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.

Issue link: http://nab.aba.org/i/605532

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 554 milion Flycatchers continue to be spread widely though thinly as breeders in the Region; a con- tinuing pair with chick was at P.M.N.A.S. 25 Jul (FF), and the species nested at Ramona, San Di- ego, with a male and 2 juvs. there 3 Jun (JMcM). Only 2 Brown-crested Flycatchers were at the n. end of their range at S.F.K.R.P. 4 Jun–2 Jul (RAB). An early fall vagrant Eastern Kingbird was at Colorado Lagoon in Long Beach, Los Angeles 6-7 Jul (MSc). An ad. Cassin's Kingbird was feeding a nestling at Deep Springs 15 Jun (SLS); this species breeds only casually in Inyo. A female Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was at Santa Paula, Ventura 17 Jun–22 Aug (GT); mated with a Western Kingbird, it was frst seen on a nest 23 Jun, and at least one young was noted begin- ning 16 Jul. Other Scissor-taileds were at Can- ada Larga, Ventura 5 Jun (TG, IC), P.M.N.A.S. 24 Jun – mid-Jul (MR), Jacumba, San Diego 20 Jun (EGK), and Desert Center, Riverside 10 Jul (CMcG). A Plumbeous Vireo at Santa Rosa Spring in the Santa Rosa Mountains, Riverside 7 Jun (JD, PU) was outside the species' known breeding range. A Warbling Vireo at California City, Kern 13 Jul (TEW) was apparently a very early migrant. Red-eyed Vireos appeared in Los Angeles at Playa Vista 26 Jun (DS), Pasadena 20 Jul (DD), and The Village Green in the Los An- geles Basin 23 Jul–23 Aug (DS); another was at Point Loma, San Diego 4 Jul (KA). After frst appearing last Feb, 3 Clark's Nut- crackers continued through at least 29 Jun in the Laguna Mountains, San Diego (DK). A mag- pie with a black bill on Santa Rosa Island 15-20 Jun (PK) was undoubtedly an escapee, but from where; from vocalizations, it was thought to be Black-billed rather than Eurasian. A Mountain Chickadee at Huntington Beach 12 Jun (BH) was at an unexpected locality in Orange, well away from foothill and s. county areas where this species has bred in the past. A Verdin at Hansen Dam, Los Angeles 23 Jul (KLG) was out of range on the coastal slope, at least 35 km from nearest breeding sites. An early aculeata White-breasted Nuthatch was at G.H.P. 13-27 Jul (TEW). A House Wren at Brawley 27 Jul (HBK) was the earliest ever fall migrant in the Salton Sink. An early migrant Marsh Wren was at G.H.P. 13 Jul (TEW); another at Playa del Rey, Los Ange- les 20 Jul (DS) was within the breeding range of the restricted coastal subspecies clarkae but thought perhaps to be an early fall migrant of another subspecies. White-eyes, provisionally identifed as Japanese White-eyes, have been increasing in numbers in Orange, as illustrated by a count of 10 at Costa Mesa 24 Jul (TFH). A very late spring migrant Swainson's Thrush was at Inyokern, Kern 19 Jun (RAB). A Hermit Thrush on Big Pine Mountain, Santa Barbara 14 Jun (PAGa) was in an area with few sum- away from the breeding areas at S.F.K.R.P. and on the Colorado River near Blythe. Up to 4 White-winged Doves at Ridgecrest, Kern after 1 Apr attempted to nest but failed (RAB); one at Bakersfeld, Kern 25 Jun (JCW) provides one of a very few records for the San Joaquin Valley; and singles at West Los Angeles 20-25 Jul (JE) and at Los Osos, San Luis Obispo 13 Jul (GPS) were the only birds reported along the coast. An Inca Dove at Borrego Springs, San Diego since 15 Dec 2013 fedged 2 young from a nest 14 Jul (RT, THu), but the identity of the other parent remains a mystery. In the high San Gabriel Mountains, Los Ange- les, Flammulated Owls appeared more numer- ous than in past years, as suggested by 11 heard vocalizing during the night of 8-9 May (LAMB). A pair of Elf Owls at a remote desert oases in Riverside fedged 2 young in Jun (EAE), this be- lieved to be the only pair known in California. A Northern Saw-whet Owl photographed in the low desert at Thousand Palms, Riverside 15 Jun (GS) was certainly unexpected. Common Night- hawks appeared more