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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Page 65 of 139

N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 64 a fall Alabama maximum and a rare, inland Eared Grebe was reported 28 Nov (AH). An - other Eared was a rare, local find 20 Oct in Oktibbeha, MS (TLS). A surprise in the middle of Mobile Bay, Baldwin, AL was a cooperative Great Shearwater discovered 29 Nov (DB, ph. GF). Shearwaters of any type are rare treats from shore in Alabama, so 7 distant birds were notable at Gulf Shores, Baldwin 19 Aug (JH); two of these were very likely Audubon's Shearwaters. Only occasional in the T.V., a Wood Stork was unexpected in Lawrence 15 Sep (ph. TVR). Rare in Alabama, an imm. Masked Booby was at the mouth of Mobile Bay 12-20 Oct and 30 Nov (GDJ, m.ob., ph.). HERONS THROUGH SHOREBIRDS Establishing an autumn maximum for n. Ala- bama, 19 Snowy Egrets graced Colbert 31 Aug (DJS). A Little Blue Heron observed in Mar - shall 17 Oct (RJK, RLK) established the latest T.V. departure date. Rare inland, a Tricolored Heron was at Eufaula N.W.R., Barbour, AL 16-23 Aug (JAT). Latest for the T.V., an ad. Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was at Wheeler 25 Oct (CB). Three rare White-faced Ibis were special during an A.O.S. field trip at Blakeley I. 11 Oct (JAT, HEH, m.ob.). Rare inland, an unidentified Plegadis was in Hale, AL 25 Aug (JTG). The lovely Roseate Spoonbill is rare but increasing in Alabama. Up to 3 were at Blakeley I. 14 Aug (RJK, RLK, ph.) and 8-12 Oct (SRM, m.ob.); additional singles were noted 6-7 Oct in Montgomery (MJJ), 6 Nov cambia (ph. JC et al.). A good count of 500 Greater White-fronted Geese was made 14 Oct at Noxubee (TLS). The 220 Wood Ducks at Opelika, Lee 27 Aug (RM) set a new M.R. maximum. Two Gadwall in Jackson, AL 5 Aug were likely rare summering birds, while 6 in Colbert, AL 21 Aug could have been sum - mering or unusually early (both SRM, JCA). The 58 American Wigeons and 500 North - ern Shovelers 22 Nov in Russell (JH) fur- nished an I.C.P. fall maxima, as did a count of 120 Green-winged Teal 21 Nov at Eufaula N.W.R., Barbour (GEH). Rarely summering, a Ring-necked Duck was a surprise in Hale 12 Aug (RJK); a tally of 220 in Shelby 19 Nov (RJK) provided a new M.R. fall maximum. An estimated 1000 Less - er Scaup in Oktibbeha, MS 13 Nov (TLS) was unusually high. A flurry of Black Scoters ar - rived in Alabama during late fall. Five at Gulf Shores, Baldwin 25 Oct (ph. KC) established a new G.C. early arrival date and tied the Ala - bama early arrival record. Six were noted at the same site 26 Nov (EW), with 93 the fol - lowing day (RSD, RAD, LRD) setting an Ala- bama fall maximum and representing the sec- ond highest count for the state. Rare inland, a Black Scoter was spotted in Colbert, AL 13 Nov (DJS). The 3 Buffleheads in Lee 14 Nov (JH) marked the earliest I.C.P. record. Giving the T.V. a new fall maximum count were 112 Red-breasted Mergansers in Marshall 8 Nov (ph. AH). Oddly found during summer for yet another recent year, a Ruddy Duck was located in Hale, AL 1 Aug (AGM, B.A.S.). The tally of 1510 Ruddy Ducks in Mar - shall 27 Nov (GDJ) repre- sented an autumn maximum for Alabama. Alabama's first Aug report, and probably continuing from summer, a Red-throat - ed Loon was described 30 Aug from the Tennessee R. e. of Decatur, Morgan/Lime - stone/Madison (RC); only two prior summer occurrences are known from the state. Rare in the T.V. but regular at this site, a Pacific Loon was seen at Guntersville, Marshall beginning 10 Nov (ph. AH et al.). In the same area, a count of 341 Com - mon Loons (AH) provided a fall maximum for inland Alabama 28 Nov. Continu - ing the Guntersville div- ing bird spree, 325 Horned Grebes 27 Nov (GDJ) set Greg D. Jackson –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– O ur Region enjoyed a well-rounded autumn season, with good numbers of regular species and multiple un - usual sightings. Alabama was bestowed a spectacular first state record and addition - ally saw second and third state occurrences. Many local and state high counts were ex - ceeded this year by a wide variety of species. We fortunately were spared the wrath of tropical storms again this year. Temperatures during the season were generally normal, though November was warmer than usual both inland and at the coast. Precipitation was bipolar, with coastal areas dry in August and soggy during September and October, inverse the pattern found inland. Abbreviations: Blakeley I. (Blakeley Island, Mobile, AL); Dauphin (Dauphin Island, Mo - bile, AL); Ft. Morgan (Fort Morgan State Historical Park, Baldwin, AL); G.C. (Gulf Coast Region, Mobile/Baldwin, AL); I.C.P. (In - land Coastal Plain Region of south-central Alabama); M.R. (Mountain Region of north Alabama); Noxubee (Noxubee N.W.R., Nox - ubee/Oktibbeha/Winston, MS); T.V. (Tennessee Valley Region of north Alabama); Wheeler (Wheeler N.W.R., Limestone/Morgan/Madi - son, AL). WATERFOWL THROUGH SULIDS The march of the Black-bellied Whistling- Duck continues through the Region. Mul - tiple reports were received from the Alabama coast, where an increasing breeder. Up to 19, including 8 juv., in Clay and Lowndes 27 Aug–28 Oct (K&PR, m.ob., ph.), gave a first Black-bellied record for e.-cen. Mississippi. Rare but increasing in the I.C.P., first inland nestings were documented 2 Sep–5 Oct in Geneva (ph. OHJ) and 5 Sep–20 Nov in Es - Alabama & Mississippi A juvenile Wood Stork was a rare treat for the Tennessee Valley of Alabama 15 September at Hillsboro, Lawrence County. Photo by © Thomas V. Ress.

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