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 112 fifth county record for S.F. Eared, Western, and Clark's Grebes have not nested in numbers at Eagle Lake, Lassen in recent years due to low water levels and lack of emergent vegetation, but large influxes in late summer and fall in - cluded many family groups with dependent young (fide KAb). This fall, 8,000 Western/ Clark's (mostly Western) 27 Aug (DPA) dwin - dled to 5,000 on 7 Nov (KAb, LOr), while Eared Grebe numbers increased from 1,000 to 3,000 between those two dates. It would be interest - ing to know where these birds, which appar- ently use Eagle Lake as a post-breeding staging area, nest. Among 5 inland Red-necked Grebes were Lassen's fourth, at Eagle Lake 23 Sep (ph. DPA), and one on a small pond in Potter Valley, Mendocino 28-30 Nov (GEC, ph. RJK, m.ob.). A Laysan Albatross seen from Point Pinos, Monterey 25 Aug (BLS, CSc) provided our only shore-based sighting this season. Only single individuals of Hawaiian Petrel, off Sonoma 6 Aug (DN), and Cook's Petrel, at F.I. 26 Sep (fourth island record; †JTz, Laurel Ann Curry), were reported, perhaps suggesting scarcity of food associated with warm-water conditions. The bird of the season was an all-dark petrel on Monterey Bay, Monterey 12 Sep thought to be a Jouanin's Petrel (Bulweria fallax; DLSh, ph. SBT, ph. Fabio Olmos, m.ob.); pending evaluation of photos by seabird experts and C.B.R.C. acceptance, this would represent a first North American record. Nearly as exciting was the Region's third White-chinned Petrel, 29 km w. of Half Moon Bay, San Mateo 15 Sep (DLSh, ph. Mary Gustafson, m.ob.). All four of California's records of this species are from the period 6 Sep–18 Oct. A Great Shearwater on Monterey Bay 5 km w. of Moss Landing 7 Aug (ph. Kate Spencer) furnished Monterey's seventh record and one 22 km wnw. of Fort Bragg 18 Oct (TEa, RbF, ph., †RJK, ph. EE, †KHv) was Mendocino's first. More than half of the Region's 15 records have occurred in the last five years. Pink-footed Shearwater counts of 1,200 at Moss Beach, San Mateo 28 Aug (RSTh) and 2,180 at Point Pinos, Monterey 30 Aug (fide DR) were good from-shore totals, but nearly all were gone by Nov, with only 8 recorded during the Point Pinos seawatch in Nov (Tony Leukering et al.). Twelve Flesh-footed Shearwaters 6 Sep–14 Oct, all seen from boats except for 4 at F.I. (Point Blue), represented an average showing. Both Manx and Black-vented Shearwaters followed up last fall's record-setting influx with another strong showing. Of 23 Manx Shear - waters reported 13 Aug–19 Nov, 14 were seen from shore (12 at Point Pinos), one from F.I. (DJM, †JTz), and 8 from boats. Black-vented Shearwaters made headlines in all coastal coun - ties, appearing in late Jul, becoming abundant by late Aug, and remaining well into Nov. Rep - WATERFOWL A Black-bellied Whistling-Duck wandered around Sonoma for three months, spending 2-9 Aug at Howarth Park in Santa Rosa (ph. CTo, ph. mo.b.), 21 Sep–25 Oct at Roberts Lake in Rohnert Park (ph. Scott Sorby, DN, ph. m.ob.), and 27 Oct–3 Nov at Lucchesi Park in Peta - luma (ESH, ph. m.ob.). The C.B.R.C. deemed this individual to be of questionable natural occurrence. The lone accepted record for the Region is of a bird near Tipton, Tulare 15-27 May 2012. A juv. Emperor Goose spent 5-9 Oct at the Smith River Bottoms, Del Norte (ph. Glenn Anderson, ph. m.ob.). What was appar - ently the same individual was photographed at Brookings Harbor in nearby Oregon 4 Oct (ph. Don Munson). A Brant lingered at Brooks Is - land, Contra Costa through 23 Aug (Bob Dunn); more unexpected were reports farther s. inside