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 67 of 211

N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 378 S O U T H E R N AT L A N T I C counts of breeding Least Terns were 680 at Ma- sonboro Inlet, New Hanover, NC 4 Jul (MAS) and 694 at Savannah Spoil Site, Jasper, SC 10 Jul (S. Cooper). A noteworthy count of the de - clining Common Tern was 1000+ at New River Inlet, Onslow, NC 1 May (JD). Associated with the passage of Ana, an Arctic Tern was seen in flight over Lake Waccamaw, Columbus, NC 12 May (ph. JB et al.), only the third state record for an inland site. Probably also storm-related was an individual seen at North Topsail Beach, Onslow, NC 16 & 21 May (JA, GG), while off - shore a high count of 15+ came from the 29 May Hatteras pelagic (BP et al.). A Peregrine Falcon seen over the Elkin & Allegheny Rail-Trail in Surrey, NC 1 Jun (R. Storey) may have attempting to nest in the area. Confirmation of natural nesting by this species in the Region, however, came from Tal - lulah Gorge, Rabun, GA, where a pair, first dis- covered 11 May (NK), successfully fledged 2 young and was seen through 3 Jul (m.ob.). This nest is the first one documented in the state (outside the introduced nesting on downtown Atlanta buildings) since the 1930s. The Monk Parakeets reported in 2014 building a nest on a power pole in Brunswick, NC returned to that site by 25 Apr (GM). A few Scissor-tailed Fly - catchers continue to nest or attempt to nest in the Region, with reports coming from Bartow, GA throughout the period, where 4 birds suc - cessfully fledged (m.ob.), along Gunter Rd. in Greenville, SC 1 May (JDrake et al.), and at Dobbins Farm, Anderson, SC 27 Jun (PS et al.). at least anecdotally that populations are stable, with several counts in the 20s at beaches where shorebird sur - veys take place regularly, and a very high count of 71 on Kiawah Island, Charleston, SC 17 Mar (AG). A single Snowy Plover was noted several times between 1-27 Jun in the vicin - ity of Mason Inlet, New Hanover, NC (m.ob.). A new record high count of Willets for the mountain region of North Carolina was 18 at Lake Ju - lian, Buncombe 25 Apr (WF), where at least 12 remained 1 May (m.ob.). Given their recent listing as a threat - ened species and the well-docu- mented rapid decline in populations, Red Knot sightings in migration are of great interest. Supporting recent work suggesting that the Southeast (as well as the Mid-Atlantic) serve as crucial migration stopover areas in spring, there were several counts of knots in the low thousands at vari - ous points along the cost from Geor- gia through North Carolina, with a high count of 6000 on Kiawah Is - land, Charleston, SC 13 Apr (AG); several other four-figure counts that suggest that sizable numbers utilize the Region in spring. A Ruff was at Santee Coastal Reserve, Charleston, SC 6-8 Mar (B&ST, JR), and another photographed at Bear Island W.M.A., Colleton, SC 22 Mar (PF) may have been the same bird seen at that site in Feb. The season's high count of 32 Long-billed Dowitchers came from Bartow, GA 23 Apr (JM). The passage of Ana led to several inland sightings of Red-necked Phalaropes, including 12 positively identified in a distant flock of 47 phalaropes on Buckhorn Reservoir, Wilson, NC 11 May (RD). A high count of 43 was made on a 22 May pelagic trip from Hatteras (BP et al.). Small numbers of South Polar Skuas and the three jaeger species were seen on most of the Hatteras pelagic trips in May and Jun, with an impressive count of 11 Long-tailed Jaegers 30 May (BP et al.). A first-summer Black-headed Gull frequented Mason Inlet, New Hanover, NC 23 May–7 Jun (S. Cooper, m.ob.), a very late sighting for a bird normally found in winter. A Little Gull was observed at Lake Lanier Park, Gwinnett , GA 23-29 Mar (JF, m.ob.), and indi - viduals were found among flocks of Bonaparte's Gulls at Cape Point, Dare, NC 7 Mar (BP), off Pine Knoll Shores, Carteret 10 Mar (JOF et al.), and off Oceana Pier, Carteret 1 Apr (JOF). High tails at Bodie Island Lighthouse Pond, Dare, NC 3 Feb (ph. JH). The only Golden Eagle sighting in the Region during either season was an imm. seen at Pond Mountain Game Land, Ashe, NC 10 & 21 Mar (BO, ML). Bald Eagles contin - ue their strong comeback; an aerial survey in Georgia counted a record 270 young fledged this year (fide JO). Six King Rails were recorded at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, Richmond, GA 4 Mar (KB). Two Black Rails were heard in the Cuddo Unit of Santee N.W.R., Clarendon, SC 14 May (D&DR), and 2 were also heard only at Bear Island W.M.A., Colleton, SC 31 May (JR). Piping Plover sightings seemed to suggest North Carolina's fifth Limpkin was found in the upper end of Lake Norman, Catawba County 28 July 2015. Photograph by Lori Owenby. Northern Harriers apparently bred in the marshes of Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge, Carteret County, North Carolina this summer (here 5 July 2015). Photograph by Steve Howell. Tropical Storm Ana deposited this Arctic Tern onto Lake Waccamaw in Columbus County, North Carolina 12 May 2015. North Carolina's previous two inland records were also storm-related. Photograph by Jeff Beane. A Snowy Plover summered around two inlets in New Hanover County, North Carolina, here at Mason Inlet on 1 June 2015. Photograph by Sam Cooper. Providing North Carolina with its first record outside of the Coastal Plain was this White-faced Ibis in Guilford County on 4 April 2015. Photograph by Martin Wall.

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