North American Birds

VOLUME 68 NO4 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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Page 100 of 123

V O L U M E 6 8 ( 2 0 1 5 ) • N U M B E R 4 547 O r e g O n & wa s h i n g tO n frst. For several weeks starting in May, at least one Gray Catbird was seen almost daily along the nature trail at the Hatfeld Marine Science Center in Newport (C. Philo, m.ob.). Eventually a photograph taken 18 Jun revealed that at least 2 were present, including a juv., which marked the frst documented nesting record for w. Oregon. Two ads. and at least one juv. continued well into Jul. Another catbird at Ashland, Jackson 26 Jun (F. English) and 1-2 birds near Sisters 11 Jun (S. Shunk) were away from sites where they are known to breed. A Brown Thrasher at La Grande 9 Jun (J. Cowling et al.) adds to about 50 records for Oregon, while another at Long Beach, Pacifc 9 Jul was Washington's sev- enteenth (ph. S. Whittey); Washington records are evenly distributed between westside and eastside with most May–Jun. Eight Northern Mockingbirds (2 westside and 6 eastside) were detected during the season. For the fourth con- secutive summer, a Sage Thrasher was found in w. Washington with one at Marblemount, Skagit 7 Jun (RM); this species is not quite annual in w. Washington. Aside from a few montane breeding outposts, American Pipits are absent from the Region Jun–Jul, so one at the mouth of New River, Coos 6 Jul was most surprising (K. Castelein, D. Lauten). Oregon's seventh Phainopepla was along a remote section of the Klamath River Canyon sw. of Keno, Klamath 13 Jun (ph. K. Spencer). Single Ovenbirds were at San Juan Island, San Juan 1 Jun (†M. Bartels, †MH) and near Rawson, Clark 4 Jul (†M. Bartels); Washington now has about 28 records, with most May– Jun. Oregon also hosted an Ovenbird, with one at Willamina, Yamhill 5 Jun (F. Schrock). A rare visit to Long Walk Island, Morrow 2 Jun yielded a stray Northern Waterthrush (WDR). A Black-and-white Warbler graced Millet Pond, Walla Walla 7 Jun (ph. C. Lindsey), providing the third record of a northbound bird since early May of this year; Washington averages about one per year, with most records occur- ring May–Jun. A goodly 10 American Redstarts were at their isolated, well-established colony 6 noted 1 Jun–12 Jul. Leasts are consider- ably rare in w. Oregon, so singles at F.R.R. 22 Jun (JS) and Veneta, Lane 13 Jul (M. Marshall) were noteworthy. A pair of Black Phoebes was again using their 2012 breeding site at Lacey, Thurston through the period (m.ob.), but no phoebes were detected around previously used nesting sites at Ridgefeld (RH). A pair of Black Phoebes through the season at Julia Butler N.W.R., Wahkiakum was tending a nest with four eggs 10 Jul (J. Heale, fde RH), then an ad. and a juv. were noted at the nest 18 Jul (AE). This adds to just two previously known nesting lo- cales in Washington. Additionally, singles were detected at Seattle 6 Jul (C. Sidles, J. Fiero) and near Enumclaw, King 30 Jul (D. Swayne). Black Phoebe is now almost annual in Harney, where considered very rare prior to 2000. This season's bird was at Page Spring C.G. 3 Jun (J. Thomas). Eight Eastern Kingbirds at Marblemount, Skagit 2 Jun (RM) provided a high summer high count for w. Washington; this species is a rare migrant and very local nester on the westside. Aside from a few breeding pairs at the mouth of the Sandy River, Multnomah, Eastern Kingbirds are rare anywhere else on Oregon's westside, so 5 birds in any season is remarkable. Singles were at Corvallis 7 Jun (H. Herlyn), Eugene 11 Jun (S. Crable), and Gearhart, Clatsop 25 Jun (N. Maine). Even more intriguing was a pair near Marmot, Multnomah 14 Jun (M. Medina). A late westside Loggerhead Shrike was at the mouth of Tahkenitch Creek, Douglas 1 Jun (DF); westside strays are normally found Mar–Apr. A Red-eyed Vireo on the outer coast at Lincoln City 15 Jun (D. Faxon, M, Elliot) was likely a late migrant; although somewhat regular as a migrant and locally uncommon as a breeder in the W.V., Red-eyeds are rarely detected on the