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 109 of 211

N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 420 A L A B A M A & M I S S I S S I P P I through 10 Jul at the same island location as in 2014 (TLS et al.). An impressive pre-migration gathering of an estimated 3000 Purple Martins on power - lines in the L.M.T.R.D. was observed 7 Jul (JAT, MKL, HEH). A new breeding season location for Tree Swallow in Alabama was found in the Half Mile Shoals quad, Shelby, with 3 individu - als present 21 Jun (GDJ). Additionally, 4 indi- viduals including a juv. were at Limestone Park, Shelby, AL 28 Jun (GDJ) where they are well established now. Two significant high counts of Northern Rough-winged Swallow were tallied, including a new Alabama summer high of 500 at Lake Land Farms near Marion, Perry 22 Jul (BCG) and a maximum summer count for the T.V. of 271 w. of Florence/Oakland, Lauderdale 23 Jul (DJS). A House Wren nest with five eggs was noteworthy at Petersville, Lauderdale 21 Jun (JTG et al.); the species is a rare breeder in nw. Alabama. Twenty-two Marsh Wrens were tallied in Polecat Bay, Mobile 10 Jul (JAT, MKL), a good count along Blakeley Island, which ap - pears to be the primary breeding stronghold for this species in Alabama. Ovenbirds were found at two locations s. of their normal range, including one in the Pearson quad, Bibb and Tuscaloosa, AL 16 Jun (RS&DCH) and a total of 2 at Noxubee 2-16 Jun (TLS), where breeding is presumed but yet to be confirmed. The summer high count for Swainson's Warbler in n. Alabama was set by the 9 in the Aldrich quad, Bibb and Shelby 6 Jun (PAR, LB). Rare in the T.V., singles at three loca - tions were reported 13 Jun–5 Jul (DJS, SRM), and 9 were at eight locations in upper e.-cen. Mississippi 2 Jun–11 Jul, where uncommon (TLS). A Cerulean Warbler observed singing on Krogers Island, Lauderdale 28 Jun (JBO) was a nice find for this local breeder in an area of Alabama that has not had reports in years. Yel - low Warblers are rare breeders in Alabama, so 2 w. of Florence, Lauderdale 27 Jun (JBO) were noteworthy. In Mississippi, 2 were early arriv - als at Starkville, Oktibbeha 22 Jul (TLS). A Song Sparrow was at Florence, Lauderdale 19 Jun and 11 Jul (DJS); the species is an un - common breeder in nw. Alabama (DJS). Eleven Lark Sparrows in five locations in the Black Belt Prairie region of Mississippi was similar to counts from past summers for this increasing breeder (TLS). Six Grasshopper Sparrows were at sites ne. of West Point, Clay, MS, where they are rare but regular nesters (TLS). Painted Bun - tings are also local breeders in the Black Belt Prairie region; an ad. male n. of Brooksville, Noxubee continued from the spring through 20 Jul (TLS), and 4 were present throughout the reporting period at a regular site ne. of West Point, Clay (TLS). In Alabama, an ad. male was at a regular site in Montgomery 21-27 Jun (LFG, ton, Colbert, with 8 on 5 Jun establishing the maximum summer count for Alabama and one on 10 Jul (DJS) that provided the early arrival record for Alabama. Four Least Sandpipers at Pelican Peninsula/Dauphin 5 Jul (LH, ML) set an early arrival record for the G.C. Additional early shorebirds included a Semipalmated Sandpiper at Leighton, Colbert, AL 10 Jul (DJS) and a Western Sandpiper at Pelican Peninsula/ Dauphin 5 Jul (LH, ML). Good numbers of Short-billed Dowitchers were at Pelican Penin - sula/Dauphin, with 26 on 5 Jul (LH, ML) and 53 on 21 Jul (AH), the latter setting the maxi - mum summer count for Alabama. An imm. Great Black-backed Gull lingered for most of the season on Dauphin 14 Jun–21 Jul (ph. AH et al.), providing the second sum - mer record for Alabama. A Sooty Tern was photographed on West Ship Island, Harrison, MS 10 Jun (EE, GS); this species has nested sporadically in recent years on Dauphin, but nesting in Mississippi has not been document - ed. Two Caspian Terns were found in the Cen- treville West quad, Bibb 7 Jun (DPG), where