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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V O L U M E 6 8 ( 2 0 1 5 ) • N U M B E R 4 549 Northern California Grebe chick riding on an ad.'s back 16 Jul (AV) and a pair of nest-building Clark's Grebes 7 Jun (SCR) provided frst breeding records for both species at that location. Single Laysan Albatrosses were at F.I. 12 Jul (Point Blue) and off Half Moon Bay, San Ma- teo 26 Jul (DLSh et al.). A Murphy's Petrel and an early Buller's Shearwater were seen from a cruise ship 65 km sw. of Shelter Cove, Hum- boldt 2 Jun (PEL, Bruce Rideout). Among our scarcer shearwaters, 2 Flesh-footed Shearwa- ters were off Half Moon Bay, San Mateo 20 Jul (DLSh et al.), and 2 Manx Shearwaters were seen from Point Pinos, Monterey 19 Jul (DR, RC), with one there 31 Jul (BTM). Black-vent- ed Shearwaters appeared several weeks earlier than usual, even compared to years with large infuxes; the frst arrivals were noted at Point Pinos, Monterey 19 Jul (DR, RC) and at Pigeon Point, San Mateo the next day (RSTh), and large numbers were present along the Monterey coastline by the end of the period (DR). Inside S.F. Bay, Ashy Storm-Petrels are most frequently recorded off H.R.S., where this summer's bird was found 16 Jul (RJR). Apparently different Brown Boobies were on F.I. 5 Jun–1 Jul and 28-29 Jul (Point Blue), and a subad. was fying n. off Moss Beach, San Ma- teo 23 Jul (RSTh). Even more noteworthy was the frst Brown Booby for the bayside of S.F. and San Mateo, an ad. female observed from Oyster Point in South San Francisco 5 Jul (RSTh). The continuing Northern Gannet was frequently observed at F.I. through the period (Point Blue) and Alcatraz Island, S.F. through 16 Jul (m.ob.); interestingly, it was not seen at either location 16 Jun–5 Jul, suggesting that it had at least one other residence. The American White Pelican present near Crescent City, Del Norte since Nov 2013 continued through the period (LuB, Casey Ryan). A huge infux of Brown Pelicans to coastal areas from late Jun through Jul in- cluded very few juvs. (e.g., only 3 juvs. among 1000 birds at Pigeon Point, San Mateo 12 Jul [RSTh]), suggesting poor breeding success in Mexico. In contrast, only 3-4 Brown Pelicans were present at F.I., the lowest number in more than a decade (Point Blue). be forwarded to the C.B.R.C secretary Tom Benson, secretary@californiabirds.org. WATERFOWL THROUGH QUAIL The Canada Goose family on F.I. was last seen 17 Jul (Point Blue). Among a smatter- ing of summer Blue-winged Teal, 2 males at the Adobe Creek Outlet at Clear Lake 13 Jun (FHa) provided Lake's second summer record. Summering male Harlequin Ducks remained throughout the period at Coyote Point and Pes- cadero S.B. (both San Mateo; m.ob.). A count of 154 White-winged Scoters off Clam Beach, Humboldt 24 Jul (Chris Welsh) was particularly impressive for summer; the bird found at Alviso 15 Feb was still present through 27 Jul (MMR, MJM, RGJ, Jason St. Pierre), providing the frst summer record for Santa Clara. An unseason- able Black Scoter was in Crescent City Harbor, Del Norte 29 Jul (RbF, LKh, Cedric Duhalde). Buffehead bred again at Loch Leven Lake, with a female and 4 young found 20 Jun (WGB), following last year's frst Placer breeding con- frmation at the same location. A Red-breasted Merganser at the Modesto W.T.P. 12 Jul (v.r. SSa) provided the sixth record for Stanislaus and the frst in summer. Another unexpected inland record, particularly for summer season, was of 2 birds at Bridgeport Reservoir, Mono 10 Jun (RSTh, LBt). California Quail are on the verge of extirpa- tion in S.F. Only 2 males were reported from Golden Gate Park throughout the season. The last chicks were seen in the summer of 2012, and the last female was seen the following win- ter (fde DMo). GREBES THROUGH PELICANS Horned Grebe is scarce in summer, so at least 6, and possibly as many as 10, around Humboldt Bay, Humboldt as late as 11 Jul (Steve Hofhine, Brad Elvert, Alexandra Lamb, RbF) were excep- tional. Santa Cruz's frst summer record was of a bird in Watsonville Slough 21 Jul (ph. AMR). Similarly, an Eared Grebe on South Lake Mer- ced throughout the period (m.ob.) represented the frst record of this species summering in S.F. At Calero Reservoir, Santa Clara, a Western Michael M. Rogers Jef N. Davis Ed Pandolfno Stephen C. Rottenborn –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– A t Southeast Farallon Island, mean sea surface temperature was near average during June but increased to 1.13° C above the long-term mean in July. This change in temperature during the chick-rearing period triggered a decline in marine food availability, which caused the nests of several seabird spe- cies to fail. Brandt's and Pelagic Cormorants and Western Gulls were largely unaffected, however, and like last year fnished the sea- son with a high nest success. Post-breeding Black-vented Shearwaters, Heermann's Gulls, Elegant Terns, and Brown Pelicans arrived in high numbers and earlier than normal along the immediate coast, and the low numbers of juveniles among the Heermann's Gulls and Brown Pelicans suggested poor breeding success to the south of us. This early infux, coupled with the appearance of Craveri's Mur- relets, above-average numbers of Black Skim- mers, and another Royal Tern (following one in spring) suggests a large-scale movement of southern seabirds north into the Region. Highlights included the state's frst Salvin's Albatross, the continuing Northern Gannet and Common Black-Hawk, and the Region's second Gull-billed Tern, seventh Red-necked Stint, and eighth Glossy Ibis. Abbreviations: C.B.R.C. (California B.R.C.); C.V. (Central Valley); C.R.P. (Cosumnes River Preserve, Sacramento); F.I. (Southeast Farallon Island, San Francisco); H.R.S. (Hayward R.S., Alameda); Point Blue (Point Blue Conservation Science); S.F. (San Francisco, not State For- est); Reports of exceptional vagrants submit- ted without documentation are not published. Documentation of C.B.R.C. review species will SA A juv. Salvin's Albatross was found 39 km sw. of Pillar Point, San Mateo 26 Jul (ph. AJ, m.ob.). Formerly considered a subspecies of Shy Albatross, Salvin's Albatross was elevated to full-species status by the American Ornithologists' Union in 2014, along with White-capped and Chatham Albatrosses. In the San Mateo bird, the darkness of the majority of the bill (not contrasting strongly with the black tip) and dark bases of the undersides of the primaries eliminate White-capped, and the lack of yellow or orange tones in the bill and comparatively paler crown and neck ruled out Chatham. This bird provided the frst record for California and the second for North America, the frst being of a very similar-plumaged bird (but older, being in wing molt) near the Aleutian Islands 4 Aug 2003. A sight record of Salvin's Albatross from Point Piedras Blancas 28 May 1996 was not accepted by the C.B.R.C.

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