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 2 245 Texas visited Lake Casa Blanca, Webb 9 Feb+ (CSe, m.ob.). Inland Lesser Black-backed Gulls were also found at the ne. Austin landfll, Travis 7 Dec–22 Feb (EC, ph. SFa), Pleasure Acres Lake, Smith 8 Dec (county frst; †PB, ph. MBl), Lake Livingston, Polk/San Jacinto 29 Dec–23 Feb (ph. DW, RT, †JoB), and Twin Buttes Reservoir, Tom Green 8 Feb (RiD). A striking Slaty-backed Gull discovered during the Laredo Birding Festival at Lake Casa Blanca, Webb 6 Feb+ (ph. SFo) was a seasonal highlight for many bird- ers statewide (ph., m.ob.). Single Glaucous Gulls were at Lake Tawakoni, Van Zandt 12 Dec (RRa), Lake Arrowhead, Clay 17 Dec (RRa), and Lake Gordon, Wichita 4 Jan (RF, BSu). A Great Black-backed Gull was a rare fnd on e. Galveston Island, Galveston 6-26 Jan (ph. JF, DMc). Two Black Terns were late migrants near South Padre Island, Cameron 5 Dec (ph. BiS). A Common Tern was noteworthy at Port Aransas, Nueces 21 Dec (ph. CMc). A Black Skimmer at Lake Conroe, Montgomery 2 Feb (†JH) made a county frst. Slightly out of range and likely a frst Mid- land record, a Western Screech-Owl visited a nest box at the I-20 Preserve 16 Feb (BLu, ph. MS). An obliging Long-eared Owl was faithful to a roosting area at Mitchell Lake 10-28 Dec (HR, ph. m.ob.). A Short-eared Owl was note- worthy near Balmorhea, Reeves 11 Dec (ShC, MR). A Blue-throated Hummingbird at Study Butte, Brewster 17 Dec–21 Jan (ph., KB, COJ et al.) provided a frst winter record for the Trans- Pecos and only the third winter record for the state. A Lucifer Hummingbird banded at Study Butte, Brewster 9 Dec and 10 Jan (ph., KB) pro- vided a frst winter record for the United States. The Costa's Hummingbird in the Christmas Mountains, Brewster from the fall remained un- til 4 Dec (COJ). Numerous Allen's Humming- side, Brazoria 15 Dec (DSh, JT) were perhaps very late de- parting migrants, while 4 on Galveston Island, Galveston 17 Feb (JKe, KK) were probably wintering. Well out-of-range American Woodcocks includ- ed one at Mission, Hidalgo 21 Dec (DJ, MG) and another at Panther Junction in Big Bend N.P., Brewster 24-26 Dec (ph. AD, RD). A Wilson's Phalarope at Anahuac N.W.R., Chambers 21 Jan (ph. RDe) was notable for the late winter date. A Red-necked Phalarope was an excellent fnd at San Bernard N.W.R., Brazoria 26 Nov–4 Dec (ph. SHo et al.) and provided a frst winter record for the U.T.C. JAEGERS THROUGH FALCONS A Parasitic Jaeger was reported from South Padre Island, Cameron 29 Dec (SP, JeP). Black- legged Kittiwakes made a good showing state- wide, with one in El Paso 3 Dec (ph. CGo), another at Balmorhea Lake, Reeves 7 Dec (ph., †GF, DSh), and others from the coast at Port Aransas, Nueces 29 Dec–26 Feb (ph. TDa, JM, TA) and South Padre Island, Cameron 31 Jan–13 Feb (ph. DJ, ph. ScC). Perhaps the most unexpected kittiwake was a county frst at Lake Palestine, Smith 9 Feb (ph. GC, ph. DGh). Little Gulls were reported from the jetties at Quin- tana, Brazoria 15 Dec (CBo, DDo, DSa) and South Padre/Boca Chica, Cameron 17 Jan (ph. DJ), as well as from Possum Kingdom Lake, Palo Pinto 5-7 Jan (BrF). Unexpected were 1-2 Franklin's Gulls at Lake Wright Patman, Cass 3-19 Jan (CMi, MD). An ad. Mew Gull was at McNary Reservoir, Hudspeth 4 Dec (ph. BZ). Noteworthy California Gulls were reported from Lake Ray Hubbard, Dal- las 9 Dec (RRa), the ne. Austin landfll, Travis 7-9 Dec (ph. EC, KA), Lake Benbrook, Tar- rant 25 Jan (GC), and Lake Grapevine, Denton 5 Feb (RRa). An ad. California Gull was detected at the Browns- ville Dump, Cameron 8 Feb (ph. MR, ShC, WS). A Thayer's Gull was at White Rock Lake, Dallas 15 Dec (RRa); 2 were at Lake Tawakoni, Hunt/Rains/ Van Zandt 11 Jan–28 Feb (RRa, RKi). At least 25 Lesser Black- backed Gulls were tallied at the Brownsville Dump, Cameron 8 Feb (WS, ShC, MR); another Nacogdoches 15 Dec (DW), and 3 at Sanders Creek Ranch, Lamar 21 Dec (EJ). A lingering Whooping Crane attracted lots of attention near Calvert, Robertson until it departed 29 Dec (m.ob.). Whooping Cranes have wintered at Granger Lake, Williamson during the past two winters, but this season the only report was of up to 4 there 18-26 Feb (ph. CSe, m.ob.). Avail- able water allowed Black-necked Stilts to win- ter in good numbers at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, El Paso, with a high count of 33 on 10 Jan (JSp); more unexpected were singles at Fort Hancock Reservoir, Hudspeth 15 Dec (ph. JPa) and Richland Creek W.M.A., Navarro 29 Dec (DDC, DeL, RL).Two American Avocets lingered at Balmorhea Lake, Reeves until 8 Dec (KB, ML), and up to 15 could be found at Richland Creek W.M.A., Navarro/Freestone 26 Jan–22 Feb (PB et al.). An estimate of 6000 avocets at Bolivar Flats, Galveston 4 Dec (WB) represents a strong winter tally. A Black-bellied Plover at Lake Tawakoni, Rains 20 Jan (RKi) was unseason- able. Two American Golden-Plovers at the King Ranch, Kleberg 12 Dec (TL) were late to depart for the wintering grounds; 2 at Lake Somerville, Washington 28 Feb (†LSa) were quite early for an inland location. A very high tally of 287 Mountain Plovers was made near Pearsall, Frio 25 Dec (ShC, MR); a count of 105 came from the King Ranch, Kleberg 12 Dec (TL). A fock of 59 Long-billed Curlews near Denver City, Yoakum 15 Feb (CaC, StC) was exceptional for the n. portion of their winter- ing range. Up to 32 Stilt Sandpipers near La Porte, Harris 14 Dec (John O'Brien) may have been lingering migrants. Two Dunlins near Oe- naville, Bell 17 Jan (RPi) were noteworthy. One of the most astounding fnds of the season, 4 Buff-breasted Sandpipers were discovered on a sod farm in Matagorda 3-12 Jan (BoF, ph. RWe et al.), providing a frst winter record for the state and one of few for the United States. A group of 14 Pectoral Sandpipers near Surf- The Laredo Birding Festival was spiced up by the discovery of this adult Slaty-backed Gull at Lake Casa Blanca State Park, Webb County, on 6 February 2014. It remained through the end of the period (here 24 February). Photograph by Lee Hoy. This Western Screech-Owl at Midland, Midland County 16 February 2013 provided a frst local record as well as one of very few records outside of the known range of the species in Texas. Photograph by Mary Stortz.

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