North American Birds

VOLUME 69 NO3 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 105 of 211

N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 416 the Tennessee River in Colbert (DJS). An influx of White-winged Scoters included 18 individu - als reported from seven different locations; the high count for this season was of 7 at Fort Mor - gan 9 Mar (BJ), while a lingering female 25 Apr in Jefferson provided only the third spring re - cord for the M.R. (SSH, DPG). The only Black Scoter observation received was of 13 at Cedar Point, Mobile, AL 7 Mar (AHaf). Also present at the same location that day were 15 Com - mon Goldeneyes, established a new high G.C. spring count (AHaf). Two Red-throated Loons at Guntersville, Marshall 13 Apr provided a rare spring Ala - bama find (ph. AH). A Pacific Loon at the same location 13 Apr–2 May was at least equally rare (ph. AH, RK). Likely staging to migrate, the sin - gle flock of 65 Horned Grebes at Dauphin 14 Mar (BCG) furnished a new high spring G.C. count. In the T.V., migrating Eared Grebes ap - pear mostly in the second or third week in Mar; 2 were at Town Creek Point, Colbert 21-22 Mar (DJS), one at Leighton, Colbert 22 Mar (SRM), and one at Guntersville, Marshall 23 Mar (AH). Up to 3 Sooty Shearwaters were found during ferry crossings between Dauphin and Fort Mor - gan 24-26 Apr (KC, AHaf) and off Fort Morgan itself (ph. KC). The Region has just 14 previous records. Although spring Wood Stork reports are not entirely unexpected, finding at least 100 in the I.C.P. at Autaugaville, Autauga 11-12 Mar was surprising so early in spring (TRP). Locally early were 2 at Noxubee 16 May (TLS, MS). An injured Masked Booby was found 23 Apr on a beach in Baldwin, AL and taken into rehabilita - tive care (ph. fide RC); the species is only oc- casionally detected in coastal counties. Much rarer, an imm. Brown Booby seen at West Ship Island Pier, Harrison 17-19 Apr provided only the second Mississippi record (ph. WM, OG). This booby later died, and the specimen was deposited in the Mississippi Museum of Na - tional History. An impressive late spring count of 800 Double-crested Cormorants was made 30 May at Wilson Dam, Colbert/Lauderdale, AL (DJS). Anhingas are regular breeders at Nox - ubee, but observers this season found the nests at Bluff Lake placed near Cattle and Great Egret nests rather than near Great Blue Heron nests at the back of the lake. Observations of the Anhinga activity were thus made much easier. The first 2 Anhingas arrived 20 Mar, and by 9 May, 33 were counted in the heronry. A breed - ing presence continued into the summer season (TLS, MS, m.ob.). American White Pelicans were hard to overlook this season in Alabama, as numbers and distribution appeared to reach a high-water mark. Eleven reports of 1274 total birds were accumulated, mostly from the M.R. and I.C.P., but two reports came from the T.V. (m.ob.). sippi River Delta region of w. Mississippi); Fort Morgan (Fort Morgan State Historical Park, Baldwin, AL); G.C. (Gulf Coastal region of s. Alabama); I.C.P. (Inland Coastal Plain region of s.-cen. Alabama); M.R. (Mountain region of n. Alabama); Noxubee (Noxubee N.W.R., Nox - ubee/Oktibbeha/Winston, MS); Seaman (Seaman Road lagoons, Jackson, MS); T.V. (Tennessee Valley region of n. Alabama); Wheeler (Wheel - er N.W.R., Limestone/Morgan/Madison, AL). WATERFOWL THROUGH TERNS Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks continue to expand their seasonal range and populations across our Region, with more than 500 indi - viduals reported this spring from 27 locations. Furnishing a new high total for Alabama, more than 207 were counted 23 Mar at Blakeley, where nest boxes have encouraged breeding for several years (BS). Nine other Baldwin and Mo - bile locations hosted 217 individuals 4 Apr–29 May (m.ob.). The species was also widespread across Mississippi, with reports from five Delta and coastal counties. The largest total was 78 found 22 Mar during an A.C.B.S. at Singing River Island, Jackson (JW, AA). Much more dif - ficult to find, Fulvous Whistling-Ducks were only found at two Mississippi locations: 2 at Jackson Ridge, Hancock 9 May (NB) and 3 at Seaman 14 May (ph. NB, OG, m.ob.). Sur - prisingly tardy, 180 Greater White-fronted Geese were seen 2 May flying over Graveline Bay, Jackson, MS (JW). Also late was the Ross's Goose 4 May in Colbert , AL (DJS). A male Eur - asian Wigeon 25 Apr at Noxubee became the first to be photographically documented in Mississippi (ph. HM, KM); the state had three previous records. American Wigeon put on an impressive show at Wheeler 4 Mar when that day's waterfowl survey totaled 1105 for a new spring T.V. high (CDC). A lone American Wigeon 29 May in Colbert, AL was a very late lingerer (DJS). The Wheeler waterfowl survey 4 Mar found an excellent count of 840 stag - ing Northern Shovelera (CDC); a male lingered 16 May at West Point sewage lagoon, Clay, MS (TLS), setting a new local late departure date by three days, while 4 at Blakeley 20 May (ph. KC) were also tardy. A new I.C.P. spring high count for Can - vasback was established 4 Mar by the 130 at Uniontown, Perry (JAT, ECS). An impressive 850 Canvasbacks were on Ross Barnett Res - ervoir, Madison, MS 7 Mar (JH). A new I.C.P. high count for Redhead was furnished by the report of 146 at Eufaula N.W.R., Barbour 3 Mar (PO, CF). The lingering male Redhead 31 May in Colbert established a new late T.V. date (DJS). A new Alabama spring high count for Greater Scaup was furnished 21 Mar by the estimated 500 found at Town Creek Point on –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– SPRING –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Steven W. McConnell M ississippi appears to have outranked Alabama this season in the number and diversity of rarities. Examples included a second state record Brown Booby, the first photographic record for Eurasian Wi - geon, a Say's Phoebe continuing from the win- ter season, and a Ruff. Alabama compensated with many days of migrant activity reported by pleased (and tired!) observers to have been be - yond their expectations. Weather was gener- ally 1.0-3.0° C warmer than normal across the Region, with rainfall 1-5 cm above normal for most locations. Migration along the Alabama coast was most apparent 12-13 April, with "hundreds of birds at eye level" on Dauphin Island. However, the entire period from 10-30 April was reported to be more active than nor - mal, as periodic coastal rains grounded newly arrived migrants. Most of these birds quickly rested, fed, and then departed, as southerly winds continued to favor their journey. To the north, birding 26-30 April was excellent in the Tennessee Valley, with both numbers and diversity said to be above normal. Observers out 2 May at Dauphin Island found numerous thrushes, terns, and shorebirds. Up north on the same day, the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge spring count was very productive, with 161 species tallied by 20 observers. At compi - lation, 14 species had their previous Tennes- see Valley region one-day high counts tied or surpassed. Abbreviations: A.C.B.S. (Audubon Coastal Birding Survey); Blakeley (Blakeley Island dredge disposal ponds, Mobile, AL); Dauphin (Dauphin Island, Mobile, AL); Delta (Missis - Alabama & Mississippi

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