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.

Issue link: http://nab.aba.org/i/778845

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V O L U M E 6 9 ( 2 0 1 6 ) • N U M B E R S 3 / 4 419 A L A B A M A & M I S S I S S I P P I at Pelican Peninsula/Dauphin 2 Jul (ph. AH), 4 at Bon Secour N.W.R., Baldwin 4 Jul (MJJ), and 2 on Fort Morgan Peninsula, Baldwin 5 Jul (BB). Double-crested Cormorants are rare in the M.R., so one at Lake Purdy, Jefferson 28 Jul (RJK) was notable. Numbers of American White Pelican were down this year from high counts of previous summers, but 120 were at Demopolis Lock & Dam, Marengo and Sumter, AL 22 Jun (D&JS). Nine Least Bitterns counted 22 Jun in the L.M.T.R.D. made a summer high for Alabama (JAT, MKL). Establishing the maximum sum - mer count for the G.C., 60 Great Blue Herons were at Isle aux Herbes, Mobile 22 Jul (MSW et al.). A count of 159 Cattle Egrets at Leighton, Colbert 19 Jun (DJS) was an excellent num - ber for recent decades in n. Alabama. Black- crowned Night-Herons were likely nesting at Noxubee, where sightings have been increas - ing recently, with 3 ads. and one juv. seen 2 Jun and 19 Jul, respectively (TLS, WP). Fifteen Yellow-crowned Night-Herons at the Marion Fish Hatchery, Perry 18 Jul (RJK, RLK) made a good count for the I.C.P., and a morning flight of 1430 White Ibis in the L.M.T.R.D. provided a summer high count for the G.C. 15 Jun (JAT, MKL). Swallow-tailed Kites are locally rare inland, so 2 s. of Auburn, Lee, AL 24 Jul (RM) were notable. Rare but increasing in the M.R., a Mis - sissippi Kite was at Bessemer, Jefferson 5 Jun (CD). A Peregrine Falcon was a welcome sight at Wheeler Dam, Lawrence 13 Jun (ph. TMH), only the second recent Jun record for Alabama. Summer maximum counts in Alabama for both gallinule species were established in the L.M.T.R.D., including 12 Purple Gallinules 5 was seen 28 Jun at Lime - stone Park, Shelby (GDJ), where they have been regular in recent years. The maximum summer count for Mallard in the I.C.P. was 79 s. of Browns, Dallas 9 Jul (LFG). Eleven early Blue-winged Teal were reported from five locations in both states 2-17 Jun but with no evidence of breeding. Re - ports of Northern Shov- eler were received across Alabama from four loca - tions, an increase from re- cent years. Single males were at Pintlala, Mont - gomery 7 Jun and Blakeley 15 Jun (LFG). In the T.V., single individuals were at Wheeler N.W.R., Lime - stone 24 Jun (DC et al.) and w. of Florence, Lauderdale 27 Jun (ASP). A small group of Redheads at Leighton, Colbert provided the first summer record for the T.V., with 2 individuals last seen 11 Jun (DJS et al.). In Mississippi, a female was late at W.P.S.L. 8 Jun (TLS). Three Jul observations of Lesser Scaup included a female along the Mo - bile Causeway, Baldwin, AL 1 Jul (RSD), a male at W.P.S.L. 8 Jul+ (TLS) that marked the sixth summer record for this area and third consecu - tive year for the species at this site, and a male at Guntersville Lake, Marshall, AL 31 Jul (ph. AHa). Only one coastal Red-breasted Mergan - ser was reported this year at Pelican Peninsula/ Dauphin 16 Jun (LFG). More uncommon in - land, one was at Guntersville Lake, Marshall, AL 26 Jul (AHa) for the second consecutive summer. A male Ruddy Duck was at W.P.S.L. again for the entire reporting period, provid - ing the second summering record for the area (TLS), and a female was likely an early arrival at Oktibbeha County Lake, Oktibbeha, MS 23 Jul (TLS), as no birds were detected there ear - lier in the summer. Common Loon sightings continued this summer along the coast, with one at Dauphin 5 Jun (ph. TB) and one at West Ship Island, Harrison 10 Jun (EE). Along the Gulf, Pied- billed Grebes are local breeders; nesting was confirmed at Blakeley when a family group of 12 was seen 30 Jul (RSD, RAD), also estab - lishing the summer high count for the G.C. Young were also present at Seaman 25 Jun, where nesting has become regular in recent years (m.ob.). Northern Gannets were at three locations on the outer G.C. within a four-day period in Jul including a first-year individual cretive species along the coast. Notable breed - ing records included one expanding exotic species that was confirmed nesting for the first time in Alabama and one very local breeder in the Region that was confirmed nesting at a new location in Mississippi. Abbreviations: Blakeley (Blakeley Island dredge settling ponds, Alabama State Port Au - thority, Mobile, AL) Dauphin (Dauphin Island, Mobile, AL); G.C. (Gulf Coastal region of s. Alabama); I.C.P. (Inland Coastal Plain region of s.-cen. Alabama); L.M.T.R.D. (Lower Mobile- Tensaw River delta, Baldwin/Mobile, AL); M.R. (Mountain region of n. Alabama); Noxubee (Noxubee N.W.R., Noxubee/Oktibbeha/Winston, MS); Seaman (Seaman Road Sewage Lagoons, Jackson, MS); T.V. (Tennessee Valley region of n. Alabama); W.P.S.L. (West Point Sewage La - goon, Clay, MS). WATERFOWL THROUGH TERNS Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks continued their steady expansion in Alabama, with observa - tions coming from several new coastal and in- land sites this year. On the coast, an active nest was found in a nest box in the L.M.T.R.D. 17 Jun (JAT, MKL), 2 were at Bayou la Batre, Mo - bile 28 Jun (ML, LH), and 9 were at Belforest, Baldwin 5 Jul (ph. KC). In the I.C.P., 2 birds were visiting a possible nest site near Hacoda, Geneva 22 Jul (OHJ), and 2 were much far - ther inland at Eufaula N.W.R., Barbour 8 Jul (ph. J&MC). Rare in the T.V., 5 were at Leigh - ton, Colbert 2 Jun (DSJ). Fulvous Whistling- Ducks appear irregularly in the Region; up to 2 were noted multiple times at Seaman 2-30 Jul (m.ob.). Summering Gadwall individuals were at Leighton, Colbert, AL 11 Jun (DJS), the L.M.T.R.D. 17 Jun (ph. JAT, MKL), and Sea - man 16-30 Jul (m.ob.). American Black Ducks are occasional in the M.R., and this year one Warbling Vireo breeding was confirmed at a new location far from expected nesting localities in Mississippi at Columbus Lake in Lowndes County. A pair continued from the spring and was observed through 19 June 2015, with an adult photographed on the nest (here 14 June). Photograph by Terence L. Schiefer. Scaly-breasted Munias were first documented in Alabama in December 2004, and numbers have increased steadily ever since. Nesting confirmation was officially made for the first time this summer at Lillian, Baldwin County on the Alabama/Florida border. A pair was seen carrying nest material into a Purple Martin house 22 June 2015, and upon further inspection (here 30 June), two active nests were found in separate houses, both containing at least seven eggs. Photographs by Bill Summerour.

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