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 / 4 475 This stunning adult male White Wagtail, found at Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge, Polk County, Oregon on 29 April 2015, was readily identifiable as the subspecies M. a. ocularis. The pale gray back, solid white wing patch, and black ocular stripe (tough to see in this image) are indicative of this subspecies, which breeds in western Alaska. Photograph by Brandon Wagner. Oregon & Washington ry and Tillamook (PEL); this more than doubles the single-day record for the Region. In total, 154 Murphy's were tallied during the season. From 29 Apr–15 May, 7 Hawaiian Petrels were seen from cruise ships in Oregon waters, where now annual during spring; these included 4 off Curry 29 Apr (PEL). To date, Washington has just two records for this species. A Flesh-footed Shearwater, not detected annually by spring pelagics, was off Westport 29 Apr (JD, BL). All 5 Manx Shearwaters reported were inshore around the mouth of Grays Harbor 30 Apr–16 May, including 3 there 2 May (JD). American White Pelicans are expected in Clark, Cowlitz, Wahkiakum, and Pacific in sw. Washington, but they remain rare n. of the lower Columbia River bottomlands; 19 were detected at four northerly locations 29 Apr–27 May, with 3 at Bellingham 29 Apr (M. Ramos) being the farthest removed from the Colum - bia. A Cattle Egret at Malheur 22 May+ (fide TB) was the only report from the season; this species has sporadically summered in Harney over the past 25 years. White-faced Ibis again showed well in e. Washington, with 110+ birds at nine locations 1-30 May, including a maximum of 57 at W.W.R.D. 15 May (M. Cummins). Despite the strong incursion into e. Washington, none were detected in w. Wash - ington. Remarkably, both w. Oregon reports of ibis came from the outer coast, where they are exceptionally rare; 20 flew over Lincoln City 24 May (L. Faxon), and 5 were seen at Port Orford, Curry the same day (L. Miller). Single White-tailed Kites at Langley, Island 26 Mar (L. Hubbell) and near Tenino, Thurston 16 May (P. Hicks) add to very few recent reports from w. Washington, where a small but seem - ingly stable population was present before a prolonged freeze during Dec 2008. Surpassing last spring's coastal Broad-winged Hawk event, an astounding 28 were tallied near Neah Bay, Clallam 3 May (BW, CW, RS, DW, BL); Wash - ington had just seven records of northbound Broad-wingeds before the spring of 2014. Six (Ocean Shores, Grays Harbor); P.N.P. (Point No Point, Kitsap); P.T. (Puget Trough); Ridgefield (Ridgefield N.W.R., Clark); W.W.R.D. (Walla Walla River delta, Walla Walla); W.V. (Willamette Valley). "Eastside" and "westside" indicate loca - tions e. and w. of the Cascade crest, respectively. WATERFOWL THROUGH RAILS The Region's first Tundra Bean-Goose ended its six-month stay at Nestucca Bay N.W.R., Til - lamook in early Apr, with the last sighting 9 Apr (A. Clark, J. Hurt). A few tardy Snow Geese beyond mid-May are the new norm, and this spring's latest were 5 at Houston Lake, Crook 20 May (M Gonzales) and one at San Juan Is - land, San Juan 23 May (SS). Single Snow Goose x Ross's Goose hybrids were near Stanwood 5 Apr (ph. E. Houston) and at Bottle Beach, Grays Harbor 25 Apr (ph. S. Mills, BT); this cross is now detected in the Region most years. This spring's showing of Ross's Geese away from nor - mal haunts was about average, with 6 on the westside 4 Mar–18 Apr and 18 more noted in e. Washington 16 Mar–18 Apr. Four Ross's were still at Burns 22 May (SF, DI). The lone Brant away from salt water was at Gervais, Marion 24 May (C. Tumer). Trumpeter Swans typically lin - ger into May, but a flock of 44 at Anderson Lake, Jefferson 25 May (P. Vanderheul) was an unprec - edented concentration so late in the season. Eurasian Teal are not found annually e. of the Cascades, so one at Phileo Lake, Spokane 1 Mar (JI) was noteworthy. A winter holdover Tufted Duck at Woodland Bottoms, Cowlitz through 5 Mar (A. Richards) was the only re - port of the season. A Tufted Duck x scaup hy- brid was at Everett 1 Mar (D. Slager); this cross is now nearly annual in the Region. Barrow's Goldeneyes are rarely detected in the n. Great Basin, so a pair at Burns (ph. TB) was notewor - thy. A Hooded Merganser x goldeneye visited Tacoma 15 Apr (ph. C. Clark), providing the fourth Regional record for this hybrid. Single Pacific Loons at Sanpoil, Ferry 22 Mar (SS) and W.W.R.D. 10 May (M&MLD) were in e. Washington, where not annual during spring. A continuing Yellow-billed Loon at Vashon Is - land, King through 8 Mar (G. Shugart) and an- other at Coos Bay 26 Apr–10 May (R. Ketchum, TR) made the only reports this spring. A Lay - san Albatross near Eglon, Kitsap 17 Mar (ph. J. Bean, A. Hennings) provided the fifth P.T. record. Goodly numbers of Laysans were seen from cruise ships in Oregon waters, with a daily maximum of 8 tallied between Cape Blanco and Newport on 13 May (PEL). An Oregon-record 750 Black-footed Albatrosses were seen gath - ered around fishing trawlers 64 km off Curry 21 May (PEL); the Regional record is 993 seen off Westport 26 Jun 2004. The 13 May cruise also encountered 96 Murphy's Petrels between Cur - David S. Irons Brad Waggoner Ryan J. Merrill –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– SPRING –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– S imply put, warm and dry describes the spring of 2015. Only the spring of 1992 surpassed the warmth of this season. Scant precipitation and continuing warm tempera - tures on the heels of an exceptional warm win- ter resulted in abysmal snow pack in the Cas- cades. Over the past few years, our Region has generally not endured the severe drought con - ditions that have plagued states to our south. This spring, we witnessed similarly empty reser - voirs with boat ramps hanging dozens of meters above the waterline, and there were grave con - cerns about the coming wildfire season. The absence of snow in subalpine areas and well above timberlines on many of peaks was troubling. Trails and roads normally buried in chest-deep snow into May were passable by March. Many plants leafed out and blossomed early, which facilitated a number of early arriv - als and redistributed migrants that often linger at lower elevations awaiting an upslope thaw. A number of winter rarities lingered well into this season. Neah Bay continues to be a place of wonder for those who make the long drive out to this remote locale. Observers following up on last spring's unprecedented raptor flights generated another spring record tally of Broad- winged Hawks, suggesting that this may be an annual event at the northwestern tip of Wash - ington. A Regional first highlighted an excel- lent assortment of boldfaced rarities. Abbreviations: Detroit Flats (Detroit Lake, Marion); F.R.R. (Fern Ridge Reservoir W.M.A., Lane); McNary (McNary N.W.R., Walla Walla); Nisqually (Nisqually N.W.R., Thurston); O.S.

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