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:

Contents of this Issue


Page 67 of 139

N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 242 Tennessee & Kentucky gion. One to 4 Ross's Geese were reported at seven Kentucky locales; singles in Fayette 3 Dec (JSo, ph. DPr) and 15 Jan and 17 Feb (SP, DSv, LC) were the farthest east. In Tennessee, away from Reelfoot Lake where Ross's Geese winter in small numbers most years, a fairly typical number of scattered single individuals were re ported. One to 6 Cackling Geese were reported from at least nine Kentucky locales, with up to 22 (19 Jan) at the Re formatory Lake, Oldham during Jan (BD, BP et al.). In Tennessee, there were three reports: one at Steele Creek Park, Sullivan 14 Dec (LMcD), 2 at Coleman Lake, Davidson 18 Jan (MSm), and 4 at Dunbar Cave State Park, Montgomery 19 Feb–7 Mar (JHa). The wintering flock of Tundra Swans at Sauer heber peaked at 216 on 31 Dec (CP) and 207 on 21 Jan (CP); there were only three addition al reports, all from Kentucky: one on Mc Dougal Lake, Larue 11 Jan (BP, EHu, MS); 7 on Cave Run Lake, Bath/Rowan 11 Jan (MWr et al.), with 14 there 13 Jan (MWr); and one on Green River Lake, Taylor 13 Jan (†RD). Generally, numbers of geese and dabbling ducks were not extraordinary during the sea son. A few noteworthy peak counts included 16,000 Greater White fronted Geese at Sau erheber 31 Dec (CP); 21,000 Snow Geese at Sauerheber 26 Nov (CP); and up to 1000 Green winged Teal along the Ten nessee River s. of Ledbetter, Livingston, KY during late Jan (DD). A male Eurasian Wigeon was at Hatchie N.W.R., Haywood, TN 6 17 Feb (GP, ph. TB, m.ob.). A tardy male Blue winged Teal was a late winter flight of waterfowl off the Great Lakes, particularly White winged Scoters. Rarity highlights in Kentucky included multiple Red throated Loons and Red necked Grebes, California Gull, multiple Iceland and Great Black backed Gulls, Prairie Falcon, Black and white Warbler, and Common Red poll. Rarity highlights in Tennessee included Eurasian Wigeon, Pacific and Red throated Loons, Northern Goshawk, Little Gull, Iceland Gull, Great Black backed Gull, McCown's Longspur, and Snow Bunting. Abbreviations: Barren River Lake (Allen/Bar - ren, KY), John Sevier Lake (Hawkins, TN), Sau erheber (Sauerheber Unit Sloughs W.M.A., Hen- derson, KY), Pace Point (Pace Point, Big Sandy Unit, Tennessee N.W.R., Henry, TN), Sinclair (Sinclair Unit Peabody W.M.A., Muhlenberg, KY), South Holston Lake (Sullivan, TN). WATERFOWL Greater White fronted Geese were well distrib uted in small numbers across the cen. portion of Kentucky; in Tennessee, 27 at John Sevier Lake 23 28 Feb (SHu) and 34 at South Holston Lake 28 Feb (RLK) represented unusually high numbers for the ne. part of the state. Similarly, 25 Snow Geese at John Sevier Lake 11 Feb (SHu) and 18 in Washington, TN 27 Feb (RLK) were high counts for the same part of the Re Chris A. Sloan Brainard Palmer-Ball, Jr. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– C limatic conditions during winter 2014 2015 were not quite as severe as during the previous winter, but they definitely affected the Region's birdlife significantly. The winter began relatively uneventfully, with aver age temperatures running slightly above nor mal during December. Precipitation during December was a bit more variable, with nor mal totals recorded in the central part of the Region but drier conditions occurring in the east and south, where Bowling Green received less than one half normal precipitation dur ing the month. Temperatures during January remained close to normal, but relatively dry conditions developed at most major recording stations, where from one third (Louisville) to two thirds (Paducah and Jackson, Kentucky) normal precipitation occurred. In contrast, conditions during February turned quite cold, with major recording stations compiling aver age temperatures 10 12° F below normal and temperatures dipping well into the negative single digits Fahrenheit on a few occasions during the month. Precipitation during Febru ary varied from slightly above to slightly below normal across Kentucky, with only one sig nificant snow event across the northern half of the state mid month. In Tennessee, a series of winter storms during February brought above average precipitation and bitterly cold tem peratures, highlighted by a mind (and body ) numbing temperature of –21° F at Mount Le Conte, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Sevier County, Tennessee 20 February. A prolonged period of dreary weather dur ing 2 3 December combined with an excel lent movement of southbound waterbirds to result in an unprecedented fallout of several species on the Region's reservoirs. The progressively worsening conditions during late winter ap parently resulted in some mortality in several species, particularly Carolina Wrens and East ern Bluebirds. However, the extremely cold weather did result in some excellent gatherings of rare gulls, and for the second winter in a row, SA A prolonged period of dreary weather during 2-3 Dec combined with an excel lent movement of southbound waterbirds resulted in an unprecedented fallout of several species on Kentucky's reservoirs (Table 1). Little of this fallout reached into Tennessee, al - though 8000 Lesser Scaup on Reelfoot Lake (mostly in Obion) 20 Dec (MCT, BF) likely were also attributable to the same weather conditions. Table 1. Representative counts of waterbirds on Kentucky lakes, 2-3 December 2014. Species Location Date Count (Observer[s]) Redhead Barren River Lake, KY 2 Dec 1400 (MBy, JBy) Redhead Lake Vega, Madison, KY 3 Dec 800 (TEd) Redhead Lake Cumberland, Russell, KY 3 Dec 1430 (RD) Redhead Barren River Lake, KY 3 Dec 8100 (WT) Lesser Scaup Barren River Lake, KY 3 Dec 2700 (WT) Black Scoter Ohio River at Louisville, KY 2 Dec 13 (EHu et al.) Bufflehead Barren River Lake, KY 2 Dec 144 (MBy, JBy) Bufflehead Lake Cumberland, Russell, KY 3 Dec 190 (RD) Red-breasted Merganser Barren River Lake, KY 2 Dec 1042 (MBy, JBy) Red-breasted Merganser Lake Cumberland, KY 3 Dec 1100 (RD) Red-breasted Merganser Lake Peewee, Hopkins, KY 3 Dec 350 (BP, JBa, MY, SG, TG) Horned Grebe Barren River Lake, KY 2 Dec 280 (MBy, JBy) Horned Grebe Lake Peewee, Hopkins, KY 3 Dec 305 (BP, JBa, MY, SG, TG)

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of North American Birds - VOLUME 69 NO2 2016