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.

Issue link: http://nab.aba.org/i/629070

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V O L U M E 6 9 ( 2 0 1 5 ) • N U M B E R 1 153 Southern California ter 7 km off Santa Barbara 15 Nov (CAM) was somewhat late and close to shore. Impressive numbers of Black-vented Shearwater contin - ued in s. California waters from the infux in Jul, as evident from 7500 off Ventura, Ventura 21 Aug (PAG) and 36,000+ in 15 minutes fy - ing past San Simeon, San Luis Obispo 27 Aug (KJZ); 4000+ were still to be found along the Los Angeles coast in mid-Nov (KLG), but most appeared to shift northward in Dec. A Wilson's Storm-Petrel, rare in s. California waters, was photographed in the Santa Barbara Channel 29 Sep (JBar), and another was with rafting Black Storm-Petrels over the 30-Mile Bank, located between San Diego and San Clemente Island, 30 Aug (DPo). Small numbers of Least Storm- Petrel moved northward only to the waters off San Diego and Orange, with 20 found amongst rafting Black Storm-Petrels over the 30-Mile Bank on 30 Aug and 14 Oct (DPo) and 15 off Dana Point 20 Sep (TAB) Three Red-billed Tropicbirds were found in San Diego waters 1-9 Oct (DPo, PEL), includ - ing one only 5 km off Point Loma 2 Oct (PEL); 8 qwew far offshore in Santa Barbara waters be - tween the San Juan and Rodriguez Seamounts in Sep (JSF); one was in the Santa Barbara Chan - nel near Santa Cruz Island 13 Oct (JBar); one was 6.4 km off Ventura 13 Nov (JBar); and one was only 3 km off Emerald Point, Orange 17 Sep (DBen). A young frigatebird at S.E.S.S. 11 Aug (ZC, RSu) and another high over Jacumba, San Diego 12 Aug (EGK) were both likely Mag - nifcent Frigatebirds, and an ad. male Magnif- cent was well seen at La Jolla, San Diego 22 Oct (GN). A subad. Masked Booby on the beach in Coronado, San Diego 21 Sep was recovered by Project Wildlife but died (*SDNHM). A Blue- footed Booby seen fying eastward along I-8 w. of Winterhaven, Imperial 27 Sep (TP) had no doubt originated in the Gulf of California. Along the coast, up to 3 Blue-footeds per day off the Tijuana River mouth/Imperial Beach, San Diego through 22 Oct (PEL, GMcC) were believed to be birds foraging from the nearby Los Coronados Islands, having arrived there in Sep 2013; one, from the same 2013 fight, was still at Anacapa Island 5 Oct (JBar). Brown Boobies are now common in the coastal waters of San Diego, as evident by such counts as 80 off the Tijuana River mouth/Imperial Beach 12 Oct (SCR) and 25 off La Jolla 16 Nov (SW); to the n., 23 were counted on Santa Barbara Island 18 Oct (DPe), and single birds were off San Miguel Island 3 Sep (JSF), near Santa Cruz Island 1 Nov (JBar), and on Anacapa Island 21 Aug–4 Nov (JBar) and 29 Aug–4 Nov (JBar), along with one seen farther n. off the Santa Maria River mouth, San Luis Obispo/Santa Bar - bara 15 Aug (TME) and another photographed 85 km sw. of Point Buchon, San Luis Obispo 8 Guy McCaskie Kimball L. Garrett –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– S outhern California remained parched through the season, although some sub - tropical moisture fell, mainly on the eastern deserts, in late August and in a few events in September; weak northern storms also dropped some rain in late September and at the beginning of November. Temperatures were generally slightly above average, and the only signifcant Santa Ana wind events oc - curred in the latter half of November. Sea sur- face temperatures were generally well above normal; perhaps related to this were unprec - edented numbers of Brown Boobies along the coast and the offshore islands. Two Asian spe - cies of established Regional frst records: an Olive-backed Pipit in Orange County in early November and a Brambling in Los Angeles County in October (followed by another in Or - ange County in November). The jaw-dropping, "what