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 32 S O U T H E R N AT L A N T I C uncommon (for an inland site) Common Terns at L. Hickory, Alexander and Catawba, NC 10 Oct (DM, MP). Probably the same flock, this time at a count of 87, was seen the following day at nearby Jordan L., Chatham, NC (RD). The largest aggregation in the re- gion was 230 at Bird Shoal, Rachel Carson Reserve, Carteret, NC 1 Sep (J. Fussell). A moribund Northern Fulmar was found on the beach near Nag's Head, Dare, NC 6 Oct (AW), and another was seen on a pelagic trip from Hatteras, Dare, NC 10 Oct (BP, et al.). Typically, single and wandering Magnifi- cent Frigatebirds were seen off each state's coast this season, and there were also a num- ber of unusual booby sightings. Individual Masked Boobies were seen during Hatteras pelagic trips 1 & 21 Aug (ph. BP, et al.), and individual Brown Boobies were seen on the 7 & 21 Aug trips. Remarkably, though, a juve- nile Brown Booby was also photographed on the roof of an office building in metro Atlan- ta, Dekalb, GA 15 Aug (S. Murphy; G.C.R.C. 2015-23). The most unusual occurrence, however, was an immature Red-footed Boo- by that was seen and photographed at Jekyll I., St Simons I., and L.S.S.I. Glynn, GA 3-13 Oct (JF, TK, m. ob.; G.C.R.C. 2015-25). It seems likely that this bird, which had some damage to its flight feathers (see ph.), had been caught up in Hurricane Joaquin, a category-four storm that was in the Bahamas the previous week. It then potentially came to the area on a cargo ship bound for the port of Brunswick, GA, since the species is known to ride on the rigging of ships and this bird was observed several times on the booms of shrimp boats while in the area. Ex- cept for a moribund bird picked up on the beach near Charleston, SC in 1986, this was the region's first confirmed record. Post-breeding reports of Roseate Spoon- bills ranged from a high of 138 at the Savan- nah Spoil Site (restricted access), Jasper, SC 23 Nov (SC), to a single bird in a most un- tham, 28 Oct–18 Nov (JV, J. Fluellen, m. ob.; G.C.R.C. 2015-29). This site is only open one day a week, Wednesday, and the bird was reported late in the day. Consequently, it could not be looked for until the follow Wednesday, 4 Nov when two birds, a male and a reeve were present, along with the previously mentioned Hudsonian Godwit! This same site also produced the region's high count for Stilt Sandpipers, 211 on 12 Oct, Long-billed Dowitcher, 163 on 18 Oct (SC), and Lesser Yellowlegs, 294 on 19 Sep (SB). Heavy flooding 3 Oct produced the highest count of Red-necked Phalaropes ever secured in the mountain region: 4 at a sod farm in Henderson, NC (WF), while 5-7 were seen at the Andrews I. spoil site, Glynn, GA 4-7 Oct (m. ob.). GULLS THROUGH FALCONS Two first-year Black-legged Kittiwakes were seen in NC, and neither was along the coast: one at L. Julian, Buncombe 11 Sep (ph. DJ) was a first for the mountain region, and the other at Falls L., Wake 29 Nov (ph. HL, m. ob.) was likewise a first for the Piedmont. A very unusual Sabine's Gull was observed on the beach at L.S.S.I. 23 Sep (ph. AH, KM; G.C.R.C. 2015-17). As elsewhere on the East Coast, there were numerous sightings of Franklin's Gulls throughout the region from mid-Oct through Nov, usually of one or two individuals, but also 6 at L. Hickory, Cataw- ba, NC 13 Oct (DM, LO), 7 at West Point L., Troup, GA 13 Oct (m. ob.) and a Regional high count of 20 at Tybee I., Chatham, GA 13 Nov (SC). Heavy flooding probably con- tributed to the NC mountains' first record of Lesser Black-backed Gull at a Henderson sod farm 7 Oct–6 Nov (DJ, WF), while the Re- gion's high count was 62 at Gould's Inlet, Glynn, GA 10 Oct (J. Flynn). Two hundred Black Terns at West Point L., Troup, GA 19 Aug (JW) was an impres- sive count, but perhaps not as impressive as picking out a single Roseate Tern among a roosting flock at Rich In- let, New Hanover, NC 14 Sep (DC). There was an unusu- ally large number—85-- of I. N.W.R., McIntosh 28 Sep (TK)—quite pos- sibly the same birds. Single Hudsonian Godwits, rarely record- ed in the region, were seen at P.I.N.W.R. 20 Oct (CSR), and at Onslow I. in Savannah N.W.R., Chatham, GA 28 Oct and 4 Nov (JF, G.C.R.C. 2015-28). Red Knots do not stop over in the region during fall migration in nearly the same numbers or for as long as in spring, but some good counts included 536 at Marsh I., Cape Romain N.W.R., Charles- ton, SC 17 Oct (MCM) and 516 at Botany Bay Plantation W.M.A. 15 Nov (CM, C. Miller). It was an extraordinary year for vagrant Ruffs in the region. At least six different birds were seen in SC during 2015, including one at Donnelley W.M.A., Colleton 7 Sep (EB, PN), and one at Myrtle Beach S.P., Horry 6-7 Oct (ph. SH et al.). In GA, the first documented record in three decades came from the On- slow I. spoil site in Savannah N.W.R., Cha- This Black-legged Kittiwake seen 29 November 2015 on Falls Lake in Wake County, North Carolina, was a first for the Piedmont region of the Carolinas. Photograph by © Lucas Bobay. A Buff-bellied Hummingbird visited a feeder in Winston- Salem, Forsyth County, North Carolina, 22 September 2015 into winter, providing the state with its second record. Photograph by © David Disher. A Burrowing Owl seen around the jetty at Masonboro Inlet, New Hanover County, North Carolina, 4-6 (here 5) November 2015, was quite the surprise! Photograph by © Jamie Adams.

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