Alabama and Mississippi: Spring 2019

Spring 2019: 1 Mar–31 May

Lawrence Gardella
[email protected]

Recommended citation:

Jackson, G. D. 2021. Spring 2019: Alabama & Mississippi. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-9WD> North American Birds.

The season began with near average temperatures and significantly low rainfall, but rain returned, and temperatures rose to above average in April and well above average in May. A Bermuda High in its usual location in the west Atlantic and extending into the Gulf Coast deflected most birds taking off from the Yucatan away from Alabama and Mississippi to Louisiana and Texas, though some weather events broke through for a few coastal fallouts. And a good number of migrants appeared inland, too, including several interesting records.

Expansion of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks was in evidence only by one new site in Mississippi, while Inca Doves, also expanding, and Limpkins, possibly expanding in response to African snail availability, each showed up in several new places. Mississippi Kites also seen to be expanding north. Standing out among the region’s gull records is Alabama’s first adult Iceland Gull, which was found inland in spring.

Contributors (sub-regional compilers in boldface)

Bob Anderson; Melina Averhart; Adrian Azar; Stephen Babcock; Robert Baker; Jamie Bearden; Andy Bell; Jeremy Black; Charles W. Boley; Charles Bolt; Kathi Borgman; Ned Boyajian; Jordan Broadhead; Jane Brunson; Christopher Burney; David Carroll; P. Chappell; C. Dwight Cooley; Margaret Copeland; Eric Cormier; Holly Cox; Ellen Crotty; Dean R. Cutten; Abby Darrah; Robert Dobbs; R. Scott Duncan; Andrea Dunston; Auriel Fournier; Paul H. Franklin; Lawrence F. Gardella; Ben Garmon; David P. George; Joseph Golson; Robert Goss; Chuck Graham; Susan Grantham; M. Scott Gravette; Pamela Green; Alban Guillaumet; Evelyne Guillaumet; Greg J. Harbor; Ken Hare; J. Milton Harris; Jeffrey A. Harris; Amber Hart; Lynn Hathaway; Kathy Hicks; Geoffrey E. Hill; Jason Hoeksema; Karen Hogan; Jim Holmes; Lesley Howard

Contributors (cont.)

Eugene Huryn; John M. Imhof; Debra Jackson; Greg D. Jackson (Alabama); Wes Jarnigan; Otis R. Johnson; Roger Johnson; Bryan Johnston; Brenda Jordan; Michael Jordan; Carol Kautzman; Rick L. Kittinger; Ron J. Kittinger; Lianne Koczur; Bob Kornegay; Noah Kuck; Marybeth Lima; Craig Litteken; Jason Lott; James Loy; Andrew Lydeard; Paul Mack; Rob Martin; Andy McBee; Pam McCleod; Mo McCool; Michelle McLendon; Kathi Manley; Rodney McCollum; Keith McMullen; David McVay; Duane Miller; Hal Mitchell; Cindy Mirarchi; Ralph E Mirarchi; Sue R. Moske; Teresa Noel; Thomas O’Flarity; Jimmy Osborne; Dianne Patterson; Wayne Patterson; Jack Paul; Don Pittman; Dave Powell; Daniel Redwine; Emma Rhodes; Pelham H. Rowan; Patsy Russo; Frank Sandford; Thomas W. Savage; Marion Schiefer; Terence L. Schiefer (Mississippi); Don Self; Judy Self; Irina Shport; Damien J. Simbeck; Renea Simpson; Eric Soehren; Christine Sparks; Andrew Spencer; Angela Stahl; Mike Stahl; Ginnie Steelman; Ray Steelman; Collin Stempien; Jimmy Stephenson; Bill Summerour; Julie Taylor; Lauren Thead; Keegan Tranquillo; John A. Trent; Tom True; Pullen Watkins; Satchell Watts-Kerr; Spencer Weitzel; Lorna West; Randy White; William White; Jill Wicknick; Chris Wood; T.J. Zenzal.

