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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V O L U M E 6 9 ( 2 0 1 6 ) • N U M B E R 2 297 B A J A C A L I F O R N I A P E N I N S U L A Jan (†GJS). The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher found near Ciudad Constitución in Nov was seen again 20-21 Jan (RCH, VAP et al.). Gray Vireo is rarely found in Baja California outside the breeding season, so 2 in the San Matias Pass, e. of Valle de la Trinidad, 9 Dec (ph. JM, AEM) were noteworthy. Tree, Northern Rough-winged, and Barn Swal- lows were found in good numbers on Christmas counts in the ne. portion of the Region (fide ACF), but few Tree and Barn Swallows wintered in Baja California Sur. A Bank Swallow at Todos Santos 30 Nov (GM) was unexpected. Five San Lucas Robins were reported from five locations along the se. coast of Baja California Sur from Arroyo San Bartolo to Estero San José 1 Jan–18 Feb (AA, C&DL, CC). Grinnell (1928, Distributional Sum - mation of the Ornithology of Lower California) re- ported occasional birds descending to the coast, but this is the first opportunity we have had of reporting such a phenonenon in North American Birds. In the northwest, Varied Thrush was well represented, with 9 seen, including a record 6 on the Ensenada C.B.C. 19 Dec (fide EDZH). More Sage Thrashers were found than in some time: lena (1 Mar, PJD) and were found in greater numbers than usual in the north: 175 were off Ensenada 6 Dec (AEM, JM) and 150 seen from La Bufadora 19 Dec were the first ever found on the Ensenada C.B.C. (MJB). Franklin's Gull observations were re - stricted to the Cape District, with 3 at La Paz to 15 Dec (JV) and one at Estero San José 11 Feb (ESH). La Paz C.C.B. totals for 14 Dec included 3 Gull-billed Terns and 23 Elegant Terns (fide DGE). Winter Elegant Terns are far more com - mon in the Region (primarily the Cape District) now than historically. In addition to the La Paz birds, 10 lingered through 1 Dec at Loreto (TH), 18 were still at Estero San José 31 Dec (RS), with one still present 11 Feb (ESH), and 7 were at Los Frailes 5 Feb (ESH). It was an interesting season for Band-tailed Pigeons, matching the situation in much of the sw. United States. Along the California border, 2 were at Tecate 7 Jan (RL), and one at Colo - nia Murguía 17 Dec (ph. ESM, ph. RAE, AAR) established the first record for the Mexicali Val - ley. In the Cape District, individuals in the Sierra Cacachilas, e. of La Paz, 25 Jan (PU) and 27 Feb (GJS) were just n. of the known range of the en - demic subspecies vioscae, but tail feathers found there 26 Jan were clearly of one of the migratory subspecies, fasciata or monilis (PU; *San Diego Natural History Museum), establishing the first such record for Baja California Sur. Previous re - cords for Baja California, all presumably refer- able to monilis, extend no farther s. than Bahía de los Ángeles. Later, in the north, one pigeon was at La Misión 5 Mar (CH), and 20 were at Ensenada 12 Mar (EDZH). A White-winged Dove at Colonia Murguía 17 Dec (AAR, RAE) was unexpected in winter. Rare hummingbirds showed well in the Cape District, with Ruby- throated Hummingbirds at Estero San José 11 Feb (†ESH) and Los Barriles 13 Feb (ph. C&DL) and a long-staying Broad-billed Hummingbird at Nopoló 27 Dec–22 Apr (ph. TH et al.). The only woodpecker of note reported was a Yellow- bellied Sapsucker on the Maneadero Plain 19 Dec–21 Jan (RMA et al.). Crested Caracara is common in Baja California Sur but not so in Baja California. At either end of the state, individuals were on the international border at the w. edge of the Mexicali Valley 9 Dec (ph. CB) and near Villa Jesús María 24 Mar (†HMR). PASSERINES Establishing the fifth state record and seventh Regional record, a Dusky-capped Flycatcher was on the e. side of the Sierra Cacachilas 17 been established in Baja California Sur, and the number of records in California has surged recently, but Baja California lags far behind. A Neotropic Cormorant on the Río Hardy 17 Dec (MJB, JJB, ph. ROG) established only the third state record. Three Brown Pelicans at Presa Emilio López Zamora in Ensenada 18 Dec (RAE) were not far from the coast but were unusual at this freshwater reservoir. Bald Eagles are rarely seen in Baja California Sur away from their nesting areas in the Bahía Magdalena region. At the same latitude, but on the other side of the peninsula, different imms. were seen at San Pedro de la Presa 23 Jan and Llanos de Kakiwi 24 Jan (both GM). Observa - tions of other raptor species rare in Baja Cali- fornia Sur included Red-shouldered Hawks at Nopoló 1 Feb–9 Mar (TH) and near San Anto - nio de la Sierra 6 Dec (GM et al.); Broad-winged Hawks in the vicinity of San Antonio de la Sierra 11 Jan (VAP, NA) and 7 Feb (ph. GM et al.); a Swainson's Hawk at Presa de la Buena Mujer, e. of La Paz, 28 Jan–1 Mar (GM, VAP, NA); 2 or 3 Ferruginous Hawks in the vicinity of the Guerrero Negro saltworks 23 Dec–7 Mar (NA et al.); and Golden Eagles near San Antonio de la Sierra 6 Dec (ph. GM et al.) and in the Sierra del Mechudo 24-25 Jan (one or 2; JEG, MRR, GM). A Black Oystercatcher (with an American Oystercatcher) on the gulf coast at La Ventana in early Jan (GJS) was presumably the same bird that has been seen there intermittently since the winter of 2010. Fourteen Mountain Plovers at Laguna Figueroa 22 Jan (DGE, JV) were the only ones seen. It appears likely that we will lose this species as part of our regular wintering avifauna. Other rare wintering shorebirds seen included a Solitary Sandpiper at Lagunas de Chametla 17 Jan (RCH) and a Stilt Sandpiper at the Guerrero Negro saltworks 24 Dec (NA). For 10 years, Long-tailed Jaegers have been recorded almost annually in winter along the se. coast of Baja California Sur. This year, one was seen near the San José Channel 3 Mar (PJD). Late-entered re - cords in eBird fill in the winter of 2013-2014 as well. Three Common Murres were found in Jan and Feb, with the southernmost being a bird dead on the beach at the base of the Cabo San Quintín peninsula 24 Jan (DGE, JV). Cassin's Auklets were seen s. to just s. of Bahía Magda - The Cape District of Baja California Sur is on the fringe of the winter range for Ruby-throated Hummingbird, but this bird at Los Barriles 13 February 2015 established by far the best documented record for the state. Photograph by Chris and Debbie Llewellyn, BirdsWeSee.com. This Broad-billed Hummingbird remained at Nopoló, Baja California Sur 27 December 2014–22 April 2015 (here 26 February). The species is rare on the Baja Califonia Penin - sula. Photograph by Tom Haglund. This Long-tailed Duck at Laguna Guerrero Negro 24 November 2014 established the first photo - graphically documented record for Baja California Sur. Photograph by Víctor Ayala-Pérez.

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