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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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 470 A L A S K A on the Stikine River 27 Jun (WTS), near Haines 9 Jul (RBB), and near Juneau 25 Jul (a likely juv.; GBV). More noteworthy was a pair at - tending 2 juvs. in shrub habitat on the Alsek River 27 Jun (DS). Yellow-bellied Flycatcher migrants included singles at Hyder 8 Jun (IJH) and Juneau 21 Jun (MWS); probable breeding group of 5 between four sites on the lower For - ty Mile River e. of Eagle 11-12 Jun (GF) were in habitat near where others have been occa - sionally detected. This season's only Willow Flycatcher report included 2 then a single at Hyder 8 & 26 Jun (IJH, v.r. JJW), respectively. Another Eastern Phoebe surfaced at Lost River near Yakutat 2 Jun (ph. JD, AD), a second for that community and the Region's seventh. This season's obligatory Western Kingbird appeared at Skagway 1 Jun (JM), the third local report. There are now more than 30 Alaska records. MacIntosh noted that both Pacific Wrens and Golden-crowned Kinglets were finally consid - ered widespread and abundant again around Kodiak this summer, having finally rebounded from devastating die-off conditions of the win - ter of 2011-2012. The skulking Phylloscopus on Gambell's rocky lower hillside 5-6 Jun was eventually well photographed and determined to be a Common Chiffchaff (ph. RH. ph. JDL et al.). This individual, Alaska's fifth, follows three previous Gambell area sightings, one from fall and two in Jun. THRUSHES THROUGH FINCHES A showy male Mountain Bluebird was a good find on the Forty Mile River below the North Fork/South Fork confluence in the e. Interior 11 Jun (GF). More bluebirds should be found in this area following fairly recent large fires. Gambell birders were able to photograph an odd large thrush, which looked to be a Dusky/ Naumann's intergrade 5 Jun (ph. RH. ph. JDL, JLD). There are a few previous Alaska records only the third record for the Pribilofs. A first- cycle Black-headed Gull was located at Juneau 24-25 Jun (ph. MWS, m.ob.). The Juneau area has accounted for all five Southeast records for this species, which is casual e. of the cen. Aleu - tians. Among the unusually large early summer gull concentrations around Nome was a worn first-cycle Thayer's Gull 18-19 Jun (VENT). This High Arctic Canadian nester is casual in the e. Bering Sea in summer. A Black Tern, first located in marshes near milepost 1289 of the Alaska Hwy. 25 May (DC), was still present 13 Jun (DP). This adds to the half-dozen or so pri - or summer records from the e. Interior, mostly e. of Tok. A locally rare longipennis Common Tern was documented near Safety Sound e. of Nome 19 Jun (VENT, ph. BZ). DOVES THROUGH FINCHES Eurasian Collared-Doves continued their push farther into the mainland, with new locations from the summer (single birds) from Upper Cook Inlet, at Palmer near the Butte 15 Jun (ph. JL, fide RW), at Anchorage 26-28 Jun (BP, PS et al.), and from King Salmon on the Bristol Bay shore 15 Jul (ph. LO). It seemed odd that an - other White-winged Dove, Alaska's fourth, ap- peared 10 Jun (ph. BHD) at the same Wrangell feeder where one had been observed the previ - ous Dec. Certainly the season's most spectacu- lar record was the well-documented Common Cuckoo in a forested muskeg on Harbor Moun - tain above Sitka 9-14 Jun (ph. EVP, CP). This very rare Bering Sea/Aleutian Island migrant has only been found away from that zone four times, with the closest to Southeast being the Anchorage bird from mid-Jun 1999. Two Com - mon Cuckoos hung around St. Paul Island 9-17 Jun (St. Paul Tour). A Common Nighthawk on the Forty Mile River below Chicken 12 Jun (GF) fits loosely within the species' known range in the e. Interior, which lies between Tok, the Canadian border, and the Chilkat River water - sheds on the n. Southeast mainland. St. Paul Island birders found the Pribilofs' first White-throated Needletail 29 Jun–1 Jul (ph. CG, St. Paul Tour). There are now ap - proximately six verified Alaska records. For the fifth consecutive summer season, Anna's Hum - mingbirds were recorded from Ketchikan, Sit- ka, and Juneau (m.ob.). Of interest and surely related to this new trend was the presence of an ad. male Anna's Hummingbird x Rufous Hum - mingbird hybrid at Juneau 14 May (HM, fide GSB). The nesting status of Downy Woodpeck - er in Southeast remains poorly known. The breeding areas for glacialis, the dusky-breasted subspecies to which most coastal specimens have been ascribed, are unknown. Thus of in - terest were summer sightings of Downies near Juneau 9 Jun (MWS), Gustavus 18 Jun (BBP), the first for Upper Cook Inlet. Shearwater highlights were limited to single Pink-footed Shearwaters in Lituya Bay 29 Jul and w. of Coronation Island 30 Jul (ph. RH) and a Manx Shearwater in Cross Sound off the n. end of Chichagof Island 21 Jul (DWS, ph. CDE). A lone Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel off Anchorage 18 Jul (EF) constituted a first summer record for Upper Cook Inlet, where there are a few fall sightings. Only one Sora report came in this season, a lone bird near Mile 16 on the Chilkat River 8-9 Jul (RBB) on the n. Southeast main - land. An account of a Sandhill Crane nest and chick in a Kruzof Island muskeg 21 Jun (RW) provided the first evidence of nesting from that offshore island. Presumably this is another of the tabida subspecies, which nests in small numbers in Southeast s. of there. Pribilof birders found Alaska's second docu - mented European Golden-Plover at St. Paul Island 24 Jun (ph. CG, St. Paul Tour). Other shorebird highlights were likely reduced due to the storm-free conditions. A Terek Sandpip - er was at Anchorage 4-6 Jun (PS, RBB et al.), where there are now multiple early summer records; another was at Gambell 5-7 Jun (JLD et al.). At St. Paul Island, a Wood Sandpiper 11-12 Jul, a Bristle-thighed Curlew 25-28 Jun, and a Stilt Sandpiper 24 Jun were all notable (St. Paul Tour). Single Bar-tailed Godwits in Southeast were at Juneau 6-7 Jun (GBV, ph. MWS) and Gustavus 7 Jun (ph. BBP); Bar- taileds are casual spring migrants in Southeast and mostly from the n. part of the region. An agitated Short-billed Dowitcher pair e. of Ya - kutat 21 Jun (ph. GSB) offered more evidence of breeding in this section of n. Southeast. This species was considered common in summer in Yakutat by Shortt (1939), who observed dis - playing birds and collected a female with an almost-formed egg on 29 May 1936. It was also considered a probable breeder there by Andres and Brown (2004) based on its pres - ence in suitable bog habitat. One to 3 Cassin's Auklets identified off St. Paul Island 19-22 Jun (St. Paul Tour) marked Only the fourth for Alaska, this White-winged Dove frequented a feeder in Wrangell 10 June 2015—the same yard that pro- duced Alaska's third in December 2014. Photograph by L. Olson. This American Goldfinch wandered into Alaska's Southeast to this Petersburg feeder 22-24 (here 23) June 2015. It constituted Alaska's eighth report and the fifth for Southeast. Photograph by Brad L. Hunter.

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