Abbreviations

A.C.B.S. (Audubon Coastal Birding Survey); Blakeley (Blakeley Island dredge disposal ponds, “mud lakes,” Mobile, Alabama); Dauphin (Dauphin Island, Mobile, Alabama); Eufaula N.W.R. (Eufaula N.W.R., Barbour, Alabama); Ft. Morgan (Fort Morgan State Historical Park, Baldwin, Alabama); G.C. (Gulf Coastal Region of s. Alabama); I.C.P. (Inland Coastal Plain Region of s.-cen. Alabama); Mississippi A.C.B.S. (Mississippi Audubon Coastal Bird Survey); M.S.U. s. Farm (Mississippi State University South Farm, Oktibbeha, MS); M.R. (Mountain Region of n. Alabama); Noxubee (Noxubee N.W.R., Noxubee/Oktibbeha/Winston, Mississippi); Red Mtn. Pk. (Red Mountain Park, Birmingham, Jefferson, Alabama); Ruffner (Ruffner Mountain State Park, Birmingham, Jefferson, Alabama); Swan Creek (Swan Creek Wildlife Management Area, Limestone ); T.V. (Tennessee Valley Region of n. Alabama); Wehle (Wehle Nature Center near Midway, Bullock, Alabama); Wheeler (Wheeler N.W.R., Limestone/Morgan/Madison, Alabama); v.r. (voice recording); vt. (videotape). “Seven-county area” refers to the following seven counties in Mississippi near Starkville: Choctaw, Clay, Lowndes, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Webster and Winston.

DUCKS THROUGH GREBES

Up to 18 Black-bellied Whistling-ducks at a MSU farm 30 Apr–11 May (JAH, TLS, MSc) were the first ever recorded in Oktibbeha. On the Birmingham area count 27 Apr 312 Canada Geese established a new M.R. spring maximum. On 27 Mar (GDJ) in southern Etowah 120 Northern Shovelers were the most ever in the M.R. for the season. In upper Mobile Bay, Baldwin 19 Mar (KMcM), 12 Canvasbacks tied the G.C. maximum. Three different Aythya species lingered well into spring. A Redhead at Blakeley 21 May (KMcM) provided the latest G.C. seasonal record, although there are three summer records. At Leighton, Colbert 2 Greater Scaup 10 May (GDJ) were the latest recorded in spring for inland Alabama. Although one has been recorded in summer, a Greater Scaup at Blakeley 14 May (BG, PRu) was Alabama’s latest in spring. In Gadsden, Etowah 9 May (GDJ), 26 Lesser Scaup was a large number for so late in the season.

Rare in spring on the G.C., a single Surf Scoter was at Ft. Morgan 23 Apr (RMa, BA, AA, NK, ph.), and another was at Dauphin 4 May (ASp, KB, CW, et al., ph.). A rare White-winged Scoter was in Biloxi, Harrison 711 Mar (HC). Black Scoters are occasional on the G.C. this time of year; following their large showing in the winter there was one at Ft. Morgan 24 Apr (ph. CSp) and one at Dauphin 10 May (GEH, ASp, KB, et al.). At Prairie Eden, Hale 2 Mar (GEH) 34 Buffleheads established an I.C.P. maximum for the season. A lone Bufflehead at Eufaula N.W.R. 16–23 Apr (JTa, PC, ph.) provided the late I.C.P. spring record. At Walker Co. Public L. 2–10 Mar 28 (AMc) 28 Ruddy Ducks set an M.R. season maximum. There are far more Ruddy Ducks in the T.V.; 5 Mar at Guntersville, Marshall (GDJ) 1600 established an Alabama spring maximum. At Leighton, Colbert (RJK, RLK, et al.), a Ruddy Duck 31 May provided a late TV spring record, although there are four summer records. A Horned Grebe at Leighton, Colbert (ph. GDJ) 10–31 May (RJK, RLK) was the latest in Alabama in spring, although there is one summer record.

