North American Birds

VOLUME 69 No1 2016

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 123 of 179

N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 122 C O LO R A D O & W YO M I N G Little Gull 14-21 Aug at Cherry Creek Reservoir, Arapahoe (ph. GW); there are just fve previous accepted Colorado records Jun-Aug, (2 in Jun, 1 in Jul). Also in sw. Weld was the season's only Laughing Gull, 31 Aug at Stewart's Pond (CSh). Franklin's Gulls are rarely reported in Wyoming after mid-Oct, so late were 3 in Laramie 26 Oct (CP). Colorado hogged all of the Mew Gulls (19 Sep+), with 12 scattered across 11 locations in eight e. counties. The only "summer" Colorado Herring Gull was at Lake Meredith, Crowley 9 Aug (JK, KMD). There were three Thayer's Gull sightings in Wyoming: a juv. at Lake DeSmet, Johnson 7 Oct (ph. M. Bloodsworth); a juv. at the JTL Ponds, Natrona 27 Oct (ZH); and an ad. at Casper 30 Oct (CMn). Wyoming has eight pre - vious records. Colorado's Thayer's Gull season started in the mountains, where the species is quite rare, 8 Oct at Antero Reservoir (NM, SGM). Lesser Black-backed Gulls had a record-breaking fall in Wyoming, with six reports involving 6-7 birds, with two counties accounting for all of them: a second-cycle bird continuing from sum - mer through 6 Sep in Albany (SB, LM, DE, CP) and an ad. 10 Oct in Albany (CP, NB), and in Natrona ads. 6 (ZH) & 12 Sep (CMn), a juv. 19 Sep (ph. ZH, MP), and an ad. (possibly continu - ing) and an imm. 1 Oct (ZH). Wyoming now has 27 records, 18 of them in fall, 21 of them since 2011. More and more Lesser Black-backed Gulls are being discovered in "summer" in Colorado, exemplifed by Aug singles at each of three Plains sites. The species is still very rare in the state away from the Plains, so the third-cycle bird at Ridgway Reservoir 17-20 Nov (CD, ph. BW) pro - vided a very rare West Slope and frst Ouray re- cord. The seasonal maxima of both Thayer's and Lesser Black-backed Gulls came from Windsor Reservoir, Weld 28 Nov (SGM), 5 of the former, 7 of the latter. A Glaucous Gull was somewhat early in Colorado, 17-28 Nov at Union Reservoir (CSh), while an ad. Great Black-backed Gull was early and well out on the Plains (where relatively rarer than at near-foothill-edge reservoirs) at Jackson Reservoir, Morgan 9 Nov (DD). The only Caspian Terns away from e. Colorado were one in Costilla 3 Aug (SGM) and 2 in Delta 13 Sep (R. Morris). Both states recorded their last-of-season Black Terns on 4 Oct, but the one that date at Twin Buttes Reservoir, Albany (CP, NB) was record late for Wyoming by three days. Common Tern is Regionally rare in spring, some - what less so in fall, and is rarely reported even then in Wyoming, where 2 were at Woodruff Narrows Reservoir, Uinta 1 Aug (P. Bar), 6 at Fontenelle 1 Sep (DJ), one at Saratoga Lake, Carbon 28 Sep (SL), and one at the JTL Ponds, Natrona 1 Oct (ZH). Arctic Tern is very rare at all seasons in both states, so three Colorado reports made for a banner season: an ad. at Big Johnson Reservoir, El Paso 5-9 Sep (G. Nikolai) and (SGM); the species was recently removed from the state's review list. A worn juv. Semipalmated Sandpiper at Barr 4 Nov (CSh) was record late by 17 days; there are just four other post-15 Oct Colorado records. The 63 Western Sandpipers at Miramonte Reservoir, San Miguel 18 Aug (VR, SL) was the second highest tally ever in shorebird-poor West Slope Colorado. A single Short-billed Dowitcher at Table Lake 24-29 Aug (SB, LM, DE, ZH) provided the sole report of this very rare Wyoming migrant. The roughly 13 Short-billed Dowitchers reported from six Colorado Plains counties (20 Aug–3 Oct) were all juvs., as expected. The 110 Long-billed Dowitchers at John Martin 3 Nov and the 30 at Lake Meredith, Crowley 5 Nov (both SGM) were substantial numbers for so late. Wilson's Snipe fall migration is poorly defned in Wyoming. This fall saw 36 reports of 1-9 birds 4 Aug–3 Oct and two outlying reports of singles from 27 Oct and 21 Nov (m.ob.); 25 in Goshen 26 Aug (DJ) made a high count. An