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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V O L U M E 6 9 ( 2 0 1 6 ) • N U M B E R S 3 / 4 387 E A S T E R N H I G H L A N D S & U P P E R O H I O R I V E R VA L L E Y by Metzger Marsh present 26 Apr–1 May (Kim Warner, ph. Karl Overman, m.ob.); a great many photographs allowed certainty of identification and elimination of hybrid characters. Such care permitted the discern- ment of one Glossy Ibis x White-faced Ibis hybrid at Killdeer Plains W.A., Wyandot, OH 14 May (ph. Irina Shulgina) and another at Chippewa Inlet, Medina, OH 24 May (ph. Debbie Parker). Careful observers left 3 dark ibis in Sandusky, OH 21 May (Michelle Li- ebold) and one in Franklin, OH 2 May (ph. Irina Shulgina et al.) unidentified. VULTURES THROUGH NIGHTJARS A Golden Eagle soaring overhead in Monon- galia, WV 18 May (Ian Batterman) was a late migrant. A single migrant Mississippi Kite appeared in Lucas, OH 12 May (ph. Jacob Roalef, Gabriel Mapel), but records were fairly widespread in Pennsylvania, with sightings in seven counties, including up to 6 individuals during a now annual kite- watch at the Bucktoe Creek Preserve in Ches- ter (Larry Lewis et al.). While the species has increased dramatically as an overshoot (or perhaps migrant, given the breeding records to the north), most sightings in Pennsylva- nia are still poorly documented. A Swallow- tailed Kite in Erie, PA 9 May (Jerry McWil- liams) represents the second county record. No King Rails were reported away from Lake Erie's Western Basin. Two Virginia Rails returned to Bushy Fork Bog, Nicho- las, WV 30 Apr (Michael O'Brien, m.ob.) after their 2014 debut. These are the only reports of the species in cen. West Virginia in a decade. Almost as unusual for the s. highlands, 2 Soras were there the next day (David Patick). Singles were also reported from the New River Gorge, Fayette 29 Apr (Linda Wygoda, Arlene Cain) and Grand- view, Raleigh 29 Apr (Kyle Carsen, Dawn Hewitt). An early Common Gallinule in was in Lake 27 May (Andy Avram, m.ob.). A Tricolored Heron was documented in Lucas, OH 31 May (ph. Kim Warner). Away from the marshes of Western Lake Erie, a lone Cattle Egret was discovered at Burke Lake- front Airport, Cuyahoga 30 May (Jen Brum- field et al.). In Pennsylvania, where Cattle Egrets have become quite rare, individuals at Oxford Valley Park/Lake Caroline, Bucks 1 May (Jessican Pellien) and Crabtree, West- moreland 9 May (Mark McConaughy) were noteworthy. An exceptionally early Green Heron was well described from sw. Ohio in Butler 29 Mar (Andrew Cannizzaro). Ohio may be on the verge of losing its only breed- ing pair of Yellow-crowned Herons. After a decade of nesting in the Columbus suburb of Bexley in the vicinity of Alum Creeek, a lone bird appeared 29-31 May (ph. Leslie Sours, mo.b.). Ibis are always a delight in the Region, but 4 Glossy Ibis just e. of the Allegheny front nears Moorfield, Hardy, WV 17 Apr had to be thrilling. Discovered by K. King and verified by Rob Boyle, a single bird remained through 19 Apr for many observers (ph. Mike Slaven, Ian Batterman et al.). Could this bird have wandered the e. to the Canaan Valley, Tucker, WV, where Herb and Sarah Meyers documented one 16 May? Equally rare in nw. Pennsylvania, a bird showed up at Pymatuning S.P., Crawford 14-18 May (Sheree Daugherty, Deborah Kalbfleisch, ph. Kenneth Pinnow, Mark Vass, m.ob.). An an - nual visitor to nw. Ohio, singles were at Kill- deer Plains W.A., Wyandot 13 May (ph. Les- lie Sours, ph. Ron Sempier, ph. Steve Jones), and at Pickerel Creek W.A., Sandusky 17-24 May (ph. VF, ph. Ed Wransky, m.ob.), and 4 were in Lucas 13-14 May (Lisa Dalporto, ph. Carl Winstead, m.ob.). These