they are occasional in Jun in the I.C.P. Counts of Forster's Terns along the Mobile Causeway, Baldwin were higher than normal; the maxi - mum summer count for Alabama was 45 on 30 Jul (RSD). DOVES THROUGH FINCHES The maximum summer count for Rock Pi- geon on the G.C. was set by the count of 90 in the L.M.T.R.D. 8 Jul (JAT). Not unexpected in extreme sw. Mississippi, 7 Inca Doves were noteworthy for infrequently visited Wilkinson 21 Jun (ph. JVR, MB). White-winged Doves are local but increasing breeders in the G.C., where one was at Bayou la Batre, Mobile 4 Jul (BB), a site that has not been regular in the past, and 14 were at Mobile 10 Jul (JT). Wil - low Flycatchers are rare and very local breed- ers in the Region; a territorial male was present through 12 Jun for a second consecutive year at a site on Columbus Lake, Clay, MS (TLS). A pair of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers nested suc - cessfully near Artesia, Lowndes, MS after several years of suspected attempts (TLS et al.). An ad. Scissor-tailed was near Starkville, Oktibbeha 11 Jul (LBe). Blue-headed Vireos were at the s. edge of their breeding range in Alabama at Oak Mountain S.P., Shelby 18 Jul, with 4 observed, including 3 singing males likely on territory (GDJ). Warbling Vireo breeding locations are restricted to very few locations away from the Mississippi River. Nesting was confirmed for the first time in the cen. part of our Region at Columbus Lake, Lowndes, MS, where a nesting pair was observed regularly through 19 Jun (ph. TLS et al.). Another territorial individual was at Columbus Lake in Clay, MS, present Jun (JAT, MKL) and 46 Common Gallinules 15 Jul (including juvs.; JAT, MKL, ECS). Rare in the T.V., a Common Gallinule was at Gunters - ville Lake, Marshall 17 Jul (AHa). No breeding evidence for American Coot was reported in the Region this year, but 11 total were at four locations throughout the L.M.T.R.D. 8 Jun–15 Jul (m.ob.) and one at nearby Blakeley 15 Jun (LFG). In Mississippi, up to 2 summering in - dividuals were at Noxubee 2 Jun–28 Jul (TLS) and up to 7 at Seaman, a regular breeding site recently (m.ob.). A Black-necked Stilt was rare for Jun at Ca - talpa Creek, Lowndes, MS 3 Jun (TLS). Single American Avocets were at Blakeley 15 Jun (LFG) and at W.P.S.L. 15 Jul (ph. TLS et al.), and 32 were n. of Yazoo City, Yazoo, MS 11 Jul (JRR). Ten Spotted Sandpipers at Blakeley 30 Jul (RSD, RAD) set the high summer count for s. Alabama. Also at Blakeley, 2 Greater Yel - lowlegs were rare for early summer on 15 Jun (LFG), and 6 Lesser Yellowlegs 1 Jul (RSD) were early fall migrants. Five Willets at Colum - bus Lake, Lowndes, MS 4 Jul (TLS) made an early inland record. Occasional in summer, a Whimbrel was seen at three locations around Dauphin 6 Jun–30 Jul, likely representing the same wandering individual (AH, MSW). Early Marbled Godwit individuals were at Bon Sec - our N.W.R., Baldwin, AL 4 Jul (MJJ) and ne. of Isola, Humphreys, MS 11 Jul (ph. JRR). The maximum summer count for Ruddy Turnstone in Alabama was set by 13 at Pelican Peninsula/ Dauphin 27 Jun (AH). A Red Knot at Pelican Peninsula/Dauphin 12 Jun (AH) and an ad. Stilt Sandpiper on the Mobile Causeway, Mo - bile, AL 7 Jul (ph. KC) were uncommon sum- mer finds. A Sanderling at Leighton, Colbert 10 Jul (DJS) furnished an early arrival record for the T.V. Up to 3 Dunlins were late at Pelican Peninsula/Dauphin 3-14 Jun (AH). Notable Baird's Sandpiper sightings came from Leigh - Marsh Wren breeding confirmation has been very limited in Alabama recently, with only dummy nests found during the Breeding Bird Atlas project (2000-2006). Survey work this spring and summer in the Lower Mobile-Tensaw River Delta found nests containing eggs and young. This individual was photographed 7 July 2015 on Blakeley Island, Mobile County, where the vast majority of breeding Marsh Wrens occur in Alabama. Photograph by John A. Trent.

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