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 76 of 123

V O L U M E 6 8 ( 2 0 1 5 ) • N U M B E R 4 523 S o u t h e r n g r e at p l a i n S Four tardy Franklin's Gulls were in Oklahoma 9 Jun (JTa); 30 in Alfalfa were unexpected 8 Jul (GH). Another summer surprise was a frst- summer California Gull in Rooks, KS 23-26 Jun (JVK). Among exceptional mid-summer va- grants were a bleached Herring Gull in Douglas, KS 7 Jun (MG), a Herring in Jefferson, KS 17-19 Jul (CM, SN), a second-summer Lesser Black- backed Gull at Cheyenne Bottoms 11 Jul (MR), and a molting third-cycle Lesser in Cherry, NE 23-25 Jul (SM). Common Terns were also found: one in Cherry, NE 18 Jun (MRo), a breeding-plumaged ad. in Seward, NE 21 Jun (SM; RMa), and 2 in Pottawatomie, KS 28 Jun–9 Jul (fde JK, m.ob.). DOVES THROUGH WOODPECKERS White-winged Dove reports continue to in- crease in Nebraska, mostly in the w. part of the Region (fde WRS). A White-winged Dove was easterly in Tulsa, OK 20 Jun (JCo), where still rare. The only report of Inca Dove was of one in Oklahoma, OK 3 Jun (JW); this species is still not recovering from winter setbacks. A better- than-average number of Black-billed Cuckoos was reported from Nebraska and Kansas (fde JK, WRS). Single Greater Roadrunners in Ed- wards 5 Jul (EF) and Stafford 10 Jul (ME, PM) defned the n. edge of the Kansas range; anoth- er was just e. of Cheyenne Bottoms 27 Jul (RP). Two Short-eared Owls were in Clark, KS 3 Jul (SR); this species breeds only sporadically in Kansas grasslands. An Eastern Whip-poor-will nest containing an egg and a chick was photo- graphed in Nemaha, NE 3 Jul (ph. KL, fde JGJ), only the sixth documented nesting for the state. A few Ruby-throated Hummingbirds pressed westward, with a female in a Scotts Bluff, NE yard 23 Jul (KD) and 2 in Woodward, OK 9 Jun–29 Jul (SJ). Since 2012, 4 Black-chinned Hummingbirds have been reported in Nebras- 2140 at Quivira 15 Jul (BJ). Rare in Nebraska, a Snowy Plover was in York 18 May–21 Jun (JGJ, JK, MW, LE). A Piping Plover pair nest- ing in Rooks, KS produced 2 young (JVK), and a Piping in Russell, KS 13 Jul (MR) was likely an early migrant. Among other early migrants were a Solitary Sandpiper in Cimarron, OK 20 Jun (JW), 2 Greater Yellowlegs in Grant, OK 24 Jun (L&MT), a Willet in Canadian, OK 29 Jun (DM), a Lesser Yellowlegs at Red Slough 24 Jun (DA), and 2 Lesser Yellowlegs in Ford, KS 22 Jun (DAk, DH, JC, TE). Notable high counts of Solitary Sandpipers were 32 in Douglas, KS 19 Jul (JK) and 27 in Neosho, KS 4 Aug (AB). A Whimbrel at Cheyenne Bottoms 17 Jul (AS, NS) made a rare Regional fnd. Rare eastward in summer were Long- billed Curlews in Brown, NE 13 Jun (WF) and 2 in Rock, NE 1 Jun (CM, TE). Migration of Marbled Godwits begins very early, with singles in Seward, NE 29 Jun (MW) and Cimarron, OK 30 Jun (JCo, CB). Red Knots were found at Quivira 26 (MW) & 28 Jul (2; MR), the only ones noted for the season. A Dunlin at Quivira 2 Jun (MR) strung out the spring migration period; one in Russell, KS 13 Jul (MR) was more likely a sum- mer vagrant. The 1510 ad. Least Sandpipers at Quivira 15 Jul (BJ) depicted the peak of migration for that age class. White-rumped Sandpiper is very rare in fall; thus unexpect- ed were 2 at Quivira 18-22 Jul (DS, GP, NV). Probably tardy were 2 Pectoral Sandpipers in York, NE 21 Jun (LE) and 2 in Seward, NE 24 Jun (MW). Two