are the odds?" peregrinations of the Re - gion's second Blue-throated Hummingbird are detailed below. Overall, there was a fairly good crop of passerine vagrants, though they were overwhelmingly found in coastal regions, with poorer-than-average showings of most species on the northern deserts. Among our irregularly occurring fall and winter species, Band-tailed Pigeons wandered widely in large numbers and Varied Thrushes stood out with a fight of his - toric proportions. Abbreviations: C.L. (China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, extreme ne. Kern); F.C.R. (Furnace Creek Ranch, Death Valley N.P., Inyo); G.H.P. (Galileo Hill Park in extreme e. Kern); N.E.S.S. (n. end of the Salton Sea, Riverside); P.P. (Piute Ponds on Edwards A.F.B., ne. Los An - geles); S.C.R.E. (Santa Clara River Estuary near Ventura, Ventura); S.E.S.S. (s. end of the Salton Sea, Imperial); S.J.W.A. (San Jacinto W.A., near Lakeview, Riverside); V.A.F.B. (Vandenberg A.F.B., nw. Santa Barbara); V.C.G.P. (Ventura County Game Preserve near Point Mugu Na - val Air Station, Ventura). Museum collections abbreviated in the text are: SDNHM (San Di- ego Natural History Museum). Because most rarities in s. California are seen by multiple observers, only the observer(s) initially fnding and/or identifying the bird are included. Docu - mentation for species on the California B.R.C. (C.B.R.C.) review list (see www.californiabirds. org) is forwarded to the C.B.R.C. and archived at the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zool - ogy in Camarillo. WATERFOWL THROUGH HERONS A Eurasian Wigeon at the mouth of the San Diego River in San Diego, San Diego 8 Oct (JBr) was the earliest of the 7 reported in the Region. A male Harlequin Duck, present Aug through 20 Nov around Cayucos, San Luis Obispo (TME), was the only one known in the Region. Seven Surf Scoters at three loca - tions in the Owens Valley, Inyo spanning 20 Oct–30 Nov (CBH, RCH, JLD, LBH, DVanP), along with single birds at Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino 16 Nov+ (SR), Desert Center, Riv - erside 14 Oct (CMcG), and Lake Skinner, Riverside 29 Nov (DFu), were inland, where rare. In addition, a White-winged Scoter was inland on Quail Lake, Los Angeles 20 Nov (JK), and another was at S.E.S.S. 15 Nov (EAC). A White-winged Scoter at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara 15-23 Nov (MV) was the only one re - ported along the coast s. of Point Conception, but 9 Black Scoters, formerly much rarer than White-winged Scoters in s. California waters, were found along the same stretch of the coast. A male Barrow's Goldeneye on Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains 14-17 Nov (SF) provides the second record in San Bernardino away from the Colorado River. Two Greater Sage-Grouse in the Inyo portion of the White Mountains 3 Sep (BWD) were at the s. extreme of this species' range in Califor - nia. Likewise, a pair of White-tailed Ptarmigan with 4 chicks at Mills Lake nw. of Bishop, Inyo 28 Aug (WHM) was at the s. end of this intro - duced species' range in the Sierra Nevada. Five Pacifc Loons around N.E.S.S. between 5 and 18 Nov (RMcK), and single birds on the War - ren H. Brock Reservoir, Imperial 23 Oct (PEL) and 7 Nov (PEL), were all well inland, where rare. A Red-necked Grebe on Puddingstone Reservoir, Los Angeles 21 Nov (RF) and another at N.E.S.S. (North Shore) 20 Nov (CAM) were both inland, where most unusual; along the coast, where still rare, single birds were at Point Dume, Los Angeles 15 Nov (KLG) and Playa del Rey, Los Angeles 25 Nov (RP). A Black-footed Albatross 13.6 km w. of Point Loma, San Diego 13 Oct (DPo) was unusually close to shore. A Flesh-footed Shearwater off the w. end of Santa Cruz Island 15 Nov (DPe) was the only one reported. A Buller's Shearwa -

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