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 4 543 AlAskA PASSERINES As always seems the case in recent years, it was a great season for odd fycatchers. News- worthy Yellow-bellied Flycatchers included one at Juneau 19 Jun (GBV, ph. PAR), one of few records for Southeast, and 2 n. of Fair- banks near milepost 26 of the Steese Hwy. 17-24 Jun (NRH, JR-G et al.). Single Willow Flycatchers were also described in Southeast at Yakutat 1 Jul (ph. GSB) and near Juneau 22 Jun (PAR, BAA). More expected from mainland Southeast were at least 3 territo- rial Least Flycatchers around Hyder 8-15 Jun (JDL, SCH, RLS, DDG, REG, TT), where the species is sporadic in early summer. A lone Hammond's Flycatcher at Gustavus 26 Jun (BBP) provided only a third summer re- port there. The season's only Eastern King- bird reports came from offshore near Sitka on St. Lazaria Island 20 Jun (SF) and near Barrow from 30 Jun (fde TJD). The species is known from Southeast as a rare migrant and summer visitor, mainly from mainland reports. The season's outstanding fycatcher fnd was certainly the Scissor-tailed Fly- catcher reported in rocky substrate from the s. tip of Kruzof Island 19 Jun ph. SF). This marks the sixth Alaska record of this wandering species, which breeds no closer to Alaska than the nw. Great Plains. It was a quiet year for extralimital vireo reports, with the only notables being a Cassin's Vireo at Hyder 14 Jun (ph. SCH, RLS, REG, DDG, TT) and 2 singing Red-eyed Vireos at Juneau 21 Jun (GBV et al.). One of the Juneau birds was present through 27 Jul, and it was seen attending an active nest with 2 nestlings 20 Jul; it was paired with a bird described as not a pure Red-eyed Vireo and possibly a War- bling Vireo x Red-eyed Vireo hybrid. There are no prior breeding records for Red-eyed Vireo in Alaska. A Sky Lark at St. Paul Island 7 Jun (St. Paul Tour) was the ninth in spring for the Pribilofs. Eighteen Bank Swallows around St. Paul 6 Jun (St. Paul Tour) made an ex- ceptional count, tying the previous record for the Pribilofs. Another Common House- Martin was documented at St. Paul Island 19 Jun (St. Paul Tour), where there are now 3 in spring and 8 overall. MacIntosh described both Pacifc Wrens and Golden-crowned Kinglets as fnally recovered from the win- ter 2011-2012 die-off, noted in large num- bers across at least the e. side of Kodiak. A Common Chiffchaff was documented in the Gambell middens 9 Jun (ph. RD, RP, EK, NE), the Region's third record, all from Gambell. A lone Gray-streaked Flycatcher reported from Shemya 8-10 Jun (BS) was the only one this season. Also singular and fairly Jun, but the nest was again depredated 28 Jun (fde GM). Caspian Tern reports w. of the species' known Prince William Sound known nesting sites were strong this sum- mer, highlighted by 5 off Anchorage's Coast- al Trail 8 Jul (AB), up to 2 at Port Moller 8-31 Jul (NKD), and one at the Kenai River mouth 19 Jul (TAB). Forty-two Caspians in Hartney Bay near Cordova 31 Jul (fde AJL) was a fair- ly typical summer peak count from Prince William Sound. The season's lone Common Tern report was record early at Gambell, where very rare, 2 Jun (Wings). A Eurasian Collared-Dove at Seward 2-17 Jun (fde CG, m.ob.) was only the second ever from the Kenai Peninsula. Very rare for summer, a Mourning Dove was found along the Stikine River 11 Jul (BKN) and present most of the season. Old World Cuckoos made news in w. Alaska this sum- mer, with a minor incursion in early Jun. At least 3 Common Cuckoos and 3 Oriental Cuckoos were reported from Adak 7-8 Jun (DG, CM, TK, JM, JP) and Shemya 7-18 Jun (DS), and at least 7 total cuckoos were lo- cated on both main islands in the Pribilofs 2-29 Jun (St. Paul Tour), including a female Oriental Cuckoo 2-16 Jun (St. Paul Tour), that island's fourth ever. A Common Cuckoo that reached farther n. to Gambell 2-3 Jun (Wings) was exceptional for St. Lawrence Is- land. Two