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 / 4 483 N O R T H E R N C A L I F O R N I A Napa (MBe, m.ob.) and through 8 Apr nw. of Millerton Lake, Madera (Nina Jones, m.ob.). Twenty-one migrant Solitaries reported from ten counties 16 Apr–9 May included Amador's second, at the Ione W.T.P. 25-26 Apr (TEa, FS, JCS, JLx, Greg Hemig), and a remarkable 5 at the Hayfork W.T.P. 30 Apr–4 May (fewer than five previous Trinity records, all of single birds; JLx, JSL). Humboldt's twelfth (and second in spring) Hudsonian Godwit graced Clam Beach 25-26 May (Mark Colwell, ph. SMcA, David Orluck, Deven Kammerichs-Berke, ph. RbF, m.ob.). Unusual shorebirds near Stratford, Kings included a Red Knot far inland 30 May and the only Stilt Sandpipers reported, up to 2 birds present 2-4 May (both MSy). Ruffs were at H.R.S. 18 Apr (RJR) and inland along Os - trom Rd., Yuba 28-30 Apr (JLx, JLa, ph. JCS, JSL, †BED, m.ob.). Single Sanderlings were far inland in Modoc, at Modoc N.W.R. 1 May and along Goose Lake Causeway 2-3 May (both SCR). Four Sanderlings at Alviso 25 May were the latest ever in spring for Santa Clara (ph. MMR, MJM). Besides the Amador bird noted above, Baird's Sandpipers were found near Kettleman City, Kings 9 Apr (2 birds; ph. JSy), along Abel Rd., Colusa 15 Apr (JCS), at Llano Seco North Central Valley W.M.A., Butte 19 Apr (MRg, Matt Forster), and at Colusa N.W.R., Colusa 24 Apr (JCS et al.). Spring Pec - toral Sandpipers were found at Humboldt Bay N.W.R., Humboldt 20 Apr (Carrick Rice), Red - ding W.T.P., Shasta 24 Apr (Brooke McDonald), and s. of Corcoran, Kings 3 May (ph. MSy). Two of the 3 reported Semipalmated Sandpip - ers were the fifth and sixth in spring for San Mateo, at Ravenswood Trail, Menlo Park 23-26 Apr (RSTh et al., ph. MDeF, CHy) and Pilarci - tos Creek mouth, Half Moon Bay 11 May (ph. MDeF, CHy); the third was at Colusa N.W.R., Colusa 24 Apr (†JCS). of S.F., coastal migrants were found at Laguna de Santa Rosa, Sonoma 10 Apr (ScC) and e. of Willow Creek in Humboldt 3 May (TKz, †RbF, DCo, Casey Ryan). A pair nested again in Coy - ote Valley, Santa Clara, with nest building first observed 8 Apr (RPh, m.ob.). Black Rails were well reported from Sacra - mento, with one at Stone Lakes N.W.R. 11-27 Mar (Mark Sawyer, m.ob.), one at Twitchell Island 17 Apr (Iryna Dronova), and up to 3 at C.R.P. 23 May–6 Jun (Breck Breckenridge, Julian Wood, JTr, m.ob.). Up to 4 were found at Alviso Marina C.P., Santa Clara 13 Mar–9 May (FV, m.ob.), with additional birds heard along nearby Alviso Slough 14 Apr+ (DvWb, WGB, MMR, MDo); another was heard farther n. at Coyote Hills R.P., Alameda 21 May (Jerry Ting). The Sandhill Crane at the Smith River bot - toms, Del Norte was last seen 4 Apr (LzW, LPt). Lingering cranes in Humboldt included 2 near Ferndale 25 Apr (TMcK), 2 near McKinleyville 26 Apr (GSL, LPL), and 2 at Cock Robin Island 20 May (ph. Elizabeth Feucht et al.). SHOREBIRDS Continued drought resulted in 36-year-record- low water levels at Lake Camanche, but this yielded near perfect conditions for shorebirds, particularly on the n. Amador side. In Ama - dor, 5 Snowy Plovers 12 Apr–15 May (TEa, FS, Greg Hemig) may have been the first for the county, as was a Baird's Sandpiper 25 Apr (TEa, FS, ph. DMr, JCS, JLx et al.). Up to 3 Wilson's Phalaropes 7-13 May (TEa, ph. DMr, TS, Greg Hemig et al.) and up to 9 Marbled Godwits 21-25 Apr (ph. DMr, JLx et al.) pro - vided the county's second and third records, respectively. Other notable shorebirds there included 40 Black-bellied Plovers, 4 American Avocets, 2 Black-necked Stilts, one Willet, 28 Whimbrels, 20 Long-billed Curlews, 10 Dun - lin, and 3 Red-necked Phalaropes. Both Whim- brel and Long-billed Curlew were also seen in nearby Calaveras. Notable