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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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 232 E A S T E R N H I G H L A N D S & U P P E R O H I O R I V E R VA L L E Y (Terri Martincic), a late record for ne. Ohio. One apparently wintered in the e. Panhandle at Altona Marsh, Jefferson, WV, noted through 18 Jan (Matt Orsie). A flock of 35 Sandhill Cranes over East Fork S.P., Clermont 19 Jan (Kathi Hut - ton) ranks among the higher mid-season counts for Ohio. A Dunlin was still in Wyandot, OH 24 Dec (Ron Sempier). A rare mid-season Purple Sandpiper at Eastlake, Lake, OH 12 Jan (Car - leton Schooley, Marcia Rubin) provided the only Regional report. A Least Sandpiper at Cae - sar Creek Reservoir, Warren, OH 13 Dec (Dan- iel DeLapp) and another on the Ohio River in Mason, WV 20 Dec (David Patick) fit an estab - lished pattern. The shorebird find of the season must be the mid-season Pectoral Sandpipers in ne. Ohio: 2 at the n. boundary of Killbuck Marsh W.A., Wayne 27 Dec (Eli Miller) and one on the s. boundary in Holmes 10-18 Jan (Jason Larson, Ken Ostermiller, ph. Kent Miller, ph. Vic Fazio, Kevin & Amy O'Neill, m.ob.). Although increasingly reported, few Poma- rine Jaegers are detected into Jan on Lake Erie. A cooperative bird remained at Cleveland through 11 Jan (ph. Matt Valencic, m.ob.), while one off Navarre Marsh 4 Jan (Mark Shieldcastle, Randy Krieger) represented a rare Ottawa record. Single ad. Black-headed Gulls appeared at Moraine S.P., Butler, PA 23-26 Dec (Deb Darney) and on the Susquehanna River in Lancaster and York, PA 23- 25 Jan (Mike Epler). A Little Gull at Presque Isle, Erie, PA was more expected than one at Lake Raystown, Huntingdon, PA 26 Dec (Deb Grove, Greg Grove, Lewis Grove). Most of Pennsylva - nia's "inland" (away from Lake Erie) Little Gull records are from Mar and Apr, so the date of the Huntingdon sighting is particularly noteworthy. Laughing Gulls often persist into Dec in se. Pennsylvania along the Delaware River, but one at Middletown, Dauphin 5 Jan (Richard & Pa - m.ob.) and one w. to Lorain, OH 22 Feb (Pa- tricia McKelvey). One was detected 15 Feb in sw. Ohio near Dayton, Greene (Eric Elvert, Ja - cob Roalef, Gabriel Amrhein, m.ob.). Two Eared Grebes were found in Pennsylvania, at Codorus S.P., York 23-28 Jan (Andy Wilson) and at East Ave., Erie 20-22 Dec (Ben Coulter). An Eared Grebe in Montgomery, OH 2-11 Dec (Eric Elvert, ph. Chris Collins, ph. Carl Winstead, Alexander Clark, Rick Asamoto) was a late migrant. No - table any time within Appalachia, one on Lake Rupert 21-26 Dec (ph. Alex Eberts, ph. Stefan Gleissberg, Marlene De la Cruz Guzman) was the first for Vinton, OH. In the large assort - ment of uncommon and rare waterfowl on the Kanawha River at Belle, Kanawha, WV 2 Dec was a Red-necked Grebe (ph. Richard Gregg). While there were more Red-necked Grebes and White- winged Scoters in Pennsylvania than during an average winter, numbers paled in comparison to those of winter 2013-2014, despite similarly heavy ice cover on the Great Lakes during this season. Perhaps last winter's event had popula - tion-level impacts and reduced the source num- bers for an invasion this winter; wider regional reports might help to piece together this puzzle. Analyses in Pennsylvania Birds by Greg Grove are insightful with respect to this phenomenon. An American White Pelican lingered until 1 Dec at Dayton, OH 1 Dec (David Brinkman, Alexander Clark); another was at Mosquito Lake, Trumbull, OH 5 Dec (Ethan Kistler). Among the hardier Great Egrets, singles stayed at the Senecaville State Fish Hatchery, Guernsey, OH 15 Dec (Carl - ton Schooley) and in Holmes, OH 24 Dec (Hallie Mason). Rarely documented in Ohio in recent years, a Northern Goshawk was at Maumee Bay S.P., Lucas 21 Dec (ph. Kim Warner). A Virginia Rail remained at Lake Abram, Cuyahoga 28 Dec interior, and exceptional for the Allegheny foot- hills, a Brant