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 490 S O U T H E R N C A L I F O R N I A ships traveling non-stop about 80 km off the coast between San Diego and British Columbia included 2 Murphy's Petrels off Santa Barbara 6 May, 4 off San Luis Obispo 28 Apr, and 11 more there 6 May; single Hawaiian Petrels off San Luis Obispo on 28 Apr and 6 May; and 4 Cook's Petrels off Santa Barbara 6 May, along with 3 more off San Luis Obispo the same day. All three species are proving to be regular over the deep waters off California in Apr and May. A raft of 10,000 Black Storm-Petrels at the 30-Mile Bank off San Diego 25 Apr (DPo) was unexpected; rafts of this size are not normally encountered this early in the year. An ad. Nazca Booby on Anacapa Island 20-21 May (JH, JBa) was the third recorded in California and the United States. Brown Boo - bies are now expected in numbers off San Di- ego, but 4 off Dana Point, Orange 2 May (TAB), at least 2 off San Pedro, Los Angeles 19 Mar–19 Apr (TME, JSF, RScha), and one on Anacapa Is - land 17 Mar–21 May (JBa) were still notewor- thy. Neotropic Cormorants are now of regular occurrence along the Lower Colorado River and at the Salton Sink, with up to 50 seen in a day around S.E.S.S., but one at the V.C.G.P. 26-27 Mar (DPe, LSa) was only the second to be found along the coast, and another at Lake Ming near Bakersfield 11-23 May (GG) was the first in Kern and the Central Valley of California. A Brown Pelican on Lake Palmdale, Los Angeles 14 May (JSF) was far inland and at an unexpected time of the year. The only Red - dish Egrets n. of San Diego and Orange were up to 2 at P.M.N.A.S. 15 Mar–8 Apr (DPe). Yellow-crowned Night-Herons are now resi - dent around San Diego and P.M.N.A.S., with as many as 27 counted at the latter location (AJS), but one at Playa del Rey, Los Angeles 31 May–7 Jun (MCL) was still noteworthy. VULTURES THROUGH TERNS A Black Vulture present around Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo 14 Mar–24 Apr (GPS, TB) was be - lieved to be the same bird first seen in this area in Feb 2013. Most unusual was a Mississippi Kite in the Tijuana River Valley, San Diego 5-7 Apr (GMcC): not only was the date exception - ally early, but the bird was still in juv. plumage, a plumage not normally encountered in spring anywhere in the United States. A young Bald Eagle at S.E.S.S. 6 May (GMcC) was only the third known at the Salton Sink in the May–Jul period. A Common Black Hawk at the Dos Palmas Preserve near N.E.S.S. 15 Mar (PS) was followed by 2 (a pair?) at the Palo Verde Ecological Reserve near Blythe, Riverside 14-25 Apr (MT). A Harris's Hawk at Jacumba, San Di - ego 16-18 May (EGK) was the only one known in California to date this year. Single Broad- winged Hawks were near Cantil, Kern 16 May (TME), at the Palo Verde Ecological Reserve 19 Apr (MWa), and in the Tijuana River Val - ley 9 May (KH). Number of Swainson's Hawks passing through the area of Borrego Springs peaked in mid-Mar, with over 1000 counted on 17 Mar (HC) and a total of 5275 recorded through the end of the month (HC); one over El Centro, Imperial 16 May (TAB) was late. Two Zone-tailed Hawks around Mid-Hills Camp - ground in the New York Mountains of e. San Bernardino after 11 Apr (JGre) were nesting locally; one at Grapevine Canyon along the n. edge of the San Bernardino Mountains 25 Apr (ET) was at an unexpected location; a known wintering bird near Ramona, San Diego was still present on the late date of 7 Mar (TJ); and an imm. near Escondido, San Diego was seen on the