Short-billed Dowitchers in Sherman, NE 2 Jun (CNK) were record late for spring. A Wilson's Snipe at Quivira 18 Jul (NV) was exceptional. Also quite exceptional for Jul were 2 Red-necked Phalaropes at Quivira 18-20 Jul (DS, GP, NV). An ad. female Red Phalarope at Quivira 18 Jul (DS, GP; ph.) was without precedent for the season. Ospreys maintained their unsuccess- ful track record for breeding attempts with one on a nest in Scotts Bluff, NE 13 Jul but not later (KD). Vagrant or early Ospreys were in Pottawatomie, KS 9 Jul (JH, JWa) and Trego, KS 26 Jul (JC). Mis- sissippi Kites established outposts with 1-3 at Topeka, KS during the period (JMa) and a second local breeding site at North Platte, NE (TJW). A Broad-winged Hawk was westerly in Sioux, NE 19 Jun (LE), perhaps part of a pattern for reports. An easterly Swainson's Hawk was in Linn, KS 14 Jun (MG, ML). RAILS THROUGH TERNS Quivira regularly hosts Black and King Rails, the only reliable site for both in the Region; both continued there this sum- mer (fde JK) in spite of Regional drought conditions. A Virginia Rail in Beaver, OK 3 Jun (ET) was hard to explain so far s. on that date; another in York, NE 15 Jun (JK) may have been nesting there: there are a few breeding records for the Rainwater Basin. Two Soras were out of range for the season, singles in LeFlore, OK 10 Jul (CMo) and Johnson, KS 17 Jul (MGo, NV). Common Gallinule numbers have dwindled in the Region, except for the Quivira outpost; one was in Douglas, KS 17 Jul (JK). A belated report of breeding Sandhill Cranes involved 2 chicks fedged during 2013 in Rock, NE; one later died (RK, fde WM). Three ad. Sandhill Cranes were in Valley, NE 15 Jun (AP), and 3 more were in Buffalo, NE 18 Jul (CV), in addition to reports from several known Nebraska breeding sites. As is true ever summer, there was an ar- ray of diffcult-to-classify mid-Jun shorebird observations, some likely late migrants. Black- bellied Plovers and an American Golden- Plover were in Alfalfa, OK 13 Jun (GH); a rar- er-in-Jun Semipalmated Plover was in Seward, NE 21-24 Jun (SM, RMa, MW). Also noted were a Stilt Sandpiper, 10 Baird's Sandpipers, and a Western Sandpiper in Alfalfa, OK 13 Jun (GH). Seward, NE produced 3 Baird's Sandpipers 22 Jun (JGJ), with one still pres- ent 29 Jun (MW), a Least Sandpiper 17-24 Jun (MW), 2 Semipalmated Sandpipers 15- 17 Jun (MW), and a very late Buff-breasted Sandpiper 17 Jun (MW). Three Semipalmated Sandpipers were at McConaughy 13 Jun (JGJ). Two Wilson's Phalaropes in Alfalfa, OK 13-28 Jun (GH) round out the mid-Jun vagrants. Only 3 Black-necked Stilts were reported in Nebraska this season (JGJ, LE), well below av- erages from the recent decade, including one easterly in Lancaster 6 Jun (LE). Nonetheless, 120 Black-necked Stilts were at Quivira 15 Jul (BJ), and one was easterly in LeFlore, OK 1 Jun (CMo). American Avocets peaked at A Brown Pelican (left) spent 8-15 (here 9) June 2014 at Lake Overholser, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. Others (or the same bird) turned up in Kansas, at Cheyenne Bottoms, Barton County 19 June and at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Staford County (right) 3 July 2014. Size and gular pouch color of these birds suggested Atlantic rather than Pacifc subspecies. Photographs by Kevin Groeneweg (left) and Jef Calhoun.

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