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 / 4 391 I L L I N O I S & I N D I A N A largest. A fine inland flock of 19 Willets at Lake Monroe, Monroe, IN 4 May (JDH, SEH) grew to 23 by the afternoon (AB). Only 3 Upland Sandpipers were reported in Indiana. A total of 20 Whimbrels was reported, 3 at Montrose 16 May (ph. JL, m.ob.) and 5 at Patoka River 25 May (KH, TN) constituting the highest counts. The Region's first Black-tailed Godwit was found at the Oatsville Bottoms unit of Patoka River 3 Apr (JR). Initially thought to be a Hud - sonian Godwit, it was correctly identified the same day (ES) and subsequently seen through 6 Apr by scores of birders. Only 3 Hudsonian Godwits were reported, but there was a nice flight of Marbled Godwits. Among seven re - ports from Illinois were 2 birds at Carlyle 20 Apr (MSS) and the season's maximum of 14 at Farina, Fayette 30 Apr (SDB). A very coopera - tive group of 7 Red Knots visited Montrose 22 May (RC, GAW, MMC, m.ob.), with 6 birds re - maining through 25 May (TeW, JP, RB). One of the group had been banded in Florida in 2010. A male Ruff was found n. of Francisco, Gib - son, IN 25 Apr (AK), and another was at Bailey Wetland, Richland/Wayne, IL 2 May (ph., †CLH, RES); three weeks later, a Reeve appeared at Monty's Station in Patoka River 23 May (JR, m.ob.). In a search for the Black-tailed Godwit, Indiana's earliest ever Stilt Sandpiper was found in the Wheeling Bottoms, Gibson 6 Apr (CC, NK, SP). A male Curlew Sandpiper was also found in the Wheeling Bottoms, Gibson, IN 24 Apr (ES) and remained through the following day (m.ob.). Early Dunlin records included a whopping 23 at Brookville Reservoir, Union, IN 24 Mar (WHB) and a single at Oakwood Bottoms, Jackson, IL 25 Mar (KAM). An excel - lent flight of Long-billed Dowitchers included a record spring count of 129 in Indiana, 2 early birds at Goose Pond 20 Mar (KR), and 4 at Carlyle 28 Mar (DMK); 21 at Goose Pond 2 May (EMH) made Indiana's fifth largest spring count. Wilson's Phalaropes had an above-aver - age flight, with high counts of 13 birds at Crab SHOREBIRDS THROUGH TERNS It was an excellent spring for shorebirds: prime habitat was created at Goose Pond as well as in flooded fields, especially in the s. tier. Black- necked Stilts continue to expand their breed - ing range in the Region. An early stilt arrived at Goose Pond 30 Mar (DA, JE), and 2 were at Chau. 3 Apr (AGt). Two at Kingsbury F.W.A., LaPorte, IN 11 May and breeding evidence there 13 May (JKC, LSH) provided the second record for the site and second breeding record for Indiana's n. tier of counties, where defini - tive evidence of nesting (copulation and nest) was also recorded in Lake 29 May (MK, CAM). The 123 stilts tallied at Goose Pond 28 May and 102 at Lake Gibson, Gibson 19 May (AK) constituted Indiana's second and third high - est counts, respectively. Indiana's third earli- est spring American Avocet appeared at Goose Pond 12 Apr (SR, fide BF), and a large count of 104 avocets was made at Evanston, Cook, IL 28 Apr (ph. FRM, MMC, AFS). American Golden- Plover numbers continue to fall. This spring's total in Indiana was the lowest since 1998, and the maximum count of 600 from Illinois, similar to the spring high of 675 from 2014, was paltry in comparison to the state's aver - age spring high of 7000. Single early American Golden-Plovers arrived in both Massac and Sa - line, IL 15 Mar (KAM). Illinois's tenth Snowy Plover graced Montrose 2-11 May for many to enjoy (MM, ph. KK, m.ob.). The tally of 250 Semipalmated Plovers at Monty's Station in Pa - toka River 23 May (JDH, SEH) tied the third highest total for Indiana. Eleven Piping Plovers were reported from ne. Illinois, one at Illinois Beach S.P., Lake 24 Apr being the earliest to return (AOS). A banded bird at Goose Pond 26 Apr (JB et al.) proved to be from the Great Plains population (likely from North Dakota). A Solitary Sandpiper in Jackson, IL 2 Apr was at least a week early (JT). On the Ohio River bottoms in Vanderburgh 12 Apr (ES), a tally of 325 Greater Yellowlegs was Indiana's third range in the Region. Among a very high total reported in Indiana, 2 at Anderson 22 Apr (LR) provided a first record for Madison, and an ad - ditional 2 were seen at Obs. Tower 7 May (BJG, BB). Seven were seen away from usual haunts in Illinois: 2 in Marion 8 Mar (ph., †CLH), one at Lake Charleston, Coles 3 May (DM, ph. RB), one e. of Iola, Clay 6 May (ph., †CLH, ph. RES), and 3 at Fox Ridge S.P., Coles 9 May (ph. TDF). Two Ospreys were rather early re - turning to Lockport, Will, IL 10 Mar (CMA). A Broad-winged Hawk arrived well ahead of schedule in nw. Monroe, IN 11 Mar (JGw). An early Swainson's Hawk was at Double T State F.W.A., Fulton, IL 31 Mar (ph. LJK, FRM, GEN, JRRS), and another rather early ad. was at Obs. Tower 19 Apr (BJG); 2 ads. were at the known breeding territory near Burlington, Kane, IL 17 Apr (RAM). The long-staying Ferruginous Hawk at Somerville Mine, Gibson, IN was last seen 12 Apr (JDH, SEH, P&JK), tying Indiana's latest spring record. Thirteen Golden Eagles were reported from the Region. A Yellow Rail at North Bottoms, Adams, IL 17 Apr (AMR) was the earliest of 4 reported from Illinois. Two King Rails were reported w. of Princeton, Gibson, IN 25 Apr (DC), and singles were at Tern Bar Slough, Gibson, IN 28 Apr (EMH), at Goose Pond 30 Apr (AK), and at Nappanee Environmental Center, Elkhart 7 May (CY). On 18 Apr, a Purple Gallinule was found near Terre Haute (TD), providing a first record for Vigo, IN. The s. tier of Illinois gener - ally does not witness sizeable flocks of Sandhill Cranes in spring or fall, as their main migra - tion route lies well to the east, thus making notable the tally of 2250 birds at Mermet Lake, Massac, IL 15 Mar (KAM). The 4765 Sandhill Cranes seen at Obs. Tower 1 Apr (BJG) more than doubled Indiana's previous largest Apr count. Wetland areas in the Region are clearly important for the eastern migratory population of Whooping Cranes, as at least 22 birds were noted passing through the Region. American Avocets are regular migrants through Illinois, but flocks as large as this one of 104 birds 28 April 2015 at Evanston are quite rare. Photograph by Fran R. Morel.

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