exceptionally late date of 16 May (KW). Single Sandhill Cranes were on the coast, where rare, at Goleta, Santa Barbara on the late date of 21 Apr (DMacC) and at Morro Bay the following day (BR, MDH). An American Oys - tercatcher x Black Oystercatcher hybrid was on the coast at Carpinteria, Santa Barbara 9 May (LRB), and 2 American Oystercatchers were on Anacapa Island through the period (AJS). Single American Golden-Plovers, rare in Cali - fornia, especially so in spring, were at S.E.S.S. (Obsidian Butte) 11 Apr (CAM) and near Ni - land, Imperial 30 Apr–1 May (GMcC). A Wil- son's Plover, a very rare to casual visitor to the coast of s. California, was at Chula Vista, San Diego 12 May (RTP). Solitary Sandpipers were more numerous than expected, with about 25 inland and an additional 7 along the coast be - tween 13 Mar and 9 May. A Ruddy Turnstone at Owens Lake, Inyo 10 May (KH-L) was the only one reported inland away from the Salton Sea. A Red Knot near the Kern N.W.R. 1 May (SDS) was inland and away from the Salton Sea, and a disappointing 40 at Salt Creek on 23 Apr (RMcK) was the highest count at the Salton Sea this spring. A Ruff at S.E.S.S. (Garst Rd.) 14 Mar (GMcC) probably wintered locally, but single birds at the V.C.G.P. 12-21 Mar (LSa) and 12-19 Apr (LSa, DPe), at San Pedro, Los Angeles 30 Mar–24 Apr (BA), and at Ontario, San Bernardino 23-27 Apr (MWo) were mi - grants. Numbers of migrant Stilt Sandpipers at S.E.S.S. peaked at 550 on 6 May (GMcC). The only Sanderling reported inland away from the Salton Sea was one near the Kern N.W.R. 18 Apr (SLS). Single Baird's Sandpipers, rare in spring, were at C.L. 30 Apr (SLS), near the Kern N.W.R. 30 Apr–3 May (SLS), and at P.P. 19-23 Apr (MSc, JSF). A Pectoral Sandpiper, also rare in spring, was near Niland 6 May (GMcC). Two Semipalmated Sandpipers, rare in spring, were at S.E.S.S. (Lack & Lindsey) 30 Apr (CAM, GMcC), one was near the Kern N.W.R. 1-2 May (SDS), and another was at C.L. 6 May (SLS). Single Red Phalaropes, always rare inland, were near California City, Kern 17 May (AIS) and at P.P. 15 May (JSF). A Long-tailed Jaeger 12 km off Point Loma, San Diego 12 May (DPo) was unusually close to shore for a spring migrant. The only South Polar Skua reported was one 30 km off San Di - ego 3 May (DPo). A Laughing Gull at Hespe- ria Lake 18 May (SR) was obviously lost, and one on s. San Diego Bay 13 Apr (GMcC) may have been the same bird present there in early Feb 2015. About 40 Franklin's Gulls inland between 20 Mar and 31 May were far fewer than expected and included 2 at Big Bear Lake on 26 Apr (DR); in addition, one was on the coast, where much scarcer, at the Tijuana River mouth, San Diego 30 Apr (RTP), 2 were at Long Beach, Los Angeles 19 Apr (AC), and one was at Oso Flaco Lake, San Luis Obispo 4 Apr (JGri). Two ad. Heermann's Gulls associating with nesting California Gulls at S.E.S.S. (Rock Hill) after 24 Mar (GMcC) and an imm. at S.E.S.S. (Lack & Lindsey) 11 Apr (GMcC) were inland, where rare. A Mew Gull at N.E.S.S. (84 th Ave.) 22 May (RP) was the only one reported away This Laysan Albatross, only a few miles off Ocean Beach, San Diego, California on 16 May 2015, was unusually close to shore, and only the third live bird ever recorded in San Diego County waters. Photograph by Thomas A. Blackman. A Laysan Albatross was captured well inland at a construction site in Palm Desert, Riverside County, California 20 March 2015 and taken to San Pedro for treatment and release. Photographer unknown.

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