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 117 of 211

N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 428 P R A I R I E P R O V I N C E S ph.). An out-of-season Gray-crowned Rosy- Finch was at Calgary 14 May (GY). A strong incursion of Pine Siskins into s. Manitoba took place from late Apr through late May, with flocks of 100+ birds noted at many locations. A Eurasian Tree Sparrow found at Regina 1 May remained until 4 Jun (NSe, fide DS, m.ob.). It was seen and photographed by many and pro - vided Saskatchewan with its first record. The sighting came hot on the heels of Manitoba's second and third confirmed records. Observers (provincial compilers in boldface): Dan Arndt, Yousif Attia, Karl Bardon, Luc Blanchette, Carol Blenkin, Colin Blyth (CBy), Todd Boland, Cary Braden (CBr), Cal Cuth - bert, Larry de March (LdM), Brian Elder, Den- nis Fast, Marlene Gifford, David Hatch, Trevor Herriot, Ron Jensen, Kris Kendall, Rudolf Koes, Marg Korolyk, Terry Korolyk, Greg Krätzig, Bob Luterbach, Donna Martin, Cam Meuckon, Greg Neise, Rob Parsons, Carole Penner, Peter Roxburgh, Nick Saunders, Dan Sawatzky, Gord Schirlie, Nella Schmidt (NSc), Nick Selinger (NSe), Stan Shadick, Martin Sharp, Bob Shet - tler, Kevin Shute, Joanne Smith, Milt and Elaine Spitzer, Peter Taylor, Val & Doyle Thomas, Don Weidl, John Weier, Ray Wershler, Nancy West, Gus Yaki, Julie Yatsko; E.E.T. = Eagle Eye Tours. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– SUMMER –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– T he summer of 2015 was characterized by warm weather, with precipitation levels ranging from near-normal in southern Manitoba to somewhat below average in south - ern Alberta and much below normal in Sas- katchewan. In the latter province, Regina had 20% of its normal rainfall during the period. Massive forest fires raged in the boreal forest across the north of the Prairie Provinces, and indications are that this resulted in substantial nesting season losses. Perhaps an early start to the migration of vireos and warblers in south - ern Alberta was also a result of the fires. Alberta and Manitoba were blessed with numerous rari - ties, including Red-bellied Woodpecker, Crest- ed Caracara, two Eastern Wood-Pewees, Wood Thrush, and Great-tailed Grackle in Alberta, and Glossy Ibis and Common Crane in Manitoba. WATERFOWL THROUGH FALCONS Lingering waterfowl included several Snow Geese in s. Saskatchewan, 30 Ross's Geese 1 Jun at Middle Quill Lake, SK (SS), a Cackling Goose 20 Jun at Frank Lake, AB (DA), and a Surf Scoter at Glenmore Reservoir, Calgary, AB 20 Jun (AS). A Cinnamon Teal pair at A Western Wood-Pewee at Oak Lake, MB 30 May–5 Jun was e. of its normal range (PT, RK, m.ob.) though not unprecedented at that loca - tion (fide DH). A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was near Indi Lake, SK 9 May (NS, RJ, ph.). No de - tails were received about an apparent Blue Jay x Steller's Jay hybrid reported from Fish Creek P.P., Calgary 18 May (PRh). Inclement weather in late Apr resulted in a Hermit Thrush fallout, with tallies of 68 at Pinawa, MB and 42 at Seven Sisters Falls, MB 21 Apr (PT) and 62+ along one trail at Gimli, MB 25 Apr (DM). Similar conditions at Regina created a fallout of Swain - son's Thrushes 8-16 May (GK, m.ob.). A Gray Catbird at Calgary 6 Apr had likely wintered (KS). Manitoba's third Sage Thrasher was a one-day wonder at St. Ambroise 10 May (CP, NSc, CBr, ph.). An American Pipit at Oak Ham - mock Marsh, MB 3 & 5 Apr (JW) was record early. Flocks of 3000 Bohemian Waxwings at Calgary 3 Mar (MK) and 5000 there 4 Mar (GY et al.) were notable. On 30 Mar, a carefully esti - mated 47,000 Snow Buntings, one of the high- est tallies ever in Manitoba, were found in the Brunkild area (KB). A Townsend's Warbler at Blackstrap Lake, SK 25 May was about the tenth for the province (TH). Also rare was a Black- throated Blue Warbler at Enchant in s. Alberta 23 May (KK), while one at Winnipeg 23 May (RP) was somewhat more expected. A Summer Tanager near Komarno 3 May was a good find, as were single Western Tanagers at Star - buck, MB 8-12 May (CP, m.ob., ph.) and Headingley 16 May (BS). A male tanager at St. Andrews, MB 14-15 May appeared to a Scarlet Tanager x Western Tanager hybrid (fide JS, m.ob., ph.). The 21 Apr passerine fallout produced 220 Fox Sparrows between Pinawa and Seven Sisters Falls, MB (PT). Alberta got its first Great-tailed Grackle, a male that was found in mid-May by a visiting birder and subsequently seen into Jun at Hill Spring, s. of Fort McLeod (TB, m.ob., OWLS THROUGH FINCHES Short-eared Owls went virtually unreported, underscoring their threatened status. A Black- chinned Hummingbird was photographed at Mountain View, AB 21 May (NW). The same observer has noted the species there during the past few years. Red-headed Woodpeckers at Medicine Hat, AB (M&ES), in the Castor, AB area (MS), and near Broadview, SK (fide DW), all on 31 May, were w. of the usual range. An aston - ishing total of 2949 migrating Northern Flick- ers streamed northwestward along a narrowly defined route at Headingley, MB 15 Apr (BS). Through much of May 2015 (here 25 May), a Mississippi Kite was present in the same Winnipeg, Manitoba neighborhood where a pair bred in 2014. The bird was seen only intermittently, and there was no evidence of nesting, but a second bird was report- edly seen in early May. Photograph by Marlene Gifford. This Eurasian Tree Sparrow was found and photographed by a 12-year-old observer at Regina, Saskatchewan on 1 May 2015. The bird remained until at least the end of May and provided the province with its first record. Since then, a 2013 Manitoba record has come to light, bringing the province's tally up to at least three. Photograph by Nick Selinger. Calgary, Alberta, landfill has attracted numerous rare gulls over the years. This leucistic Franklin's Gull was notable there 16 May 2015. Photograph by Terry Korolyk. Manitoba's third confirmed record of Sage Thrasher was established with this bird at St. Ambroise on 10 May 2015. Photograph by Carole Penner.

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