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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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 72 GEESE THROUGH GULLS A possible flavirostris Greater White-fronted Goose near Strathmore 26 Sep would be a first for Alberta (TK). A blue morph Ross's Goose at Chaplin Lake, SK 12 Sep was a rar- ity (KM). Bewick's Swan has become almost annual in s. Alberta and this fall one was at Chestermere Lake 12 Nov (TK). "Northern" ducks were scarce throughout. Four Har- lequin Ducks were at Weed Lake, AB, an unlikely prairie location, in mid-Oct (MP, m.ob.). White-winged Scoters outnumbered Surf Scoters 57 to 33 in s. Alberta, a reversal of the normal ratio. A Great Egret at Pakowki Lake, AB 22 Sep was the only one reported in that province (CP, KW), while 4 birds were tallied in Sas- katchewan; in Manitoba the species barely rates a mention any more. Snowy Egrets peaked at a record-high of 9 at Whitewater Lake, MB 2 Sep (CB). A Little Blue Heron videotaped at Medicine Lake, ne. of Rocky Mountain House, was only the 3rd or 4th for Alberta (DA). A Cattle Egret at York Landing, MB 15 Aug was far to the north of that spe- cies' expected range (AM). White-faced Ibis peaked at 145 at Whitewater Lake 2 Aug (CA, JS) and 190 were tallied near Strath- more, AB 1 Sep (TK). A Turkey Vulture at Regina, SK 20 Oct (GK) was late, as was a Swainson's Hawk near Swift Current, SK 8 Nov (MAD). Thirty-sev - en Broad-winged Hawks, a large number for Alberta, migrated past Bragg Creek 16 Sep (BE, RW); 7 were seen elsewhere in the province. A Sora near Carseland, AB 19 Oct was tardy (TK). An inven - tory at Whitewater Lake re- vealed 4592 American Coots on 2 Aug (CA, JS). A Whoop - ing Crane at Stirling Lake, AB 16-18 Aug was thought to have summered (KO, m.ob., ph.); in Saskatchewan 6 were noted at Last Mountain Lake 23 Aug (KM), 3 were north of Saska - toon 3 Sep (S. N. S.), and a few were at Muskiki Lake, a tradi - tional location, in October. A Wandering Tattler vid- eotaped at Waterton River 17 Aug was about the 9th overall for Alberta (IC). After a few years' absence 2 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, both juveniles, were reported in Alberta: one sw. of Carseland 5 Sep (AH, N. C.) and one at Cooking Lake 24 Sep (GR, ph.). Just 3 days later, the latter observer Rudolf F. Koes Peter Taylor –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– P asserine migration was early through- out the region and numbers of birds were notably low. As mentioned in the summer 2015 report, it was likely that widespread fires in the boreal forest caused a substantial nest loss and hence this early exodus. On the other hand, milder-than- usual weather allowed many birds to lin- ger beyond normal departure dates, some of them well into the winter. Precipitation ranged from near normal in s. Manitoba to very low in sw. Saskatchewan. Although wintry weather arrived in mid-November, much open water remained to the end of the period, and water-related species were particularly prominent among the linger- ers. Alberta and Manitoba hosted a fine ar- ray of rarities. Prairie Provinces This Little Blue Heron was videotaped at Medicine Lake, northeast of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta on 2 October. It represented only the 3rd or 4th record for the province. Photo by © Don Auten. In recent years summering Whooping Cranes have become more frequent in Alberta. This bird, at Stirling Lake 16-18 August (here 17), had been present for some time, according to local observers. Photo by © Ken Orich. One of the best finds of fall 2015 in the Prairie Provinces was a Little Stint at Cooking Lake, Alberta on 27 September. This bird represented the second-ever sighting for the province and region. Photo by © Gerald Romanchuk. Representing only about the 5th fall record for Alberta was this Pomarine Jaeger at Calgary's Glenmore Reservoir 23-25 (here 24) September. Photo by © Andrew Slater.

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