breeding records for American Avocets were obtained in Mendocino, where a pair incubated four eggs 30 Apr+ (SJS, CEV, RFK, m.ob.), and Santa Cruz, where three nests with eggs were found at College Lake 22 Apr–6 May (GKt et al.). Notable Black Oyster - catchers inside S.F. Bay included 2 in Benicia, Solano 3 & 16 May (Ken Poerner, EPi), a nest - ing pair at Ballena Bay, Alameda (Vern Nelson, RJR, m.ob.), and Santa Clara's fourth, at Alviso 14 Apr (Jason St. Pierre) and 25 May+ (MMR, MJM, m.ob.). At least one American Golden- Plover was reported from Lake Earl and Lake Tolowa, Del Norte 21 May–4 Jun (ph. LBr). It was seen associating with a late Pacific Golden- Plover 25 May–4 Jun (ph. LBr). The wintering Solitary Sandpipers reported last season continued through 9 Apr in Napa, 23 Apr+ (m.ob.), and provided San Mateo's first record at Daly City 25 May (PSar). A Brandt's Cormorant at Richmond 19 Apr (LKh, EPi, Jeff Hoppes) provided one of few recent spring records for Contra Costa, while a Pelagic Cor - morant at Alviso, Santa Clara 30 May (MDo) may have been the same bird observed at this location sporadically over the past eight win - ters. The wintering American White Pelican wandered around coastal Humboldt and Del Norte until 21 Apr (m.ob.). A Brown Pelican was unusual (especially in spring) as far inland as Davis, Yolo 12 May (Susan Nishio). BITTERNS THROUGH CRANES Least Bitterns were reported in above-average numbers. Two were at Las Gallinas, Marin 16- 18 May (Mark Dettling, Megan Elrod, Daphne Hatch), and up to 2 were at Campbell Cove, Sonoma 24 May+ (PBC, Mike Bumgarner, DN, m.ob.). Birds returned to Yolo Bypass W.A., Yolo 6 May+ (m.ob.), another was at the Cache Creek Conservancy, Yolo 16-20 May (Brent Campos et al.), and 4 were found at three loca - tions in Sacramento 11 Mar–12 May (m.ob.). A Little Blue Heron courting a Cattle Egret at Natomas, Sacramento 8 May (Sarah Mayhew) was likely a returning bird but remained only a single day this year, unlike last summer when it spent 22 Jun–7 Jul at the same location. Up to 2 Cattle Egrets continued from winter through 16 Apr near Fort Dick, Del Norte (ADB). Marin's Black Vulture continued in Bolinas through 10 May (RDiG, Alex Merritt, m.ob.). Another n. of Pacific Valley 14 May (†Greg Smith), providing the first record for Monterey, was deemed by the C.B.R.C. to be the same as a bird that has wandered the coast from Ventura to San Luis Obispo since 2009. A White-tailed Kite at Willow Creek W.A. 4 Mar (Peter Young, Jim Moore) was a rare find for Lassen. A Bald Eagle nest at Gallighan Slough held 2 young 6 Mar; both successfully fledged in early Jun, for the second successful nesting for this site and Santa Cruz. Hawkwatching from San Francisco on warm days with light to moderate offshore winds turned up 7 Broad-winged Hawks 18 Apr–3 May (HuC, DMo, m.ob.) and 2 Swain - son's Hawks 30 Apr (HuC et al.). Both species were regarded as casual spring migrants prior to the recent regular monitoring of hilltop ob - servation points. Farther south, northbound ad. Broad-wingeds were seen over Belmont, San Mateo 18 Apr (RSTh) and over Loma Prieta 19 Apr (second spring record for Santa Cruz and fifth for Santa Clara; ph. Pete Sole, DvWb et al.). Migrant Swainson's Hawks were seen over Belmont, San Mateo 25 & 27 Apr (both RSTh), over Quail Hollow Ranch, Santa Cruz 26 Apr (ph. AMR), and over Harkins Slough, Santa Cruz 15 May (ph. AMR, BRa, RRa). North This Gull-billed Tern, photographed on the last day of its 26 April–2 May 2015 stay south of Corcoran in Kings County, may have been a returning bird from last summer, which provided Northern California's second record. Photograph by Mark Stacey.

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