incredibly tardy Wilson's Phalarope visited John Martin 29 Oct–3 Nov (JT), while the latest Red-necked Phalarope graced Lower Latham Reservoir 17 Oct (SGM). Wyoming's thirteenth Red Phalarope (tenth in autumn) graced Burlington Lake, Natrona 1 Sep (ZH), and 5 visited Colorado (18 Sep–3 Nov), including a long-staying bird at Chatfeld Reservoir, Jefferson/Douglas 18 Sep–4 Oct (JK). The only Black-legged Kittiwake report came from McIntosh Reservoir, Boulder 8 Nov (juv.; ph. DD). Bonaparte's Gulls are rare enough in Colorado between Jun and Sep, but the 1-4 indi - viduals actually summering at Behrens Reservoir and Lower Latham Reservoir, sw. Weld 18 Jun–21 Sep (SGM) were unprecedented. Also very rare in the Region's summer heat was a fresh juv. two Nov birds) teetered at Confuence Park, Delta 21 Nov (R. Harner). Solitary Sandpipers are Regionally quite rare after Sep, so the three Colorado Oct reports (latest: 18 Oct, Larimer; DW) were of interest. Also of interest with the species is determining temporal and geograph - ic migration spread of the two subspecies (see Leukering 2010. Colorado Birds 44: 203-206); the only seasonal report of nominate solitaria, at Stalker Lake, Yuma 29 Aug (3; ph. SGM), came from near Colorado's e. border, where perhaps expected. A group of 18 Upland Sandpipers on a short stretch of road nw. of Casper 6 Aug (ZH) was not only unusual numerically (provid - ing Wyoming with a record high tally) but also longitudinally, as Natrona sits w. of the species' Wyoming strongholds to the e. of a line from Sheridan to Cheyenne. In Colorado, the only Front Range-edge report of the species was of a nocturnal fyover at Longmont, Boulder 17 Sep (SSe), just four days short of record late. Two Whimbrels at Table Mountain 26 Aug (DJ) pro - vided Wyoming with its ninth fall report and only the second away from the Casper area. Two Stilt Sandpipers at the Saratoga Wetlands, Carbon 28 Sep (SL) provided only the third Wyoming report later than 22 Sep, while the tally of 1740 at John Martin 17 Sep (SGM, NM) provided for the second-highest Colorado tally (2000 at Jackson Reservoir, Morgan 4 Sep 1977 being the top count). Providing a new latilong record for Wyoming were 2 Sanderlings at Pathfnder N.W.R., Natrona 14 Sep (TA). Some 300 Baird's Sandpipers in Goshen 24 Aug (SB, LM, DE) provided the second highest tally for Wyoming. Five Buff-breasted Sandpipers were noted in three e. Colorado counties (30 Aug–17 Sep), with 3 at Jett Reservoir, Kiowa 30 Aug SA In one of the best Sabine's Gull fights to the Region in recent years, Wyoming set a record with eight reports (22 Aug–28 Sep) from fve loca - tions in four counties involving at least 11 individu- als, with the high count being of 4 juvs at Lake Hattie 20 Sep (CP, NB). In Colorado, with a lot more birders and a lot more easily birded reservoirs, at least 109 Sabine's Gulls were noted at 30 locations scattered across 18 e. counties and Park. Chatfeld Reservoir, Douglas/Jeferson hogged all of the double-digit high counts, with 12+ there 17 Sep (GW) and 10-13 there 24-25 Sep (m.ob.). While lightly birded Park has a bit of history with the species due to its three large reservoirs, it remains the only county w. of the Front Range in which the species is found with anything like regularity. However, the showing in that county this year was spectacular, with at least 8 at four locations, including 3 at Antero Reservoir and 2 at Elevenmile Reservoir 16 Sep (DSu). A single at a small pond s. of Jeferson 27 Sep (DSu) was fairly odd, but the juv. standing on the US 285 shoulder in an area of coniferous forest at the mountain town of Grant 15 Sep (ph. T. Mitzen) may well have provided the oddest Colorado sighting ever. This juvenile Sabine's Gull 15 September 2014 was found along heavily traveled US 285 at the town of Grant, which lies in a sea of coniferous forest, with the closest body of water larger than a puddle being nearly 16 kilometers away from this lost bird. Photograph by Tim Mitzen.

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