North American Birds

VOLUME 69 NO2 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/705084

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 282 A L A S K A Contributors: B. A. Agler, J. B. Allen, G. S. Baluss, P. Barnes, E. Benitz, R. & S. Berns, C. Bower, A. Bowman, J. Brunjes, C. Bunselmeier, B. Burch, M. Burcham, L. K. & T. A. Burke, R. Carpenter, D. Churchill, R. M. Corcoran, A. C. Courtney, D. Crowson, L. H. DeCicco (eBird), B. H. Demerjian, M. Denker, C. Derr, W. E. Donaldson, N. K. Drumheller, S. Dubois, D. D. Gibson, L. Feldmann, E. Fernandez, C. P. F. Goff, M. R. Goff, S. Golodoff, C. A. Gris - wold, N. R. Hajdukovich (eBird), S. C. Heinl (Southeast), G. Israelson, W. Keys, J. F. Ko - erner, L. A. Lamm, A. J. Lang (South-coastal Alaska), J. D. Levison, J. H. Lewis, R. E. Lowell, M. A. & R. A. MacIntosh, D. K. MacPhail, K. Morgan, J. W. Morse, S. L. Neilson, L. Nixon, P. H. Norwood, K. S. Owen, B. Paige, E. V. Parker, J. Parks, L. Rizzuto-Phillips, A. W. Pis - ton (Southeast), K. M. Ripley, P. A. Rose, R. L. Scher, S. Schuette, P. Scully, M. K, Schwan, D. Shirley, J. Soder, D. W. Sonneborn, K. Stolzfus, C. & J. Stough, G. P. Streveler, C. P. Suzie, D. Svetlak, T. Tobish, F. Tomkins, B. Tweit, G. B. van Vliet, M. L. Ward, N. Warnock, J. & H. West, R. Winckler, G. Zerbetz. n –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Thede Tobish, 2510 Foraker Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99517 (tgtljo@gmail.com) chikan claims the bulk of the Alaska records from late fall into early winter. Two notable counts for Rusty Blackbird came in, a peak of 40 at Homer 17 Feb (NJH) and a high of 55 at Seward 18 Jan (NJH, LHD, SS). Ketchikan's fall season Brewer's Blackbird from mid-Oct re - mained until 11 Jan (CPS, SCH). Single Purple Finches appeared at Seward late Nov through 21 Feb (ph. CG, NJH, AB et al.) and at Sitka, where one 17 Dec (ph. CPFG) was a local first ever. Farther afield, a female-plumaged Purple Finch discovered at Anchorage 17 Jan (DP) was a local first ever for Upper Cook Inlet. It was joined the next day by the area's first ever Cassin's Finch (ph. LHD, ph. EF, DWS et al.). Both birds attended the same feeders through the period. At Unalaska, the small finch flock composed of 2 White-winged Crossbills, a Eurasian Siskin, and 3 Pine Siskins (all casual in the Aleutians) that had arrived following a huge Nov storm remained in the area all sea - son (ph. SG et al.). Three Evening Grosbeaks that arrived at a Ketchikan feeder in mid-Nov remained in the area all season (JW, HW); an - other was documented on Farm Island in the lower Stikine River 3 Jan (ph. CS, JS, EB). The species remains very rare but not annual in Southeast, with records now for all seasons. AB); another flocked with juncos at Homer 19 Feb (DWS, NJH). A few Anchorage winter re - cords now exist, and the Homer bird was a local first and one of few ever from the Kenai Penin - sula. In Southeast, another Nov arrival at Ket- chikan remained at its favored feeder through 25 Feb (JFK, ph. CPS), and an imm. was at Sitka 28 Dec–1 Feb (ph. MRG, PHN, DS). Normally casual in the Region after Nov, Savannah Spar - rows made a good showing in Southeast. Singles were at Gustavus 11-16 Dec and 13 Feb (ph NKD, LN), one was near Juneau 21 Dec (GBV, BAA), and 2 were at Sitka 7 Dec–4 Jan (MRG). Rare winter Lincoln's Sparrow reports included one at Gustavus 11 Dec (ph. NKD) and one offshore at Kodiak 1 Feb (RAM), where occa - sional at this season. The season's newsworthy White-throated Sparrow finds included singles at Homer 31 Jan+ (DC, ph. AJL) and 19 Feb+ (DWS, NJH), Bethel 1-17 Jan (ph. KM), and Seward 27 Dec–1 Feb (LKB, SU, TAD). Fol - lowing a fall Rustic Bunting push eastward into the North Gulf, singles from Nov remained at Gustavus through 2 Dec (NKD) and at a Juneau feeder through 8 Dec (ph. CD, GBV). A Ketchikan area Western Meadowlark, first found at the productive Point Higgins area in Oct, remained through 4 Jan (m.ob.). Ket - Hope 4 Feb (Evan Pye). Lesser Black-backed Gull sightings continue to increase in British Co - lumbia, with reports this winter including one at Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford 1 Dec–9 Jan (Rick Toochin, m.ob.). An ad. Lesser Black-backed was photographed resting on the ice at Salm - on Arm Bay 8 Feb as well (Ted Hillary, Roger Beardmore). Hundreds of km from the coast, a wayward Ancient Murrelet appeared 24 Dec at Clearwater (Allen Selbee); despite efforts to keep the murrelet alive, it perished. Although it was a not a banner year for North - ern Hawk Owls, a few showed up during the period, including a single bird along the Holmes- Chris Charlesworth –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– W inter 2014-2015 was a mild one, with only a few cold snaps, all of them arriving in first week of each of the three months. The only appreciable snow - falls came as the cold air retreated. With such a weak cold air penetration, the outer coast remained mild and seasonably wet and windy. Interior lowland snowpacks were lower than normal in almost all areas through the period. WATERFOWL THROUGH FALCONS Cinnamon Teal are exceptionally rare in British Columbia in winter, especially in the interior, so the sighting of one at Lions Park at Osoyoos 25 Dec was quite noteworthy (Doug Brown). A male Tufted Duck spent 14 Feb+ at Vancouver (Sunny Zhai, m.ob.). In recent years, Cattle Egret sightings in British Columbia have been few and far between; one from the fall period continued until at least 4 Dec in the View Royal area of Victoria (Ann Scarfe). A tardy Semipalmated Plover was found at the Tsawwassen Ferry Jetty 7 Dec (Mike Tabak). On the w. coast of Vancou - ver Island at Wickanninish Beach near Tofino, a Snowy Plover was found 18 Dec (Robin Kite), the province's nineteenth record of the species. The bird was banded as a fledgling at Center - ville Beach, California in summer 2014. An ad. Iceland Gull was seen at the mouth of Mission Creek in Kelowna 6 Jan (Chris Charlesworth, Ryan Tomlinson); an imm. from the fall period in Penticton and remained until at least 24 Feb, to the delight of local birders (Russell Cannings, m.ob.). In ne. British Columbia, a Glaucous Gull was noted at Alwin Hollard Park in Hudson's British Columbia This Iceland Gull, first found in the fall 2014 season, wintered along the shores of Okanagan Lake at Penticton, British Columbia through at least 24 (here 5) February 2015. Photograph by Chris Charlesworth.

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