DOVES THROUGH LIMPKIN

Several records of Inca Dove in Mississippi included one in Meadville, Franklin 19 May (vt. CBolt) that was the county’s first. On the G.C., where they are rare but increasing, up to 3 Inca Doves were at Bellingrath Gardens, Mobile 25 Mar–22 May (BJ, BG, PRu), 2 were at Dauphin 18 Apr (ph. CK), and one was in Chickasaw, Mobile 26 Apr (JSt). In addition to 3 at what had been their only Alabama inland site, Faunsdale, Marengo 25 May (RJK, RLK, FS, ph.), one Inca Dove was in a new one, Newfield, Hale 26 May (ph. JAT). Rare in the M.R., a Common Ground Dove was north of Auburn, Lee 2 Mar (GJH). A White-winged Dove heard at Starkville, Oktibbeha 12 Apr (JAH) was the seven-county area’s earliest by thirteen days and provided the fifth record for the area and the county’s first. At a regular site in Montgomery 22 Apr (DMcV) 20 White-winged Doves provided an inland Alabama spring maximum. A Black-billed Cuckoo in Starkville, Oktibbeha 6 May (ph. JAH) marked just the eighth spring record for the seven-county area, fourteenth overall. Rare in the M.R., single Black-billed Cuckoos were found in Roanoke, Randolph 28 Apr (GEH) and Red Mtn. Pk. 15 May (CL). At Talladega NF, Bibb 18 May (DG), 12 Chuck-will’s-widows provided an I.C.P. spring maximum. A roost in Andalusia, Covington 1 May (TWS) contained 340 Chimney Swifts, more than ever before in the I.C.P. in spring. North of Auburn, Lee 12 Mar (REM and CM) a Ruby-throated Hummingbird established the earliest record for n. Alabama. At Wehle 10–12 May (JAT) 30 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were the most ever for the I.C.P.

A Virginia Rail near Tuscaloosa 1 May (SRM) was the latest in the I.C.P. in spring. At Eufaula N.W.R. 5 May (JTa) 8 Purple Gallinules established an inland Alabama spring maximum and tied an Alabama record for the season. A Common Gallinule on the Wheeler area count 27 Apr (CDC, MSG) was rare for n. Alabama but becoming regular in this area. On Deer Island, Harrison 21 May (v.r. HC, NB, JHoe, HM, ABe) a rare Black Rail vocalized during most of a 25-minute interval. Sole Limpkins appeared in three different sites in Alabama for the ninth, tenth and eleventh records, respectively: Eufaula N.W.R. 27 Apr (v.r. GEH), which also has records from 2012 and 2017; Chelsea, Shelby 15 May–29 Jun (PM, LK, ph.), the fourth M.R. record; and Ebenezer Swamp north of Montevallo, Shelby 29 May–25 Jun (ph. RB et al.), the fifth M.R. record.

Black Rail 21 May 2019 at Deer Island, Harrison Co, Mississippi. A rare bird in the region. Voice recording © Holly Cox.

SHOREBIRDS THROUGH HAWKS

North of Belle Mina, Limestone 1 Mar (RLK, RJK) 160 Killdeer set an Alabama spring maximum. Rare inland, 2 Black-necked Stilts at Tuscaloosa 4 May (EH, SW-K, ph.) provided the fifth spring record for the I.C.P. At Blakeley 30 Mar (GEH) 450 American Avocets set an Alabama maximum, and 385 were present 2 Apr (GEH). Two avocets at Catalpa Creek Bottoms, Lowndes 14 Apr (TLS, MSc, JAH, PMa, WP) established the earliest arrival date for the seven-county area and just the fourth seasonal record. A lone Hudsonian Godwit at Blakeley 4–5 May (ph. KMcM, CL, LFG) provided Alabama’s twenty-first record. A Marbled Godwit 19 Apr (ph. PMa, JAH, TLS, MSc) at Catalpa Creek Bottoms, Oktibbeha furnished the third spring record and seventh overall for the seven-county area. At Leighton, Colbert 9 May (ph. ES) 21 Stilt Sandpipers set a n. Alabama maximum for the season. In spring Baird’s Sandpipers are occasional in the I.C.P. and rare in the G.C.; 4 Baird’s Sandpipers were at Marvyn, Lee 20 Apr (JiH, RMcC, ph.), and a single Baird’s was at Ft. Morgan 26 Apr (JLoy, JLot, ph.) Spring maxima for the G.C. were established by 50 Pectoral Sandpipers at Blakeley 2–3 Apr (KMcM) and by 13 Wilson’s Snipe near Montrose, Baldwin 2 Mar (CL). A single Spotted Sandpiper near Mt. Meigs, Montgomery 2 May (AG) was the earliest recorded in spring in Alabama, but the species is rare but regular in winter in the I.C.P. Three groups totaling 135 Spotteds set an Alabama maximum at Dauphin 5 May 2020 (KMcM). The Wheeler N.W.R. area count 27 Apr (CDC, MSG) yielded 64 Solitary Sandpipers, the largest number ever for Alabama. On the same count 610 Lesser Yellowlegs established an inland Alabama maximum. At McLeod, Noxubee a Greater Yellowlegs 27 May (PMa) was the latest ever (by seven days) for the seven-county area. Wilson’s Phalaropes are rare but regular on the G.C. in spring; one was at Blakeley 8 May (ph. PRu, TO).

