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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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 96 Tennessee & Kentucky female Red-breasted Merganser on the Tennes- see River, Hamilton, TN 8 Oct (TR) was early, while a female Common Merganser on Watau - ga Lake, Johnson, TN 27 Sep (ph. TMc, CM) established a record-early arrival date for the state. Single individuals were also reported at Sycamore Shoals S.P., Carter, TN 25 Oct (TMc, ph. JA, m.ob.); on Boone Lake, Sullivan, TN 24 Nov (RKt); and at Britton Ford, Tennessee N.W.R., Henry, TN 29 Nov (RS). A Red-throated Loon was found on Lake Cumberland above Wolf Creek Dam, Russell, KY 17 Nov (ph. RD). A Common Loon on the Fishing Creek embayment of Lake Cumber - land, Pulaski, KY 14-23 Sep (RD) was likely continuing from summer. A Red-necked Grebe on Lake Reba, Madison, KY 14 Nov (†DHa) was the only one reported. A Horned Grebe on Old Hickory Lake, Nashville, TN 7 Sep (ph. MSm, PC) was exceptionally early. Up to 3 Eared Grebes were present on South Holston Lake 6-29 Nov (RKt, m.ob.), marking the twenty- frst consecutive year of occurrence for this anomalous winter population. A total of 103 Wood Storks at Ensley 3 Sep (JWa, DP) estab - lished this season's high count. Away from sw. Tennessee, Wood Storks are rare in the Region, so one at Duck River 4 Aug–2 Sep (CF, CWa, DK) was noteworthy; possibly the same indi - vidual was there 17 Nov (CF). Two American White Pelicans on Lake Barkley, Trigg, KY 29 Aug (ME) may have been summering; num- bers returned to Lake Barkley, Lyon/Trigg, KY by the third week of Sep, with ca. 1800 on the Little River embayment, Trigg, KY 20 Sep (BW, BP, TSh). A presumed early migrant American Bittern was found at Putney Pond, Jefferson, KY 2 Aug (†TSm, †JSo) while a tardy bird was present at Sinclair 21-28 Nov (ph. SG, TG). A Least Bit - tern at Sinclair 12 Sep (SG, TG) was the only one reported in Kentucky. A Great White Her - on was photographed at the Land Between the WATERFOWL THROUGH RAILS Two summering Greater White- fronted Geese were still present at Ensley 3 Aug (MT). Fifteen Ross's Geese at Great Lakes Pond, Carter 14 Nov (TMc) established a new re - cord high count for ne. Tennessee. A Cackling Goose was at Bledsoe Creek S.P., Sumner, TN by 26 Nov (MSm). The family group of Mute Swans in Muhlenberg, KY was pres - ent 1-28 Sep (TG, SG). Fifty-fve Tundra Swans were frst seen at Sauer heber 14 Nov (CC), with 150 there 28 Nov (CC); also reported in Kentucky were 40+ on Cave Run Lake, Bath/Rowan 13 Nov (MW) and 6 in nw. Union 28 Nov (CC). Dabbling and diving ducks passed through the Region with few reports of noteworthy concentrations. Six Blue-winged Teal at Otter Pond, Cald well, KY 3 Aug (BP, MM) appeared to be a family group, perhaps of local origin. A male Lesser Scaup on Lake Linville, Rockcastle, KY 1 Aug (RD) and a Ring-necked Duck at Cross Creeks N.W.R., Stewart, TN 1 Aug (JH) may have summered. A total of 9500 Lesser Scaup on Gibson County Lake, TN 5 Nov (MG) established a new record-high count for the state. A Canvasback, frst reported in late Jul, was still present at Ensley 18 Oct (fde MT). There were three reports of Surf Scoter: one on the Ohio River at Lou isville 1 Nov (BP, MSt et al.); 2 there 13 Nov (DS, BP et al.); and 12 on South Holston Lake 7 Nov (WC et al.). An imm. male White-winged Scoter on the Ohio River at Louisville 13 Nov (BP et al.) was the only one reported. Black Scoters were found in Kentucky on four occasions: 2 on the Ohio River at Lou isville 2 Nov (BP, BW); 2 at Lexing - ton, Fayette 6 Nov (RO), with one still there 8 Nov (ph. TNa); one on Freeman Lake, Hardin 12 Nov (BP, EH); and one on the Ohio River above Uniontown Dam, Union 28 Nov (ph. CC). In Tennessee, single individuals were reported at Britton Ford, Ten - nessee N.W.R., Henry 4 Nov (RS); on Lake Karen, Warren 12 Nov (SM); and at Hamilton Creek Recreation Area, J. Percy Priest Lake, Nashville 13 Nov (SZ). Three Long-tailed Ducks were found, all in Kentucky: a male on the Ohio River at Louisville 1 Nov (BP, MSt); an imm./female there 13 Nov (BP et al.); and an imm./female on the Ohio River above Meldahl Dam, Bracken 16 Nov (BW). A fock of at least 410 Buffeheads on South Holston Lake 18 Nov (RKt) established a new high count for ne. Tennessee, as did a fock of 330 Hooded Mergansers at Middle - brook Lake, Sullivan 17 Nov (WC). A Chris Sloan Brainard Palmer-Ball, Jr. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– W eather conditions during fall 2014 were somewhat variable. Tem - peratures during August through October were relatively normal, but Novem - ber was cooler than normal Regionwide, with most stations recording a mean temperature about 4° F lower than normal. Precipitation was much more variable during the season. During August, normal rainfall occurred across much of northern and western Ken - tucky, but across the south and east, precipi- tation was well above average, with Jackson receiving more than 25.4 cm (10 in.) of rain, more than double the norm. In contrast, September trended drier than normal, espe - cially in the eastern half of Kentucky. October precipitation was quite variable across Ken - tucky, with relatively dry conditions in the east but abundant rainfall across central and western portions of the state, where Louis - ville received a record amount 25.3 cm (9.9 in.), most of it over the two-day period 5-6 October. Finally, November ended the four- month period with below-normal precipita - tion across most of the Region. Rarity highlights in Kentucky included Red- throated Loon, Red-necked Grebe, Roseate Spoonbill, Hudsonian Godwit, Sabine's Gull, Snowy Owl, Say's Phoebe, and Yellow-headed Blackbird. Rarity highlights in Tennessee in - cluded Reddish Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, Red Phalarope, Little Gull, and Clay-colored Spar - row. Irruptive winter fnches were low in num- ber, with small numbers of Pine Siskins and Purple Finches being the only ones to appear. Red-breasted Nuthatches were nearly absent. Abbreviations: Duck River (Duck River Unit, Tennessee N.W.R., Humphreys, TN); Ensley (Ensley Bottoms, including the EARTH Com - plex, sw. Shelby, TN); Minor Clark Hatchery (Rowan, KY); Sauerheber (Sauerheber Unit Sloughs W.M.A., Henderson, KY); Sinclair (Sin - clair Unit Peabody W.M.A., Muhlenberg, KY); South Holston Lake (Sullivan, TN). Plegadis ibis show up in the Tennessee and Kentucky region annually in both spring and fall, but many fall birds are not identifed to species. This bird, found in eastern Union County, Kentucky 24 October 2014, appeared to be most likely a White-faced but was not conclusively photographed. Photograph by Brainard Palmer-Ball, Jr.

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