coast. A Rock Wren continued from spring near Olympia through 11 Jul (m.ob.); in Washington, this species is exceptionally rare w. of the Cascades in summer. A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at Hereford, Baker 21 Jun (T. Hallman) was far n. and e. of known breeding locations in se. and cen. Oregon and may well have been a county tected annually. A tally of 168 Forster's Terns at Tern Island, Benton 2 Jun (W. Robinson) was the second highest for Washington. An Elegant Tern at the Columbia River mouth 19 Jul (MP) and 4 more there 28 Jul (MP) were several weeks early; even in major invasion years, this species rarely reaches the Region before mid-Aug. A South Polar Skua 150 km off Curry 7 Jul (PEL) was nearly two months early for the Region's waters, where this species is rarely found before Sep. A Parasitic Jaeger was off of Edmonds, Snohomish 16 Jul (CW); jaegers of any species are rare in the P.T. prior to Aug. A Thick-billed Murre at Hobuck Beach, Clallam 20 Jun (ph. H. Voboril) was the frst summer record for the Region; most records oc- cur early Dec–mid-Feb. Two Pigeon Guillemots on Lake Washington, King 27 Jun (S. Ramos) furnished just the second Washington record away from salt water. Two Scripps's Murrelets off Westport 12 Jul (B. Shelmerdine, ph. RM) were the only ones reported this season. An ad. Ancient Murrelet and 2 chicks near San Juan Island, San Juan 21 Jun (ph. M. O'Shaughnessy) were quite surprising; this species is not annual during summer in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and there has been little recent evidence of this spe- cies nesting in Washington. A Northern Hawk Owl at Baldy Pass, Okanogan 21 Jun (ph. R. Atkins) continues the recent trend of backcountry sightings during breeding season; this species was frst confrmed breeding in the Region in Jun 2007, and sev- eral additional successful nestings have been documented in the Washington Cascades dur- ing recent summers. A Black Swift seen regu- larly around Tumalo Falls, Deschutes 24 Jun+ (D. Tracy) adds to a number of summer season reports from this site in recent years, further fueling speculation about possible breeding. The Black Swift that visited Ephrata, Grant 22 Jul (MY) was even less expected, as this spe- cies is quite rare e. of the Columbia River in Washington. A Black-chinned Hummingbird at Tacoma 20 Jun (M. Charest) was a rare visitor to the westside lowlands. Red-naped Sapsucker was near Olympia 5 Jun (ph. A. Martin) was a rare breeding season stray w. of the Cascades. PASSERINES A returning Eastern Wood-Pewee inhabited Lind Coulee, Grant 30 Jul+ (MY); Washington's only record occurred at this location in late Aug 2013. Washington's fourth Alder Flycatcher was near Colville, Pend Oreille 7-20 Jun (M. Moskwik, vt. JI); in recent years, this species has been reported almost annually in Washington, but few have been documented with voice re- cordings. Least Flycatchers, which are now noted an- nually in w. Washington, showed well, with sa Arguably the most bizarre discovery of the season involved no fewer than 5 territo- rial Least Flycatchers in a private poplar farm near Boardman, Morrow (JD, A. Nightin- gale, WDR). Danzenbaker and Nightingale found the frst bird on 31 May while conducting a rather casual survey in a tiny section of the 25,000-acre tree farm, which is densely planted with fast-growing hybrid poplars. These poplars grow to nearly 20 m in height in about 8-10 years and are typically harvested by 12 years of age. The poplars are closely spaced only about 3-4 meters apart, hence the foliage forms a closed canopy that shades out virtually all undergrowth. Robinson returned on 2 Jun and found 4 additional singing Leasts along a half-mile transect of this monotypic habitat. It's hard to imagine how many territorial pairs of Least Flycatchers may be using this farm and we may never know. One-time permission to access to the property was granted to teams doing surveys for the Oregon 2020 Project ( This is not a property that can be visited by birders.

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