Any jaeger is rare onshore in Alabama; one, possibly a Pomarine, was at Bon Secour N.W.R., Baldwin 7 Apr (ph. KMcM). Laughing Gulls are rare but regular in the T.V.; one at Guntersville, Marshall 5 Mar (ph. GDJ) was at a regular site. In spring in the I.C.P. Laughing Gulls are rare; one was at Lakepoint Resort S.P., Barbour 8 Apr (ph. JTa). At L. Neely-Henry, Etowah/Calhoun/St. Clair 11 Mar (GDJ), 400 Ring-billed Gulls provided an M.R. spring maximum. In Guntersville, Marshall 5 Mar (ph. GDJ) an Iceland (Thayer’s) Gull was the first in spring in inland Alabama, the state’s first adult Iceland, fourth spring Iceland, and first spring Thayer’s. Rare but regular on the G.C. and rare this time of year on the G.C., one Lesser Black-backed Gull at Dauphin 11 May (ph. KMcM) was away from the G.C.’s regular sites. Glaucous Gulls are rare in spring in Alabama, when they are found mostly in the G.C.; one spent time at both Dauphin and Ft. Morgan 14 Apr–7 May (ph. CL, m.ob.). At Biloxi, Harrison 30 May (Mississippi A.C.B.S.) 1113 Least Terns established a Mississippi maximum. A Great Black-backed Gull was at Dauphin 4 May (ph. GEH), where rare but regular. Rare in spring in the M.R., 2 Caspian Terns were recorded on the Birmingham area count 27 Apr (JI, JBe). A single Common Tern at Daphne, Baldwin 2 Mar (LFG) was either the earliest ever to arrive in Alabama or, more likely, one of the rare Commons to winter on the G.C.

At Northport, Tuscaloosa 12 Apr (ph. PG) 15 Common Loons established an I.C.P. spring maximum. An unidentified storm-petrel at Bon Secour N.W.R., Baldwin 3 Apr (CL) was the earliest Alabama record for any storm-petrel, which is only occasional onshore. Also at that refuge that day, a Great Shearwater provided Alabama’s second spring record (CL). Wood Storks are rare on the G.C.; at Belforest, Baldwin 27 Apr (KHi, BS, ph.) 40 established a G.C. maximum. On 2 May (ph. TLS, MSc, PMa, MMcC) a Neotropic Cormorant at Columbus L., Lowndes provided the first record for the county and second for the seven-county area. At Demopolis, Marengo 30 Mar (ph. JBro) 3000 Double-crested Cormorants set an I.C.P. spring maximum and tied the Alabama spring maximum. Rare in the T.V. but becoming regular in this area, a lone Anhinga was at Wheeler N.W.R. 4 May–31 Dec (CWB et al.). Brown Pelicans are rare in the I.C.P.; one at Eufaula, Barbour 10–23 Mar (ph. JTa et al.) was the fourth in spring in the I.C.P. and the eighth in spring in inland Alabama.

