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.

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Page 46 of 139

V O L U M E 6 9 ( 2 0 1 6 ) • N U M B E R 2 221 M I D D L E AT L A N T I C –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Arun Bose, P. O. Box 8807, Richmond, Virginia 23225 ( Ellison Orcutt, 3421 Cutshaw Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23230 ( Robert Ostrowski, 136 Grant Street, Bangor, Maine 04401 ( report, we noted the dearth of recent records of Wilson's Plover in Virginia Beach. Surveys at Back Bay N.W.R. have in fact produced several records: 2 on 9 Mar 2009 (DLH, RLAk) and singles 24 May 2013 (RLAk) and 16 Jun 2014 (DLH). Thanks to Robert L. Ake for these valu - able records. n David Roberts, Sandy Robertson, Pat Rose, Russ Ruffing, Joanne Shearer (JShea), Jeff Shenot, Edwin Smith (ESm), Evan Spears, James L. Stasz (JLS), Brian Taber (BTa), Bill Tittle, Laura Weetall, Bill Williams, Charles Ziegenfus. Corrigendum: In the previous (autumn 2014) Southern Atlantic NC during Jan–Feb (m.ob.), and one was seen farther s. in North Carolina during the South - port–Bald Head–Oak Islands C.B.C. 4 Jan (fide RC). As in winter 2013-2014, freezing lakes to the n. led to unusual numbers of rare winter diving ducks in the Region, including a doz - en inland sightings of White-winged Scoters, mostly in w. North Carolina during late winter, with a high count of 11 on Lake Brandt, Guil - ford 28 Feb (HL). Similarly, multiple sightings of Long-tailed Ducks came from North Caro - lina, both inland and along the coast, with an impressive 14 at Masonboro Inlet, New Hanover 15 Feb (SC); and Common Goldeneyes were actually somewhat common, with high counts of 46 reported from West Point Dam, Harris/ Troup, GA 7 Jan (JW) and 15 on W. Kerr Scott Reservoir, Wilkes, NC 25 Feb (GM). Common Mergansers, too, were widely reported, all the way from a single bird seen at Lake Walter F. George, Clay, GA near the Florida border 31 Dec–11 Jan (DH, AT) to a record 881 on Lake Phelps, Washington, NC, during the Pettigrew S.P. C.B.C. Most reports, however, were of smaller numbers, ranging up to 24 in the w. half of North Carolina during late winter. Rare and scattered inland, an impressive coastal count of 226 Red-throated Loons came from Wassaw Island, Chatham, GA 22 Jan (SC), while single Pacific Loons were spotted off Transylvania, NC 11, 14, & 22 Feb (STh et al.), 10 at Bear Island W.M.A., Colleton, SC 27 Feb (CW), and 24 in Bartow, GA 27 Feb (AJ, AK). Snow Geese wintered in North Carolina in high numbers, with 30,573 reported on the Mattamuskeet N.W.R. C.B.C. 29 Dec (fide SCa) and 57,255 on the Pettigrew S.P. C.B.C. 30 Dec (fide DL). Eighty, the highest count ever made in the North Carolina moun - tains, were seen in flight over Butler Ridge Rd., Henderson 9 Feb (WF). With the usual caveat about hybrids, Ross's Geese were also much more common than usual and seen in record numbers in North Carolina, with 21 at the Pungo Unit of Pocosin Lakes N.W.R. 11 Jan (DC et al.); Georgia record - ed 6 in Bartow 7 Dec (JM). Although confined to the ne. edge of the Region, Brant numbers were also high, with 4015 recorded on the Ports - mouth Island, Carteret, NC C.B.C. 29 Dec (fide PV). Cackling Geese turned up for the first time in several years in n. Georgia, with one on Fite Bend Rd., Gordon 6 Jan (JM). In North Carolina, a remarkable 10 were on urban Salem Lake, Winston-Salem, Forsyth 31 Dec–24 Feb (JH, m.ob.). Two Trumpeter Swans were seen in the Pungo Unit of Pocosin Lakes N.W.R., Hyde, NC 4-11 Jan (KR, m.ob.)—only the third North Carolina record—while 200 Tundra Swans at Bear Island W.M.A., Colleton, SC 27 Feb (CW) was a remarkable count for a site so far south. Scattered sightings of single Eurasian Wi- geon came from across the Carolinas coast, and a record high C.B.C. count of 17,058 Ameri - can Wigeons came from the ACE Basin, SC, where 1099 Mottled Ducks were also logged 29 Dec (fide DC). A Cinnamon Teal continued at Coon Pond, Baker, GA until at least 22 Dec (m.ob.), and a Cinnamon Teal x Blue-winged Teal hybrid was reported from Little St. Simons Island, Glynn, GA 17 Jan (ph. RHo, m.ob.). There were 11 scattered reports of 1-4 Com - mon Eiders along the coast from Tybee Island, Chatham, GA 18 Jan (RS) to Cape Point, Dare, NC 28 Feb (BP). One or 2 Harlequin Ducks were reported at various coastal sites in Dare, Robert Sattelmeyer Richard Hall Josh Southern –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– F or the second year in a row, the South- east escaped the weather extremes that affected other Regions during the win - ter—warmth and drought in the West and cold and heavy snow in the Northeast. The extreme cold to the north was probably responsible for robust waterfowl numbers generally, as well as an uptick in sightings of unusual geese, while western vagrants were also plentiful. The Re - gion had its had its first Crested Caracara, in South Carolina, and North Carolina recorded its first Hooded Oriole. Razorbills were plenti - ful in both nearshore and offshore in the north- ern part of the Region. A number of resident species had all-time high counts during Christ - mas Bird Counts in Georgia, probably due to new count circles being established near metro Atlanta. The Carolinas had their first ever win - ter record of Chestnut-sided Warbler, and in- creased attention by birders to rural areas of southwestern Georgia produced numerous re - cords of western species such as Ash-throated and Vermilion Flycatchers, Inca Dove, Say's Phoebe, and Yellow-headed Blackbird. WATERFOWL THROUGH FALCONS Reflective of the relative abundance of unusual geese this winter, Greater White-fronted Geese were reported throughout the Region, with un - usually high counts of 30 around Ecusta Pond, This five-year-old Golden Eagle was captured at Sprewell Bluff Wildlife Management Area, Upson County, Georgia 15 February 2015, part of a joint project of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Devil's Backbone Hunting Club to study the movements of the species in the East. This individual was tracked by satellite back to its breeding grounds in Québec. Photograph by Jodi Killen.

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