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 59 White-faced Ibis has become annual in the Tennessee & Kentucky Region, but individuals seldom linger for very long at any particular location. This individual was present for only about an hour and a half in southern Jefferson County, Kentucky, 21 October. Photo by © Brainard Palmer-Ball, Jr. Tennessee & Kentucky Mottled Duck at Tennemo Levee, Dyer 5 Aug (†MG) furnished the eighth record for Tennessee. At least 2500 Redheads on Lake Cum- berland, Pulaski, KY 30 Nov (ph. RD) rep- resented a noteworthy high count. Surf Sco- ters were found at only in Kentucky, but at two locations within that state: one on Ken- tucky Lake above the dam, Livingston 30 Oct (HC) with 2 on the Marshall side of the lake near Kentucky Dam Village S.P. 1 Nov (BPa, MMo) and 3 continuing in the vicinity to 6 Nov (JP, BL, HC, et al.); and 4 on the Ohio River at Louisville 30 Nov (EH et al.). Black Scoters turned up at two Kentucky locales: 2 on the Ohio River at Louisville 13 Nov (BPa et al.) with one there 21 Nov (BPa) and 4 there 22 Nov (BPa, EH, et al.); and one on the Ohio River at Catlettsburg, Boyd 26 Nov (ph. MLu). In Tennessee an ad. male was on Melton Hill Lake, Anderson 14-26 Nov (BK, m.ob.); it was joined by a female/imm. 23- 26 Nov. Eight female/imm. Common Mer- gansers at Big Island, Big South Fork Nation- al River & Recreation Area, Scott, TN 22-23 Sep (NM, RE, ER) follow a summer report of a female at nearby Burnt Mill Bridge 2 Jun (AX), and add further evidence that this spe- cies is breeding in e. Tennessee. A female at Watauga River, Carter, TN 3-18 Oct (B&JP, BS, RLK) was likely a continuing summer bird. Two Red-throated Loons were found in Kentucky: on Lake Cumberland off Old Ro- wena Road, Russell 21 Nov (†RBn) and on Kentucky Lake, Marshall 24 Nov (†BPa). The only report from Tennessee was at An - derson Road Recreation Area, J. Percy Priest Lake, Davidson, TN 21 Nov (PC). A Pacific Loon was on Green River Lake, Taylor, KY backed Gull, White-winged Dove, Black-chinned Hummingbird, and Black-throated Gray Warbler. Rarity highlights in Tennessee in- cluded Mottled Duck, Western Grebe, Neotropic Cormorant, White-faced Ibis, Yellow Rail, Red-necked Phalarope, Black- legged Kittiwake, Little Gull, Say's Phoebe, Cave Swallow, and Clay- colored Sparrow. Irruptive winter finches were low in number, with small numbers of Pine Siskins and Purple Finches being the only ones to ap- pear. Red-breasted Nuthatches were nearly absent again this year. Abbreviations: Barren River Lake (Allen/ Barren, KY); Duck River (Duck River Unit of Tennessee N.W.R., Humphreys, TN); Pace Point (Pace Point, Big Sandy Unit, Tennessee N.W.R., Henry, TN); Sauerheber (Sauerheber Unit Sloughs W.M.A., Henderson, KY). WATERFOWL THROUGH RAILS Eighteen Greater White-fronted Geese on Kentucky Lake, Calloway, KY 12 Oct (HC) and 36 in e. Union, KY 15 Oct (BPa, JBa, CC) were the earliest to be reported in the Re- gion. 2000 at Sauerheber by 16 Nov (CC) was a noteworthy early season count. Fifty- one Cackling Geese were at Duck River 12 Nov; a single bird was also at Middlebrook Lake, Sullivan, TN 24-25 Nov (RKn). A Mute Swan was at Hiwassee Refuge, Meigs, TN 24 Nov (CM). Eight Tundra Swans wintered at Sauerheber and were first observed there 18 Nov (KM). The only Tundra Swan report- ed in Tennessee was a single individual at Watauga Lake, Carter 23 Nov (B&JP, RLK). A male Mallard x Gadwall was present at Somerset, Pulaski, KY 17 Nov (ph. RD). Four Gadwalls at Duck River 22 Aug (JH) were unusually early. A remarkable concentra- tion of dabbling ducks at Duck River 1 Nov included 9000 Gad- wall, 7400 American Wigeon, 3000 Northern Shoveler, 6500 North- ern Pintail, and 4500 Green-winged Teal (RS); 8000 Northern Pintails had been present there 18 Oct (AT, RS), which constituted the highest fall count ever for Ten- nessee. A well-described Chris A. Sloan Brainard Palmer-Ball, Jr. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– W eather conditions during fall 2015 were somewhat variable across the Region. In Kentucky, tempera- tures during the period did not vary remark- ably from normal, although Aug, Oct, and Nov were slightly warmer than normal and Sep was slightly cooler than normal. In Ten- nessee, August temperatures were well below average in the middle part of the state and slightly below average elsewhere; September and October were average except for in the northeast part of the state, where October was a little warm. November in Tennessee, however, was unusually warm, with parts of middle and east Tennessee reporting aver- ages more than five degrees above normal. Precipitation was much more variable dur- ing the season. Eastern Kentucky received above normal rainfall during Aug while the central part of the state experienced near normal precipitation. The western half of the state was drier than normal, particularly at Bowling Green, where only about half of the normal amount of rainfall fell. Dur- ing Sep, most of the state experienced near- normal precipitation, although it was very dry in western Kentucky, where Paducah received only about one-quarter of the nor- mal amount of rain. This trend continued in the west during Oct; Paducah remained be- low average, although the central part of the state received close to one-and-a-half times normal rainfall. The situation flipped during Nov, however, with Paducah finally receiv- ing an above-normal amount of precipita- tion (two times above average, in fact) and Jackson receiving only about three-quarters of the normal amount. In Tennessee, No- vember in west Tennessee was significantly wetter than normal; for the remainder of the state, precipitation did not vary significantly above or below the norms. Rarity highlights in Kentucky included Red-throated Loon, Pacific Loon, White- faced Ibis, Red Phalarope, Great Black-

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