The Wheeler N.W.R. area count 27 Apr tallied 379 Great Egrets, the most in Alabama in spring. A Snowy Egret at Wheeler N.W.R. 24 Mar (TN, KHo, ph.) was the earliest ever for n. Alabama. At Eufaula N.W.R. 27 Apr (GEH), 40 Snowy Egrets provided an inland Alabama spring maximum. Tricolored Herons are occasional this time of year in the I.C.P.; one was at Eufaula N.W.R. 22 Mar–4 May (RLK, RJK, FS). At Wheeler Dam, Lawrence 30 Apr (GDJ, DJ) 302 Cattle Egrets, many of them on nests, established a new spring maximum for n. Alabama. A Green Heron at Eufaula N.W.R. 12 Mar (RJ) was the earliest I.C.P. record, though they winter rarely. At Noxubee N.W.R. 6 Apr (WP, JAH, LT, ADu, TLA), two Black-crowned Night-herons were the earliest in spring in the seven-county area. It appears that the night-herons breed there, although no one has yet seen fledged young. A flock of White Ibis at Noxubee N.W.R. 15 Mar (ph. JG) had 229 individuals, a high count for the seven-county area. At Blakeley 2 Mar–30 May (JSt, KMcM, CL, ph.) 36 Glossy Ibis established a new Alabama maximum. Six Glossy Ibis at Eufaula N.W.R. 18 Mar–4 May (ph. JTa et al.) established the earliest inland Alabama record; Glossies are rare inland but are becoming regular at this site. A White-faced Ibis at Blakeley 6 May (ph. LFG) was the fifth in spring on the G.C., where they are rare. Rare but becoming regular on the G.C., 2 Roseate Spoonbills at Blakeley 17 Mar–8 May (ph. KMcM, m.ob.) provided the twelfth Alabama spring record. Also rare but regular in the I.C.P., a Roseate at Eufaula N.W.R. 19 Apr–4 May (ph. JBru et al.) was the second in spring for inland Alabama and the earliest ever.

At Horn Island, Jackson 16 Apr (ML, LHa, IS) 25 Ospreys set a Mississippi maximum. On Apr 27, on the Birmingham Area count, 7 Ospreys established a M.R. spring maximum, and, on the Wheeler N.W.R. area count, 15 were the most ever tallied in n. Alabama. A Swallow-tailed Kite near Hartford, Geneva 9 Mar (RW) provided an inland Alabama early record. A Swallow-tailed at Mississippi State University North Farm, Oktibbeha 18 Mar (DPa, MC) yielded the twelfth area record, third in spring. Although there are three summer records, the Northern Harrier in Birmingham 9 May (RSD) was the latest in spring in the M.R. Mississippi Kites are local but increasing in the M.R.; one near Cullman, Cullman 30 Apr (GDJ, DJ) and another at Birmingham 2 May (GDJ) were not from known sites. In Greenville, Butler 25 Apr (RSt, GS) 6 Broad-winged Hawks provided an I.C.P. seasonal maximum.

OWLS THROUGH SWALLOWS

A rare Short-eared Owl was at Cat Island, Harrison Mississippi 29 Mar (CSt, MA, Alex Sullivan). At the Conecuh N.F., Conecuh 25 May (Keith McMullen), 12 Red-cockaded Woodpeckers tied the ICP maximum. Olive-sided Flycatchers are rare in the M.R. and the T.V.; one was on the Birmingham area count 27 Apr (PF et al.); one was in Birmingham 2 May (ph. GDJ); and one was at Wheeler Dam, Lawrence 16 May (ph. DRC). Rare in Mississippi a Gray Kingbird was at Pascagoula, Jackson 18 May (ph HC, NB, BJoh, m.ob.) At Ft. Morgan 5 May (fide TJZ) a team from Mississippi banded a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, which is occasional in spring in Alabama, casual in spring on the G.C. A Willow Flycatcher was singing at Wheeler N.W.R. 24 Apr (DRC); it is rare in the T.V. in spring and breeds locally, but this is not a regular site. One of two Willow Flycatchers at different locations in McLeod, Noxubee 4 May (JAH, TLS, MSc, PMa) established the earliest arrival date for the seven-county area. Birds have shown territorial behavior at both sites in most of the last six years. A singing Willow Flycatcher near McClarty, Blount 7 May (AmH) provided the third spring record for the M.R. Near Adaton, Oktibbeha 22 Apr (ph. MSc, v.r. TLS), a Least Flycatcher was the first in spring for the seven-county area. A singing Least Flycatcher at Tuskegee N.F. 22 Apr (GEH) provided the fifth spring I.C.P. record.