Northern Pygmy-Owls observed near Juneau's Mendenhall Glacier 17 Jul (KH) were giving insect-like trills typical of juv. birds. There is only one prior breeding report documented for Alaska, but notable mid-summer reports and a juv. salvaged alive near Haines in Jun provide circumstan- tial additional breeding evidence in South- east. Twenty Black Swifts at Hyder 2 Jun (JDL) were on the early side of the species' expected arrival window, while one near Ju- neau 20 Jul (GBV, GSB) was a casual fnd n. of the species' Stikine River stronghold. The Pribilofs' eighth Fork-tailed Swift was locat- ed at St. Paul 14 Jun (St. Paul Tour). Most reports of the species from this Bering Sea location come from fall. Anna's Humming- birds were again reported from Southeast for at least the fourth consecutive summer; at least 3 at Ketchikan (AWP, JFK, SCH), 2 at Juneau (only during Jul) (GSB, PM), and at least 2 at Sitka (fde MRG) all summered and were likely holdovers from the late winter and spring seasons. A Belted Kingfsher was beyond typical taiga range at Salmon Lake on the extreme e. Seward Peninsula 10 Jun (Wings). Casual on the North Slope as an overshoot from the distant taiga breeding zone was an American Kestrel near Barrow 6 Jun (BH). also rare at Gambell, 3-4 Jun (Wings et al.); the season's best count of 6 Ruffs (with 5 males) at Gambell 4 Jun (Wings); a record- early southbound Sharp-tailed Sandpiper at St. Paul Island 8-18 Jul (St. Paul Tour); a Temminck's Stint at Gambell 7 Jun (Wings); and a Long-toed Stint at St. Paul 2-4 Jun (St. Paul Tour). Five Red-necked Stints observa- tions at St. Paul included one northbound bird at St. Paul 5-8 Jun and probable sin- gle fall migrants at St. George 21 Jun (CH) and St. Paul 8-11, 15, & 26-27 Jul (St. Paul Tour). Far more noteworthy was the ad. Black-tailed Godwit photographed on the w. shore of Cook Inlet 29 Jun (ph. BL) at Three Mile Creek. This extralimital fnd fol- lows only a handful of such late Jun records away from the Bering Sea/Aleutian range of this very rare, mostly spring migrant. A lone bird from Kodiak from late Jun 1992 is the closest otherwise. Signifcant shorebird ob- servations otherwise focused on suspected Spotted Sandpiper nesting again at Kodiak, where rare, with up to 7 found along the American River 4 Jun (RAM, WED); a single Solitary Sandpiper in marshy areas along the upper Canning River (and n. of the Brooks Range divide, where casual) 15-16 Jun (Wil- derness Birding Adventures), and Hyder's frst Hudsonian Godwit 6 Jun (JDL). The Gustavus area in n. Southeast had a nice furry of notable shorebirds, including 2 very late, locally rare Upland Sandpipers at Gus- tavus 4 Jun, an exceptional spring group of 19 Baird's Sandpipers 4-5 Jun, and a casual White-rumped Sandpiper 4 Jun (BBP). Sev- en Short-billed Dowitchers were out in the Being Sea at St. Paul 5 Jun (St. Paul Tour), a new local high count, with 3 mid-summer birds there 21 Jun–13 Jul (St. Paul Tour). Two Wilson's Phalaropes were at Goose Bay in Upper Cook Inlet 15 Jun (DC), and an- other 2 were at Gustavus 20 Jun (BBP). The season's lone alcid report was a Whis- kered Auklet that made news from the Pribi - lofs at St. George 28 May–22 Jul (ph. CH), the second ever from that Bering Sea island group. The usual summer season handful of odd gull reports came in, highlighted by an ad. Franklin's Gull near Juneau's Men- denhall Wetlands 19 Jun (BAA), an excep - tional ad. Lesser Black-backed Gull from Port Moller on the Alaska Peninsula 10-14 Jun (ph. NKD), w. Alaska's second ever, and 2 ad. Slaty-backed Gulls in the lower Kenai River 9 Jul (TAB), where a few are found most summers. As follow-up to the spring season's Aleutian Tern nesting on the w. side of Cook Inlet near Beluga, the same pair re- nested near the earlier territory, and two eggs in the new nest were discovered 17 Jun–28

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