widespread in the higher parts of the San Bernardino Mountains than in recent years; this is the only area away from Inyo in Southern California where the species nests; one over Frazier Mountain, 20 Jun (DPe) provides one of few records in Ventura. A Mexi- can Whip-poor-will was still present at Green Canyon in the San Bernardino Mountains 27 Jul (TAB). The number of Black Swifts at Mon- keyface Falls in the San Bernardino Mountains peaked at 12 on 19 Jun (AH). HUMMINGBIRDS THROUGH WAXWINGS A Blue-throated Hummingbird, the Region's frst, visited a feeder on Palomar Mountain, San Diego long enough to be photographed 13 Jul (JB). Single Allen's Hummingbirds, rarely identifed anywhere away from the coastal low- lands, were near El Centro, Imperial 11-16 Jul (KZK) and at Niland, Imperial 18 Jul (GMcC); in the extreme e. part of the coastal lowlands, this species nested at Loma Linda for the third year, this being the only area where this spe- cies breeds in San Bernardino. Gilded Flickers continue at Cima Dome in the Mojave National Preserve in e. San Bernardino, with a pair at a nest cavity 30 Mar (JoG), 2 together at a differ- ent location 24 May (AEK), along with single birds there 9 (CAM) & 21 Jun (MP), this being the only place in California where this species now occurs. A very early fall migrant Western Wood-Pe- wee was at G.H.P. 27 Jul (TEW), and a Pacif- ic-slope Flycatcher at Brawley, Imperial 26 Jul (TAB) was also quite early. Presumably headed in the opposite direction, a Willow Flycatcher on the Carrizo Plain 16 Jun (PAGa) was the lat- est ever found in spring in San Luis Obispo. Ver- ally early date for this alcid in California waters, followed by 6 off San Diego in Jul (GN, DPo), 9 off Orange after 28 Jun (DD, TAB), 2 off Los Angeles 28 Jul (DD), 3 off Ventura 13 Jul (DPe), and one off Santa Barbara 19 Jul (SL). Four Laughing Gulls were along the coast of San Diego (AS, PAGi, SW) and Orange (BD) in Jul, along with one at Long Beach all summer (AKL); inland, the frst of the post-breeding birds from w. Mexico arrived at the Salton Sink in mid-Jun (CMcG, GMcC), with numbers in- creasing to over 300 by the end of the month. The virtual absence of hatch-year Heermann's Gulls along the coast indicates a near-complete rangewide breeding failure; inland, and away from the Salton Sea, up to 5 ads. were near See- ley (Fig Lagoon) 1-13 Jun (GMcC), and another was much farther inland and e. of the Sierra Nevada on Tinemaha Reservoir 2 Jun (C&RH). An ad. Sooty Tern was photographed at Bolsa Chica, Orange 5 Jul (RS). Two pairs of Least Terns attended nests at S.E.S.S. (Wister Unit) in May but failed to fedge young; however, the presence of an ad. with a recently fedged young at the same location 13 Aug (GMcC) suggests a successful second nesting nearby. Two Least Terns at P.P. 30 Jun (JSF) and two more at the Prado R.P., San Bernardino 23 Jun (HBK) were the only others reported well inland. An Elegant Tern, rare inland, was near Seeley (Fig Lagoon) 25 Jun (CAM). Gull-billed Terns failed to fedge any young at the Salton Sea due to predators and other disturbances, so the only successful nesting in California was by the 20 pairs on San Diego Bay. Black Skimmers also failed to fedge any young at the Salton Sea, and a single bird at Prado R.P. 19 Jul (TGM) was the only one reported well inland away from the Salton Sink. Single Yellow-billed Cuckoos at Santa Paula, Ventura 21 Jul (LSH), Camarillo, Ventura 4 Jul (BS), and at the Whitewater Canyon Preserve, Riverside 8-9 Jul (FS, ML) made the only reports s o u t h e r n c a l i f o r n i a This Craveri's Murrelet photographed of San Diego, San Diego County on 15 July 2014, was one of many present in Southern California waters after 7 June 2014. The dark underwings easily distinguish this bird from the similar Scripps's and Guadalupe Murrelets, and the lack of white around the eye also distinguish it from the latter. Photograph by James R. Morris.

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