On the Wheeler N.W.R. area count 27 Apr 139 White-eyed Vireos established a TV maximum. A Yellow-throated Vireo at Wehle 12 Mar (v.r. JAT) provided the earliest record for inland Alabama. A Yellow-throated near Auburn, Lee 15 Mar (REM) tied the earliest date for the M.R. At Gulf Shores, Baldwin 5 Apr (ER) 35 Yellow-throated Vireos provided an Alabama maximum. At Blakeley Historical S.P., Baldwin 19 Mar (LFG) 10 Blue-headed Vireos established a G.C. spring maximum. Warbling Vireos are rare on the G.C. in spring, particularly away from the outer coast; 5 at various sites on Dauphin 20–29 Apr (ADa, DPo, PAR, PW, BG, PRu) was an unusually large number; a Warbling was at Splinter Hill Bog 22 Apr (LHo); and one was at Ft. Morgan 23 Apr (KT). Also rare in the M.R., a Warbling was singing in Bankhead N.F. 27 Apr (AmH). A Black-whiskered Vireo at Dauphin 18 May (AF, SW) provided Alabama’s latest spring record. A rare breeder in the I.C.P., a Horned Lark near Grangeburg, Houston 30 May (JAT) was not at a known site. At Eufaula N.W.R. 23 Mar (ph. GEH) 1100 Tree Swallows provided an I.C.P. maximum. Near Whitsitt, Hale (GEH) and at Marion, Perry (ph. AL) Barn Swallows 2 Mar tied the earliest record for the I.C.P. At L. Purdy, Shelby 12 Mar (RJK) 3 Cliff Swallows were the earliest ever for the M.R.

PARIDS THROUGH BLACKBIRDS

An extremely rare melanistic Tufted Titmouse at Oak Mtn. S.P. 28–29 Apr (AL, DR, ph.) likely had increases in both eumelanin and pheomelanin (pers. comm. GEH). Following an irruption winter Red-breasted Nuthatches stayed late into the spring in Alabama, one at Ft. Toulouse, Elmore 28 Apr (AG, EG) tied the late spring I.C.P. record; one at Green Mtn., Madison 11 May (MSt; ASta) was the latest for the season in the T.V.; and one at Bankhead N.F., Lawrence 17 May (RLK, RJK) was the latest ever in spring for Alabama. Occasional on the G.C., a White-breasted Nuthatch at Fairhope, Baldwin 12 Apr (DMi) provided the fourth spring record. Two House Wrens at Faunsdale, Marengo 24 May (RLK, RJK, FS) tied the late I.C.P. record for the season. At Opelika, Lee 2 Mar (CBu) 5 Winter Wrens established a spring maximum for inland Alabama and tied the state spring maximum. A Winter Wren in Prairie, Wilcox 28 Apr (DSe, JSe) was the latest in the I.C.P. in spring.

Two different Blue-gray Gnatcatchers on 5 May tied the earliest arrival date for the seven-county area; one was near Adaton, Oktibbeha (TLS, MSc), and the other at Noxubee N.W.R. 6 Apr (JAH). A Veery at Plymouth Bluff, Lowndes 18 May (JO) tied the latest departure date for the seven-county area. A Gray-cheeked Thrush and a Swainson’s Thrush at the same location that day (JO) were three and five days later, respectively, than their previous latest departure dates. In Foley, Baldwin 2 Mar (MJ) 19 Purple Finches came to feeders, setting a G.C. spring maximum. One Purple Finch in Sheffield 15 May (WW) was the latest ever in spring in the T.V. and tied Alabama’s spring late record. At Aqua Vista, Lauderdale 16 May (ph. JP) a lone Pine Siskin was the latest in spring for the T.V.