delighted many at Friendship Park, Jefferson, OH 21-25 Dec (ph. Andrea Anderson, Gary Busk, ph. Chris Collins, m.ob.). Now a fre - quent winter visitor across the Region, Cackling Geese remain scarce in West Virginia away from the Ohio River valley. Three at Tygart River Fos - sil Park, Randolph 1 Feb (Randy Bodkins) were noteworthy. Trumpeter Swans were reported from at least seven Pennsylvania counties, with a notable count of 6 at Moraine S.P., Butler through 1 Dec (Linda Greble, Jeff McDonald). A concerted effort by state authorities in 2014 to check the local Mute Swan numbers did not dent the numbers reported to eBird; 3 were in the interior highlands of West Virginia on the Kanawha River at the Gauley Bridge 17-23 Jan (Deborah Beutler). Late migration of Tundra Swan saw a flock of 40 passing over Shavers Run Farm, Randolph, WV 15 Jan (Rodney Bart - gis) and 50 at Eastlake, Lake, OH 16 Jan (Cole DiFabio). Few stragglers were noted thereafter; most winters of late have hosted hundreds. A Eurasian Teal was in Upper Uwchlan Twp., Chester 13 Dec–30 Jan, where one was seen in two previous winters (Nikki Flood, Scott Stol - lery). First documented during the previous winter, a Gadwall x Green-winged Teal hybrid returned to Old Reid Park, Clark, OH 2-12 Dec (Doug Overacker, Brian Menker). A Harlequin Duck entertained many in Eastlake, Lake, OH 11 Jan+ (Trevor Wearstler, Ian Lynch, ph. Cory Chiappone, ph. Jon Cephus, m.ob.). Rarer still for the Lake Erie Islands, one was seen from Kelleys Island, Erie, OH 13 Dec (Tom Bartlett). Three were found in Erie, PA this season, with a female at Sunset Point, Presque Isle S.P. 8 Dec (Jerry McWilliams) and 2 males at East Ave. 11 Jan (Geoff Malosh). A rare find for the West Virginia interior, 3 Surf Scoters were on the Kanawha River at Belle, Kanawha 29 Dec, ac - companied by a Long-tailed Duck (ph. Richard Gregg); one was seen there again 11 Feb. Single Black Scoters in Monongalia 14 Dec (Ian Batter - man) and in Wood 23 Jan (Jason White) made a good showing for West Virginia. Equally scarce on the Kanawha River, a White-winged Scoter spiced things up at Marie's Restaurant, Kanawha 15 Jan (Richard Gregg). A female Bar - row's Goldeneye was on the Delaware River, Northampton, PA 20 Jan–28 Feb (Matt Saba - tine): this middle portion of the Delaware River has produced most of the state's recent records of Barrow's Goldeneye, typically individuals mixed in with flocks of Common Goldeneye. A Red-throated Loon at Cheat Lake Park, Monongalia 2-3 Dec (Derek Courtney, m.ob.) was the lone report for West Virginia. Excep - tional early spring migrants appeared on Lake Erie, with 4 at Eastlake, Lake, OH 22 Feb (ph. Dick Hoopes, Andy Avram, ph. Tom Frankel, SA The gull highlight for the season was at well-watched Pittsburgh Point, Allegheny, PA, where Ben Coulter found and photographed an ad. Kelp Gull 17 Jan. Although identification of large gulls can be fraught with perils of many kinds, this individual was exceptionally dark on the upperparts (almost certainly ruling out a hy - brid) and showed typical leg color, primary pat- tern, and structure of a Kelp Gull of the American (nominate) subspecies. The bird was seen at the same site on the morning of 18 Jan (Geoff Malosh) and at Duck Hollow on that afternoon (m.ob.). Pending review, this would represent Pennsylva - nia's first record. There are now accepted records of Kelp Gull for Maryland (a resident bird, 1998- 2005), Delaware (1996), Indiana (1996), Colorado (2003), Florida (2011), Ontario (2012), and Cali - fornia (2015), with multiple records from Louisiana and Texas (as well as hybrids there). Ben Coulter found this adult Kelp Gull at Pittsburgh Point, Allegheny County on 17 January 2015; it remained to be seen through the next day. This is Pennsylvania's first record of the species and one of few verified in the eastern North America. Photograph by Ben Coulter.

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