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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V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 7 ) • N U M B E R 1 125 C E N T R A L A M E R I C A on 4 Aug (ph. WS), while another was observed in the Pailas sector of Rincón de la Vieja NP, Guanacaste on 22 Aug (ph. GDH). One was also seen and photographed in a residential area (Al - tos de Panamá) in Panama City, Panamá on 23 Oct (RMi, KK, DM, ph. JC), after first having been reported by non-birders. Providing the 9th record for Belize, a Long- billed Starthroat seen 3 Nov in Elijio Panti N.P., Cayo (RM) may have been the same individual photographed at the same spot nearly six months before on 10 May. Also in Belize, a Stripe-tailed Hummingbird at Black Rock Lodge, Cayo on 30 Nov (IMo, EB, et al.) was at a heavily birded lo - cality where it had not been previously recorded. New for Honduras, a Steely-vented Humming - bird was photographed on Montaña de Izopo near Tegucigalpa, Francisco Morazán on 29 Aug (ph. JvD). Sixty-two Ruby-throated Humming - birds counted at Finca El Zur, Escuintla on 17 Nov (DA, AH), was an exceptional count in Guatemala. A male Blue-throated Goldentail was photographed on 7 Oct at the Tranquilo Bay Ecoresort, Isla Bastimentos, Bocas de Toro in Panama (NaD, ph. CN). This species is rare in the province, and represents the first report from this island. Noteworthy was a Spotted Rail closely observed in the Hopkins Marsh, Stann Creek on 23 Sep (RM). This species is also rarely re - ported in Belize. A concentration of 123 Double- striped Thick-knees near La Avellana, Santa Rosa in Guatemala on 7 Nov (DA) was an exceptional count. The majority of American Avocets winter in Mexico and the southeastern US, and the spe - cies is uncommon to rare in Central America, especially in the southern half. However, all Central American countries except Belize reported American Avocets this fall, the most noteworthy records coming from Costa Rica and Panama. In Chomes, Puntarenas one individual was seen and photographed by many observ - ers between 11 Aug and 15 Nov (JZ and others), while two individuals delighted observers in Coclé, Panamá (KG, MaR, ph. HL) on 21 Sep. American Oystercatcher is both a res - ident and winter visitor to the region, but where exactly the wintering population comes from is largely unknown. Thus, an individual color- banded as a chick on Nantucket, MA in 2014 (by Edie Ray) was an interesting find in southern Honduras on 26 Sep at Punta Ratón, Choluteca (EL, RL, ph. JvD), where it continued to be seen throughout the reporting period. Nearly the en - tire world population of Upland Sandpipers is believed to migrate over Central America twice each year, and yet the species is seldom report - ed on the ground. A group of 9 at the Ciudad Neily rice fields, Puntarenas on 19 Sep (JZ) was noteworthy, and 3 were seen there about a week later on 27 Sep (JZ). One was also observed in Nicaragua at Miraflor, Estelí, on 13 Sep (FM). Six Buff-breasted Sandpipers, rarely reported from the region, were at the Ciudad Neily rice fields on 27 Sep (JZ). Long overdue for Honduras, two Surfbirds pres - ent at Punta Ratón, Choluteca on 2 Oct (ph. JvD) were a first for that country. The following day, 12 individuals were pres - ent at this location (ph. AF, OD, RG), and one was seen there also on 15 Nov (ph. JvD). Red- necked Phalaropes were report - ed throughout the region this fall, with one present 24-25 Sep at Gra Gra Lagoon, Stann Creek (ph. LJ, BP, RM, JU), pro - viding only the fifth record for Belize. In Nicaragua, two were seen in Salinas Grandes, León on 16 Sep (ph. JS). In Honduras, observers reported a group of 31 from the Berbería wetlands in Choluteca on 3 Oct (ph. AF, OD, RoG). Five days later, that group had grown to 51 individuals (ph. JvD). One was also seen as a flyby several miles offshore in the Honduran part of the Gulf of Fonseca on 12 Oct (AA, JvD). Red Phalaropes are rarely seen from land, but two were at the Estero Mata de Limon, Puntarenas (Costa Rica) on 30 Oct (ph. DQ), while an oiled individual was at Aldea Ha - waii, Santa Rosa on 7 Nov (AH, DA), providing the first on-land record for Guatemala. Wilson's Phalaropes are rare in Belize in fall, so 2 joining the Red-necked Phalarope at Gra Gra Lagoon on 25 Sep (RM, JU) was noteworthy. More Wilson's Phalaropes were reported from the Pacific slope throughout the region, with the highest con - centration reported from Nicaragua, where 150 were observed at Salinas Grandes, León on 16 Sep (JS). A Long-billed Curlew was observed in the Chomes area, Puntarenas, between 27 Aug and 19 Nov (many obs.), one of the few sites in Costa Rica where this species is occasionally observed. Sabine's Gulls were seen this fall in inshore waters of Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Panama. Six individuals in the Honduran part of the Gulf of Fonseca represented a first country record on 5 Aug (RJ, ph. JvD), where the species was seen five more times until 29 Nov. In Costa Rica, one was even seen from shore on 8 Nov at the Estero Mata de Limón, Puntarenas (ph. RG). Most reports were of single individuals or small groups, the highest number was 15 reported from the Gulf of Nicoya on 6 Aug (JZL). Franklin's Gull is unusual inland in Honduras, so an individual on 2 Nov on Lake This putative Steely-vented Hummingbird on 29 August in Francisco Morazán, about 150 km north of the known range, constituted Honduras' first record. Field identification of vagrant Amazilia hummingbirds may be complicated by the presence of interspecific hybrids, however, and the true lineage of this bird may be impossible to determine. Photo by © John van Dort. Surfbird is reported regularly from the neighboring countries in the Gulf of Fonseca, so it was quite overdue in Honduras. This is one of two birds present at Punta Ratón, Choluteca on 2 October. Photo by © John van Dort. Despite the population explosion of Lesser Black-backed Gull further north, the species is still extremely scarce in most of Central America (now regular in Panama, however). This first cycle individual at Belize City, 25 October was just the third confirmed record for Belize. Photo by © Dareece Chuc.

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