latter birds were in the company of 2 White-faced Ibis (ph. Alex Eberts, ph. Carl Winstead, m.ob.) and may have been the same 2 from near- Loon was present on Findlay Reservoir 13 Apr (ph. Dave Smith, Robert Sams). Horned Grebes were encountered regularly into May across the Region, leading to some notably tardy records. Standouts include a cen. Ohio bird 20 May in Delaware (Alex Champagne) and a cen. West Virginia bird in Lewis 13 May (ph. Gretchen Nareff). Lake Erie sites supported up 10 at Presque Isle, Erie, PA 2 May (James Hill III), with a single as late as 27 May in Lake, OH (John Pogacnik). Typi- cally gone from the Region by mid-Apr, a few Red-necked Grebes lingered in the cen. highlands into May, in Washington 5 May (ph. Matthew Juskowich) and Allegh- eny 2 May (Tom & Janet Kuehl). Few Eared Grebes were documented, with Ohio singles at Beaver Creek Reservoir, Seneca 28 Mar–6 Apr (Tom Bartlett, ph. VF, ph. John Games, m.ob.) and off Headlands Dunes Nature Preserve, Lake 24-25 Apr (Peter Keefe, Sally Isacco et al.). Pennsylvania had several re- ports of Eared Grebe, but few records were documented: one was at West Fairview, Dauphin 20-21 Apr and 10 May (Ed Bernot, Nancy Juris, Carl Juris), and another was at Middle Creek W.M.A., Lancaster 11-15 Apr (Randy Miller, Bruce Carl, Ted Nichols II, Pamela Fisher, Michael Gardner). Up to 2 white-crested Double-crested Cormorants appeared at Peace Valley Park, Bucks, PA 7 & 11-14 Apr (Ray Hendrick, August Mirabella, Judy Mirabella); whether crest color has geo- graphic significance remains unresolved, but the vast majority of birds seen in the Region are dark-crested. Unusual for the quality of the documentation, a flyover Anhinga was photographed during a field trip to John Heinz N.W.R., Philadelphia, PA 30 May (An- nette Mathes, George L. Armistead, m.ob.). The long-term trend for American Bittern in the w. portion of the Region has not been positive, but this season was well represent- ed across much of Ohio. It remains a tough bird to come by in West Virginia, where the only report came from the e. Panhandle at Altona Marsh, Jefferson 11 Apr (Wil Hersh- berger, Joanne Breitenbach). Least Bitterns are scarcely detected within the highlands of sw. Pennsylvania, so 2 at Red Oak Lake, Bedford 11 May (Brandon Pruss) were note- worthy, especially in the absence of any oth- er reports from the s. Allegheny foothills of Ohio and West Virginia. The only report of Snowy Egret away from Lake Erie in Ohio came from the Ohio River, Lawrence 7 May (Charles Thompson). Very rare in se. Ohio, a Little Blue Heron was at Twin Churches Lake, Perry 19-20 Apr (ph. Phil Swan, ph. Carl Winstead, m.ob.). Rare too in ne. Ohio, one SA Black Vultures continue their inexorable move northward on two fronts in Ohio. The more recent move along the w. front has followed the Mad River out of Clark to the glacial moraines of Bellefontaine in Logan. There 10 were found 7 Mar (Troy Shively). Elsewhere in the county, Shively located 2 near Lewiston 27 Apr and one far- ther s. 17 May. The species has a long history, back to the 1960s, at an outpost in the vicinity of Mohican Gorge in Ashland/Richland, just 88 km s. of the shoreline of Lake Erie. Initially slow to move outside of these hilly confines, with the first Medina record in the mid-1990s, Black Vultures over the past five years have increased dramatically as spring vagrants. Typical of shoreline hawkwatch posts, singles passed by sites in w. Cuyahoga 28 Mar (Erik Bruder) and 3 May (Jen Brumfield et al.). More interesting are records half way to Cleveland in Medina, where 5 appeared 1 Apr (Marsha Gilger) and one 23 Apr (Diane Komjati).

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