S.F. Bay, at H.R.S. 1 Aug (RJR), at Foster City, San Mateo 5 Aug (Eddie Bartley), and at Red - wood Shores, San Mateo 13 Aug (Adam Dud- ley). Even more notable were singles at Mono Lake, Mono 1-25 Aug (CMcC, ph. R&NO) and s. of Corcoran, Kings 22 Nov (MSy). The green- collared pair of Trumpeter Swans, from the introduced Oregon population, was seen again near Alturas, Modoc 5 Sep (SCR). A male Tufted Duck stopped at Abbotts La - goon, Marin 27 Nov (ph. Mark Dettling). A Surf Scoter at Tulare W.T.P. 30 Oct (†Diana Kinder et al.) was thought to be only the third for Tu - lare; other inland Surfs included 2 found with a White-winged Scoter at Grant Lake, Mono 10 Nov (KNN) and one at Bucks Lake, Plumas 17-19 Nov (CPD et al.). A male Black Scoter returned for a sixth winter to the Richmond Marina, Contra Costa 14 Nov+ (Tony Brake, ph. m.ob.), this time accompanied by a female 22 Nov+ (Sheila Dickie, m.ob.). A female White- winged Scoter at the same location 17 Nov+ (Lucy Kihlstrom, ph. mo.b.) was also notable. Ten Long-tailed Ducks in four counties includ - ed one inside S.F. Bay at Bollena Bay, Alameda 16 Nov (RJR), a presumably summering male at the Pajaro River mouth, Monterey 1 Aug (RF et al., ph. Shawn Wagoner), and a young fe - male at Crespi Pond, Monterey 19 Nov–5 Dec (ph. DR, ph. m.ob.). Inland Red-breasted Mer - gansers were widely reported in Nov, with high counts of 7 at Folsom Lake, Sacramento 3 Nov (ph. CrS) and 3 at Corcoran Reservoir, Kings 20 Nov (MSy). LOONS THROUGH BOOBIES The only inland Red-throated Loon was at Folsom Lake, Placer 1 Nov (RPz). An Arc - tic Loon off Big Lagoon 29 Sep–28 Nov (ph., †TMcK) provided Humboldt's second record, and a Yellow-billed Loon at South Ocean Beach 24 Oct (†PSar) represented the third city and Jeff N. Davis Ed Pandolfino Stephen C. Rottenborn Michael M. Rogers –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– H igh sea surface temperatures continued throughout much of the period and were likely responsible for an unusu - ally high abundance, and more northerly dis- tribution, of Black-vented Shearwaters, Brown Boobies, and Elegant Terns. The latter also lin - gered later into the season than normal. Other observations likely related to these conditions included a smattering of "southern" murrelets, the starvation of large numbers of Common Murres, below-average numbers of Buller's Shearwaters, Arctic Terns, Sabine's Gulls, and Long-tailed Jaegers in Monterey Bay and at the edge of the continental shelf, and the early de - parture of Sooty and Pink-footed Shearwaters (with most gone by November). These tem - peratures apparently reflected the presence of a warm-water "blob" off the west coast of North America (tinyurl.com/NASA-blob) rather than actual effects of El Niño, which made its pres - ence felt farther south. Notable rarities this sea- son included a possible Jouanin's Petrel (North America's first, pending acceptance), a White- chinned Petrel, the continuing Northern Gan - net, and California's second Couch's Kingbird. Abbreviations: C.B.R.C. (California B.R.C.); C.R.P. (Cosumnes River Preserve, Sacramento); C.V. (Central Valley); F.I. (Southeast Farallon Island, San Francisco); H.R.S. (Hayward R.S., Alameda); Point Blue (Point Blue Conserva - tion Science); P.R.N.S. (Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin), S.F. (San Francisco, not State Forest); Reports of exceptional vagrants submitted without documentation are not published. Documentation of C.B.R.C. review species will be forwarded to Tom Benson, Sec - retary, secretary@californiabirds.org. Northern California

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