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 / 4 427 N O R T H E R N C A N A D A & G R E E N L A N D Observers (subregional editors in boldface): Ken Abraham (KeA), Katie Aitken (KaA), Tracy Allard, Christine Anderson, Peter Blancher, Sonje Bols (SoB), David Britton, Serge Brodeur (SeB), Greg Brunner, Fred Bushell, Scott Cameron, Bea Cooley, Philip Downey, Cameron Eckert (Yukon), Lyn El - liot, Ian Fife, Martin Gebauer, Cam Gillies, Mary-Ann Hannaford, Jillien Hankewich, Reid Hildebrandt, Cynthia Hunt, Jukka Jantunen, Clare Kines (Nunavut), Travis Kines, Myles Lamont, Brent Lewis, Don-Jean Léandri-Breton, Geoff Newhouse, Isabeau Pratte, Brandon Reo, Edward Rickson, Craig Robinson, Felicia Sanders, Michael Shepard, Andrea Sidler, Pam Sinclair, Susan Strasevicz, Vicki St Germaine, Douglas Tate (North - west Territories), Lucas Tate, Patrick Tate, Joe Virens, Gary Vizniowski, Walter Wehtje. n –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Cameron D. Eckert, 1402 Elm Street, Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 4B6 (cameron.eckert@gmail.com) Holes Rd., Fort Smith, Northwest Territories 27 Jun yielded 6 Clay-colored, 3 Savannah, 9 Le Conte's, one Nelson's, 6 Lincoln's, 6 Swamp, and 11 White-throated Sparrows (DB). Chip - ping Sparrow departs early from the Yukon in fall, as indicated by a movement of 45 at Teslin Lake 31 Jul (JJ). A Vesper Sparrow, casual in the Yukon, was a surprise at Herschel Island, n. Yukon 22-25 Jun (ph. CE); and another was at Howard's Pass in the Selwyn Mountains 30 Jun (ph. JJ). Harris's Sparrows were commonly seen along the Thelon River, Northwest Terri - tories, with a high count of 13 on 1 Jul (PB). A count of 40 Red-winged Blackbirds, fairly high for Northwest Territories, was recorded at Yohin Lake, Nahanni N.P. 19 & 21 Jul (DT, BL). A female Brewer's Blackbird, casual in the Beaufort Sea region, was at Herschel Island, n. Yukon 19 Jun (ph. CE). Five Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches, including a juv., were seen along upper Frost Creek, Nahanni N.P., Northwest Territories 15 Jul (DT). Jul (DB), while high counts from the Yukon in- cluded 300 at the Blackstone River, Tombstone Territorial Park 6 Jun (SC) and 200 at Pelly Crossing 13 Jun (JV). A European Barn Swal - low (Hirundo rustica rustica) well observed and photographed at Herschel Island, n. Yukon 24 Jun (ph. CE) is apparently a first record for Can - ada; it was followed by a North American Barn Swallow (H. r. erythrogaster) there the following day (CE). Another Barn Swallow was well n. of its range at Kugluktuk, Nunavut 3 Jul (FB). A survey of the wetlands at Yohin Lake, Nahanni N.P., Northwest Territories 21 Jun yielded 16 Marsh Wrens along with 28 Swamp Sparrows and 5 Le Conte's Sparrows (DT, BL). A Gray Catbird, rare in Northwest Territories, was singing near Hay River 4 Jun (DT, MAH, LT, PT, GV). A male Eastern Yellow Wagtail touched down briefly at Herschel Island, n. Yukon 14 Jun (ph. CE). A Yellow-rumped War - bler, n. of its range, was at Kugluktuk, Nuna- vut 8 Jun (ML). A sparrow-rich area along Fox Prairie Provinces A Mississippi Kite returned to Winnipeg, where it was seen intermittently in last year's nesting area from about 4 until at least 29 May (MG, m.ob.). The only notable diurnal rap - tor migration day at Windygates, MB was 28 Mar, when 305 Bald Eagles and 752 Red-tailed Hawks passed (LB). A Red-shouldered Hawk was photographed near Lac du Bonnet, MB 6 Apr (GS). Unusually early were a Sora at Mc - Taggart, SK 19 Apr (V&DT) and an American Coot at Frank Lake 10 Mar (DA et al.). Alberta's fourth (but only second confirmed) Snowy Plover was at Chip Lake, 100 km w. of Ed - monton, 20 May (GN, ph.). A Black-necked Stilt was at Whitewater Lake 23 Apr (CBy). Otherwise shorebird migration throughout the Region elicited few comments. A leucistic Franklin's Gull at Calgary 16 May was an in - teresting find (TK, ph.). Rare gulls included 3 different Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Regina 29 Mar–14 Apr (BL) and one at Brandon, MB 15 May (CC, ph.) and a Glaucous-winged Gull at Calgary 30 Apr–1 May (BE, RW). later in the season there seemed to be a scar- city of buteos on territory. Each province had its share of rarities, best of which included Alber - ta's first Great-tailed Grackle and second con- firmed Snowy Plover, Saskatchewan's first Eur- asian Tree Sparrow, and Manitoba's third Sage Thrasher, plus a returning Mississippi Kite. WATERFOWL THROUGH TERNS Greater White-fronted Goose migration was particularly strong in s. Manitoba between mid-Mar and mid-Apr, with flocks of up to 200 birds reported (CC, LdM, RK, m.ob.). On the other hand, Snow Geese were extremely scarce, even in sw. Manitoba, where usually abundant. Early Trumpeter Swans appeared at Hadash - ville, MB 13 Mar (RK, E.E.T.) and Steinbach, MB 15 Mar (DF). Two, possibly 3 Bewick's Swans were in the Calgary, AB area 26 Mar–20 Apr (m.ob.); this subspecies appears to be rare but regular in Alberta now. A higher-than- usual 38 Eurasian Wigeons were tallied in s. Alberta 7 Mar–18 May (fide TK). Greater Scaup were prominent in the Calgary area, with sev - eral counts into the dozens (m.ob.). Four Great Egrets were in Saskatchewan 24 Apr–29 May (SS, CB, DW). Single Snowy Egrets were at Frank Lake, AB 25 May (fide YA) and at Dids - bury, AB 29 May (MS). A Tricolored Heron at Delta, MB 1 May (CM) was quite rare. A likely Glossy Ibis was at Whitewater Lake, MB 29- 31 May (JY, m.ob.); the same lake hosted 150 White-faced Ibis 21 May (CC, CBy). Rudolf F. Koes Peter Taylor –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– SPRING –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– W eather-related events featured strongly across the Prairie Provinc - es, from early arrivals and migrant surges during mild spells in March and early April to fallout conditions during inclement pe - riods later in April and in May. On the whole, the season was dry, especially April in Manitoba and most of the season in eastern Alberta and western Saskatchewan. Waterfowl migration was considered normal in Alberta but strong in southwestern Manitoba, although few Snow Geese staged in the latter province. The diur - nal raptor migration at Manitoba's traditional hawkwatch locations was dismal, and even Alberta's second confirmed record of Snowy Plover was established with this individual at Chip Lake on 30 May 2015. Photograph by Alex Woods.

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