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.

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V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 7 ) • N U M B E R 1 31 Southern Atlantic feeders at Winston-Salem, Forsyth, NC 22 Sep and remained into winter (S. Campbell et al.). RAILS THROUGH SHOREBIRDS An injured Yellow Rail (that later had to be euthanized) turned up at Surfside Beach, Horry, SC 12 Nov (fide C. Hill). Notable counts of post-breeding American Oyster- catchers included 119 at Rachel Carson Re- serve, Carteret, NC 11 Aug (J. Fussell) and 141 at Wolf I. N.W.R., McIntosh, GA 28 Sep (TK), but these were dwarfed by the count of 1193 along the Intracoastal Waterway near Awendaw, Charleston, SC (MCM), which, if accurate, would represent nearly 10% of the average wintering population along the East Coast. A high count of 490 Black-bellied Plo- vers came from the Rachel Carson Reserve, Carteret, NC 30 Sep (J. Fussell), while typi- cal scattered sightings of one or 2 American Golden-Plovers came from throughout the Region during migration. One Snowy Plover was reported at Rich Inlet, New Hanover, NC 1 & 29 Aug (DC), presumably the same in- dividual reported there in June. Good counts of between 50 and 100 post-breeding Wil- son's Plovers were reported from several sites in NC, with a high count for the region of 200 at L.S.S.I. 15 Oct (CH). Peak counts of migrating or early-arriving Piping Plovers included 31 at Rich Inlet, New Hanover, NC 1 Aug (DC), and 86 at L.S.S.I. 4 Sep (LG). In addition to sightings of two birds at dif- ferent locations in coastal SC, a high of 8 Long-billed Curlews came from adjacent sites in GA: at L.S.S.I. 4 Sep (WP) and Wolf sighting with distant photographs at North Pond, P.I.N.W.R. 30 Sep (PE, AW) has been accepted by the NC Bird Records Committee pend- ing publication. An unusually high count of 49 Northern Pintail along the GA coast came from L.S. S.I. 19 Oct (AH), while 10,150 Ring- necked Ducks at Singletary L. S.P., Bladen, NC 18 Nov (BB) was remarkable. A Horned Grebe, still in alternate plumage at L. Hickory, Alexander and Catawba, NC 7 Aug (ph. DM, LO) was incredibly early. Continuing the pattern of the last few years, one or two Inca Doves were observed throughout the period in Miller, GA in the sw. corner of the state (WS), while there was a Region-wide irruption of White-winged Doves along the coast in late-Oct and ear- ly-Nov, with about 20 different reports and high counts of 6 at Edisto Beach, Colleton, SC 9 Nov (S. Moody) and 5 at Tybee I., Chatham, GA 4 Nov (GS, TH). The high- est reported count of migrating Common Nighthawks consisted of 552 in Fulton, GA 9 Sep (SZ), and an impressive concentration of 13,000 roosting Chimney Swifts occurred at Vienna Elementary School, Forsyth, NC 17 Sep (PD). A banded, female Black-chinned Hummingbird returned to a feeder at Ma- con, Bibb, GA for the fourth consecutive year (JF), while an unbanded female came to the same feeder for the third consecutive year at St Simons I., Glynn, GA 29 Nov (RS). A Buff-bellied Hummingbird, just the second confirmed state record, came to a series of Robert Sattelmeyer David and Meghan Hedeen Josh Southern –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– A strong El Niño pattern in the Pacific peaked during the fall, causing sig- nificantly higher precipitation (with a lessening of drought conditions) throughout the region, accompanied by higher than av- erage temperatures. This pattern minimized tropical storm/hurricane landfalls, but there were some unusual sightings due to major flooding and offshore storms. The Southeast shared in the surprising fallout of Franklin's Gulls that occurred along the East Coast, while Georgia saw its first record of Red- footed Booby, along with a pair of Ruffs and a Hudsonian Godwit at the same spoil site on the same day. In the Carolinas, fall migra- tion produced sightings of a White-cheeked Pintail, a Black-legged Kittiwake, a Sage Thrasher, and North Carolina's first record of Townsend's Solitaire. Pelagic sightings were confined to the regular trips from Hatteras, NC, and there were some impressive totals racked up during mountain hawk watches and fall shorebird counts. Abbreviations: G.C.R.C.(Georgia Checklist and Records Committee); L.S.S.I. (Little St Simons Island, Glynn, GA); P.I.N.W.R. (Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, Dare, NC WATERFOWL THROUGH HUMMINGBIRDS Usually seen only as single vagrants in the state, six Greater White-fronted Geese were at Resaca Pond, Gordon, GA 25-27 Nov (DS). In addition to individuals spotted at various locations throughout the region, 3 Ross's Geese at Alligator River N.W.R. (Dare, NC) 29 Nov (MW) made for a good count. Nearby, at P.I.N.W.R a Eurasian Wigeon was first found 30 Sep (HLink), and one or 2 continued into winter (m. ob.). While two previous records of White-cheeked Pintail in NC from 2008 and 2010 were not ac- cepted due to questionable provenance, a Quite likely a product of Hurricane Joaquin, this Red-footed Booby surprised observers along the Georgia coast 3-13 October 2015. It might have arrived on a shipping vessel. Photo courtesy of Robert Sattelmeyer.

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