North American Birds

VOLUME 70 NO1 2017

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/936087

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 102 A L A S K A starting with an Ovenbird at St. Paul 17 Sep (St. Paul Tour, ph. DG), the second for the Bering Sea and Alaska's fifth in fall. Two Northern Waterthrushes at Gambell 7 Oct (ph. CI, PEL) were a huge surprise and an island first. Another Northern Waterthrush at Sitka 30-31 Oct (ph. MRG, RBLG) estab- lished a first local record and the State's new record departure date by nine days. At least 3 Tennessee Warblers were unusual in the Anchorage area, all singles, 28 Aug (AMB), 2 Sep (TS), and 11-18 Oct (TT, RLS, LHD, RBB, SS), while another near Homer 22 Oct (AJL) was exceptional for that location. Even more noteworthy was a late Nashville Warbler near Homer 24 Oct (ph. AJL). This individual represents South-central's fourth record, with all during fall. MacGillivray's Warbler made its second ever Bering Sea appearance, at Gambell 4 Oct (PEL), while a Yellow Warbler there 5-6 Oct (PEL) was remarkably late for that latitude. Adak bird- ers were surprised to discover the Aleutian's first ever Blackpoll Warbler 29 Sep (ph. FH, BH). In what was a relatively slower year for Palm Warblers, top sightings included singles at Anchorage, where casual, 8 & 21 Oct (AMB, AJL, m. ob.) and at Gambell, rep- resenting a second local record 7 Oct (PEL). Easily one of the season's best finds was the bright Yellow-throated Warbler, a Regional first, found foraging around National Park Service administration building windows at Glacier Bay's Bartlett Cove 22-24 Sep (EHJ, SS, NKD, ph. JDL). This Eastern warbler is casual w. of the Rocky Mountains; there are less than ten records for the Pacific North- west. Townsend's Warblers ventured to pe- ripheral sites in numbers this season, with several Bering Sea reports that included at least 7 from St. Paul I. environs in ones and by some 29 days for the site, and rare through the Bering Sea, was a Hermit Thrush at Gambell 1 Nov (ph. CI). Two Dusky Thrushes reached Bering Sea outposts 29 Sep, with one at St. Paul I. (St. Paul Tour, ph. CG, ph. AJL), where there was just one previous fall re- cord, and another at Gambell (ph. PEL et al.). This Turdid remains more likely in spring on w. Alaska islands. Casual in the Aleutians, a lone Varied Thrush wandered to Unalaska's Sitka Spruce Park 13- 18+ Nov (ph. LR, fide SG). Single Northern Mockingbirds were lo- cated in Southeast at Ketchikan 16-17 Aug (ph. JHL, JFK) and Sitka 26 Aug (RH). There are now more than 26 Alaska records of this species. Eight Siberian Accentors added up to a hefty seasonal sum at Gambell 13 Sep– 20 Oct (PEL et al.). The only other report detailed a single at St. Paul I. 13-14 Oct (St. Paul Tour). An Eastern Yellow Wagtail was a rare find in the South-central, near Anchor Pt. on the Kenai Pen. 27 Aug (LKB). There are a handful of fall reports from that portion of the Region. Old World Anthus highlights included an Olive-backed Pipit at St. Paul 2 Oct, followed by up to 3 through 5 Oct (St. Paul Tour), single Olive-backeds at Gambell 16 Sep and 10-13 Oct (PEL), and another in the growing count of Pechora Pipits also detected at Gambell 11-20 Sep. Red-throat- ed Pipits, presumably bound for the Pacific Coast of this continent, were located at An - chorage with 2 there 6 Sep (AMB, EF et al.) as well as near Gustavus 18 Sep (NKD), rep - resenting Southeast's seventh record overall. This fall offered quite a few Parulid high- lights and noteworthy dates of occurrence, Sep and 3 Oct (St. Paul Tour), and up to 5 or more around Fairbanks 2-7 Sep (GF, et al.). Pacific Wrens surged northwest beyond the coastal forest fringes of South-central, high- lighted by one at Portage 7-25 Aug (WK et al.), 5+ around Anchorage 31 Aug–11+ Nov (m. ob.) where there had been just one prior record, and another at Reflection L. near Palmer 24-25 Oct (DE, RW), representing the northernmost record for South-central. St. Lawrence I.'s fifth Golden-crowned King- let was a lone bird at Gambell 12 Oct (CI). LEAF WARBLERS THROUGH HOUSE SPARROWS There was a late-Aug flurry of Willow Warblers at St. Paul I. The first was pho- tographed 22 Aug (St. Paul Tour, ph. CG), before another 2+ were located 26-27 Aug. These mark the fourth and fifth for the Pribilofs and add to a fast-growing number of records since the first at Gambell in Aug 2002. An early Common Chiffchaff played hide-and-seek with birders at Gambell 1-4 Sep (ph. CI, PEL, m. ob.), representing the second fall record there and the Region's fifth overall. Gambell finally added Wood War- bler to its impressive list of now seven Phyl- loscopus species, courtesy of an individual lingered in the brush 3-15 Oct (ph. PEL, ph. CI). Another of the season's superlative rari- ties was the Blyth's Reed Warbler at Gam- bell 18-21 Sep (ph. PEL, ph. CI, m.ob.), which follows the Region's only prior bird from that local in Sep 2010. Lehman iden - tified an active flushing and very late Lan- ceolated Warbler in the Gambell middens 8 Oct († PEL), both the Region's and Gambell's second fall record. St. Paul's productive rock quarry drew in a Red-flanked Bluetail 21 Sep (St. Paul Tour), representing the Pribilofs' seventh record. Adak birders documented that site's first and the Aleutian I.'s second fall Taiga Flycatcher 20-23 Sep (ph. FH, BH). Exceptionally late This skulking Ovenbird in dense forb meadows at St. Paul I. 17 Septem- ber established a first for the Pribilofs and was the Bering Sea's second ever for this casual Alaska vagrant. Photo by © Doug Gochfeld. This Blackpoll Warbler ventured well beyond its boreal zone breeding range to Adak I., where it became a first for the Aleutian Islands. Photo by © Frank Haas.

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