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 17 the Region was poor: 3 each in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and one in Newfoundland. Five Cackling Geese were located in Cum - berland and Colchester, Nova Scotia, where no trend in numbers is apparent since the split from Canada Goose in 2004. Two singles of this small goose were observed in New Brunswick at Sainte-Marie-de-Kent, Kent 7 Nov (Karen Miller), and at Beauséjour Marsh, Westmorland 13 Nov (David Bell). Two reports of single Red - heads in Nova Scotia, a province where it once bred, came from Annapolis, Annapolis 7-16 Nov (ph. m. ob.), and Bissett Lake, H.R.M. 17 Nov (Chris Pepper, Kate Steele). A female Greater Scaup tailed by 5 young at the Amherst Sewage Lagoons, Cumberland 11 Aug confirms breed - ing in Nova Scotia, where no evidence was found during the M.B.B.A. Tufted Duck was observed only in Newfoundland where groups larger than 15 individuals began gathering in late October. Ruddy Duck is less than annual in Newfoundland, so one found at Kenny's Pond, St. John's 21 Nov (Chris Brown) was a treat. A Pacific Loon at Point La Haye, NL 21 Nov (Ken Knowles, John Wells, Bruce Macta - vish) was a well described, recurrent bird first found in May 2014 that represented the third record for the province. An albatross seen by a fisherman named Edward White near Cape St. Mary's, NL 29 Aug was noted as having grey feet and bill, and was likely an immature Black-browed Albatross. Cory's Shearwater was considered less than annual in Nova Scotia as recently as 2012, but sightings have (increased) considerably in recent years. This year, 946 were reported, mostly from offshore islands, 686 of which observed from Sable I. 4-9 Sep (David Bell, Morgan Brown). Outside of Nova Scotia, the Region only saw another 5 Cory's, all of them at the New Brunswick side of the mouth of the Bay of Fundy through Aug and early Sep. Three Audubon's Shearwaters at B.P.I. 26 Aug (David Bell), along with the 4 recorded by the ECSAS survey bring the Nova Scotian to - tal of this rare shearwater to 12. An out-of-place the numbers of Bay-breasted and Cape May warblers encountered during fall at the Brier I., Nova Scotia, banding station support the hypothesis that a new spruce budworm out - break is beginning in the Atlantic Provinces, but additional research is needed for confir - mation. Volunteers at the Greenlaw Mountain Hawk Watch in southwestern New Brunswick logged 264.75 hours between 27 August and 8 November. A total of 5,225 individuals were recorded, representing 14 raptor species—the third highest since the project's inception in 2009. Mid-September saw the largest push of migrants, mostly Broad-winged Hawks, with 841 individuals on 15 September and 1,731 during the following day. Season count totals of Red-tailed Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and American Kestrel were below average, as in 2013. Todd Watts, project co-ordinator of the watch, wonders if the recent years' extreme weather and the reduced extent of our forests are contributing factors to the recent decline. There were multiple provincial firsts in the Atlantic Provinces this season and Ian McLar - en, as editor of Nova Scotia Birds, commented that "Although I'm not Nova Scotia born, I've lived and birded here for 50 years, and can at - test that there's seldom, if ever, been an autumn like this one". White-winged Tern and Little Stint in Newfoundland, a Tropical Kingbird in New Brunswick, a Pacific-Slope Flycatcher in Nova Scotia, and a Say's Phoebe in Prince Edward Island all represented first provincial records. A Northern Cardinal at St. Pierre et Miquelon was the first record for the French overseas collectivity. Abbreviations: B.P.I. (Bon Portage I., Nova Scotia); C.B.R.M. (Cape Breton Regional Mu - nicipality, Nova Scotia); C.S.I. (Cape Sable I., Nova Scotia); H.R.M. (Halifax Regional Mu - nicipality, Nova Scotia); M.B.B.A. (2006–2010 Maritime Breeding Bird Atlas). GEESE THROUGH BOOBIES Two Pink-footed Geese were shot at an un- disclosed location on Prince Edward Island, 7 Nov (fide Dwayne Oakley, ph. unnamed), rep - resenting the eighth and ninth records for that province. Nova Scotia also contributed two re - ports; 2 were at Chaswood, H.R.M. 25 Oct (ph. Amber & Blaine MacDonald) and one was near Shubenacadie, Colchester 30 Oct–1 Nov (m. ob.). Four Greater White-fronted Geese made it to the Region; one at New Glasgow, Queens, PE 9 Oct (Geoff Wood), and 3 single birds in Nova Scotia at Masstown, Cumberland 26 Oct (ph. Amber & Blaine MacDonald), Shubenacadie, Colchester 1-27 Nov (ph. m. ob.), and Wa - terside Provincial Park, Pictou 7 Nov (ph. Val Smith). The autumn flight of Snow Goose in Alix d'Entremont –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– E l Niño in the Pacific Ocean region and cooler-than-average tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures created a lack- luster hurricane season, featuring a below- average eleven named storms. While there was little cyclonic activity, other weather pat - terns must have contributed to the variety and number of vagrants to the Region; most no - table were birds from the west such as West- ern Kingbirds and Lark Sparrows at or near record numbers, 2 "Western Flycatchers," and 2 Mountain Bluebirds. The season's temperatures were above nor- mal except during October when it ranged from below to near normal. New Brunswick experienced a heat wave in August with humi - dex values near 40° C. Eleven high temperature records were set at various locations in New Brunswick on 7 September. Nova Scotia expe - rienced many days of thick fog during August when satellite photos depicted a fog bank to the south larger than the province itself. Sea sur - face temperatures were up to 2°C warmer than normal over the Scotian Shelf, and a report in the journal Science has identified the Gulf of Maine as one of the fastest warming regions of the World's oceans. Right whale numbers in the Bay of Fundy have been waning in recent years. This leads to speculations that warmer waters may have reduced the abundance of the whale's food. These ocean temperature changes may also be linked to recent chick abandonment in Northern Gannet colonies in the Region. The number and variety of birds encoun - tered on Seal I. and Bon Portage I. by the At- lantic Bird Observatory team was a far cry from autumn 2014. Only 899 individuals were banded on Bon Portage between 4 August and 1 November, about half that of recent years. An upward trend over the last few years in Atlantic Provinces & St. Pierre et Miquelon This juvenile Little Stint, originally found by Bruce Mactav- ish, was seen at Renews, Newfoundland, 13-14 September. The bird provided a first provincial record, and was well pho- tographed during its brief stay. Photo by © Bruce Mactavish.

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