in breeding plumage was noted at the Melvin Price Dam in Alton, IL 18 Jan (CMa, ph. JMa). An esti- mated 25,000 Ring-billed Gulls at Carlyle 1 Jan (KAM) illustrated the large winter congre- gations of this species in the s. tier of Illinois. A frst-cycle California Gull was at Rend Lake, Franklin, IL 14 Dec (ph. DMK, KAM), and this same bird appeared at Carlyle 23 Dec (KAM); another frst-cycle bird was at Bloomington, IL 22 Dec (ph. MJW), while an ad. was on the Calumet River in Chicago 17 Feb (SBB). Among 5 inland Lesser Black-backed Gulls in Indiana were 2 at Lake Lemon, Brown 8 Dec (JDH, SEH). An ad. Slaty-backed Gull was discovered at the Lake County Fairgrounds, 13 Dec–19 Jan (HDB), and at Mermet Lake, Massac, IL 30 Dec–1 Jan (FKB). Somewhat ex- pected were 5 Black-crowned Night-Herons 24 Dec (MK) near Roxana Pond, Lake, IN, where they winter annually, but unexpected was an imm. in e. Cass, IN 19 Jan (LN, SD). A hefty total of 105 Bald Eagles was found in Huntington, Wabash, and Miami, IN 23 Feb (JW), and Illinois's high count of 850 at Lock and Dam 13 on the Mississippi River in Whi- teside 7 Dec (DH) was above average. An ad. Northern Goshawk was observed in s. Lake, IL 28 Dec (EG, EL) and 15 Jan (EL), while imm. Northern Goshawks were in Naperville, DuPage, IL 26 Jan (JS) and Libertyville, Lake, IL 26 Jan (JOS). At Brookville Reservoir, Union, IN a Harlan's Hawk was found 1 Jan (WHB). On 22 Jan, Indiana's third (and best documented) Ferruginous Hawk was photographed at Somerville Mine, Gibson (RV). This light-morph ad. lingered through the season and was seen by scores of birders. At least 23 Golden Eagles were reported in Indiana, the maxi- mum count consisting of 3 in Jasper 12 Jan (BJG), while Illinois had seven loca- tions with single birds reported. Single Virginia Rails were reported in Indiana on the Oakland City C.B.C. 28 Dec (fde HDH) and at Minnehaha F.W.A. 1 Jan (LWS, KM, MC) during the Sulli- van County C.B.C.. At Goose Pond, 3-4 Soras were seen at each of three locations (RDH, KKM), 38 at Illinois Beach 22 Feb (NC), and 17 at Montrose 18 Feb (LGM). Unusually, inland Long-tailed Ducks were prevalent and widely scattered, with birds reported in 10 and 12 counties in Illinois and Indiana, respectively, the maximum counts consisting of 12 at an Elkhart, IN pond 27 Feb (RT et al.) and 5 at Charleston W.T.P., Coles, IL 27-28 Feb (TDF). An incredible single party tally of 9463 Common Goldeneyes was made in Rock Island, IL 15 Dec on the Quad Cities C.B.C. (DA); the 1100 in Elkhart 27 Feb (LS) provided Indiana's ffth highest inland count. The highest inland numbers of Common Mergansers in Indiana in more than two de- cades were well illustrated by the 74 at Turtle Creek Reservoir, Sul- livan 2 Feb (SLL) and 56 at Mis- sissinewa Reservoir, Miami 22 Feb (JAH). A hybrid Common Gold- eneye x Hooded Merganser was at Skokie, Cook, IL 17 Dec–29 Jan (ph. MMC). Numbers of Red-throated Loons on Lake Michigan were much reduced relative to the past few years. Larger counts included 6-8 at Illinois Beach 11 Jan (RDH), 8 fying northward at Montrose 3 Feb (SBB), 6 at Waukegan, Lake, IL 8 Feb (AS), and 8 at Dunes 19 Feb (BJG). Only 4 were reported in Indiana away from the lake, including 2 at Turtle Creek Reservoir, Sullivan 21 Feb (SEH, JDH), with 3 there the following day (SLL). Horned Grebes were un- usually well represented during Jan and Feb in Illinois, exemplifed by 12 on Newton Lake, Jasper 13 Feb (RES), 8 at Clinton Lake, DeWitt 25 Jan (BM), 5 at Lake Springfeld, Sangamon, IL 12-13 Jan (HDB) among the many sight- ings. Three Red-necked Grebes were reported in the Region: in St. Joseph, IN 20 Jan (JSp), at Lake Monroe, Monroe, IN 23 Feb (MSE, GL, SRE et al.), and on Clinton Lake, DeWitt, IL 28 Feb (MEF). The Eared Grebe seen in the fall at Montrose continued through 1 Dec (AFS, GAW), another was on Lake Michigan off Chi- cago's Jackson Park 3 Dec (RLS), and a third was at Rend Lake, Franklin, IL 14 Dec (ph. DMK, KAM). A Western Grebe was on Lake Michigan in Glencoe, Cook, IL 25 Dec (JRS). Following last year's winter record numbers of American White Pelicans, only 75 were re- ported for the season in Indiana, which is still more than double the recent average. Late Great Egrets included singles on the Indiana Lake Michigan lakefront at Roxana Pond, Lake 5 Dec (MK), at Lake Springfeld, Sangamon, IL Indiana's frst long-staying Ferruginous Hawk was discovered 22 (here 28) January 2014 on reclaimed strip-mine habitat in southwestern Indiana. It remained through the end of the winter period and was seen by scores of birders in the company of a Prairie Falcon, a Western Red-tailed Hawk, and numerous Northern Harriers, Rough-legged Hawks, and Short-eared Owls. Photograph by Evan Speck. Astonishing was this basic-plumaged Bobolink found near Michigan City Harbor 14 December 2013 by Jefrey J. McCoy, who was participating in the Indiana Dunes Christmas Bird Count. This Bobolink was the frst ever seen in Indiana during the winter period. Photograph by John C. Kendall

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