For the second straight spring, a singing Bachman’s Sparrow, rare in the T.V., was at Swan Creek 12 May (CWB). At Stockton, Baldwin 4 Mar (LHo) 12 Dark-eyed Juncos set a G.C. spring maximum. At Artesia, Lowndes (PMa) a White-crowned Sparrow 7 May tied the latest departure date for the seven-county area. A White-crowned at Sheffield, Colbert 16 May (ph. WW et al.) established the latest T.V. departure date. In Montrose, Baldwin 8 Mar (LFG) 6 Vesper Sparrows provided a G.C. spring maximum. At Hazel Green, Madison 28 Mar (AmH) 5 Vespers set a T.V. maximum for the season. Lincoln’s Sparrows are rare in spring in the I.C.P.; one at Eufaula N.W.R. 23 Mar (GEH) had probably wintered. Rare in spring in the G.C., Yellow-headed Blackbirds appeared in both Alabama coastal counties: one at Foley, Baldwin 20 Mar–6 May (ph. ECr, m.ob.) and one on Dauphin 28 Apr (ph. SB). A Western Meadowlark near Florence, Lauderdale 7 Mar (DJS) provided the tenth T.V. record and the third spring record for n. Alabama. Another at Ft. Morgan 30 Mar (ph. GEH) was the sixth rare in the T.V. in spring for the G.C. North of Auburn, Lee 28 Mar (REM, CM) an Orchard Oriole was the earliest for n. Alabama. In Alabama, Baltimore Orioles that had either definitely or likely wintered in the area continued into spring. One in Montgomery 2–10 Mar (ph. KH) had probably overwintered in the area; Baltimores are rare but regular in winter on the I.C.P. A property in Ashford, Houston (ph. RSi, BK et al.) hosted several from winter into spring; on 7–8 Mar 11 there provided an I.C.P. spring maximum. A Baltimore at Enterprise, Coffee 8–21 Mar (DPi) had also likely wintered in the general area. One at Columbus, Lowndes 12 Apr (PMa) tied the earliest arrival date for the seven-county area. Near Hanceville, Cullman 8 Mar (ECo) 1000 Common Grackles set an M.R. spring maximum. Boat-tailed Grackles are casual inland and have only been found at one I.C.P. site, near Hartford, Geneva; up to 4 Boat-taileds were there for the fifth straight year 22 Mar–6 Apr (RW, DCa, ph.).

At Eufaula N.W.R. 27 Apr (v.r. GEH) 6 Northern Waterthrushes established a spring I.C.P. maximum. A Brewster’s Warbler at Huntsville 23 Apr (CWB) was the eleventh found in the T.V., the fourth found there in spring. At Oktibbeha County Lake, a rare Brewster’s was seen 3 May (TLS, MSc). A singing male Black-and-white Warbler at Swan Creek 16 Mar (CWB) was the earliest for the T.V. At Red Mtn. Pk. 13 May (GDJ) 9 Swainson’s Warblers established the highest single site total for n. Alabama. Rare but regular breeders in the T.V., 3 Swainson’s Warblers at Swan Creek 18 May (CDC, MSG, v.r.) tied the T.V. maximum. In Foley, Baldwin a Tennessee Warbler 2 Mar (ph. SG) was the earliest recorded in Alabama except for one that had overwintered, and another very early Tennessee was at Belforest, Baldwin 10–11 Mar (ph. CL, KMcM, LFG). At Monte Sano S.P., Madison 13 May (GEH) a Nashville Warbler provided the latest T.V. spring record. Connecticut Warblers are rare in spring in the T.V.; one was seen and heard at Swan Creek 12–13 May (CWB et al.). A Mourning Warbler at Columbus, Lowndes 15 May (PMa) provided the fifteenth record for the seven-county area, ninth in spring. A Kentucky Warbler heard in Huntsville 9–11 Apr (CWB) tied the early T.V. record. At Wehle 15 Mar (JAT) a Hooded Warbler was the earliest recorded for inland Alabama. At Noxubee N.W.R. 6 Apr (LT, m.ob.) an American Redstart was five days earlier than the previous early date for the seven-county area. A singing male Magnolia Warbler near Auburn, Lee 4–7 Apr (REM, CM) provided a new early M.R. record. On Dauphin a singing male Bay-breasted Warbler 14 Apr (KMcM, RG, KMa, ph.) was the earliest for s. Alabama. Black-throated Blue Warblers are rare but nearly regular in the M.R. in spring; a singing male was at Ruffner 21 Apr–2 May (ph. RSD et al.); one was at Little River Canyon Nat. Pres., DeKalb 29 Apr (AmH); one was heard at Red Mtn. Pk. 29 Apr (RSD); and one was heard in Opelika, Lee 7 May (LW). A calling male Prairie Warbler at Talladega N.F., Bibb 16 Mar (WJ, TT, PG) established the early record for inland Alabama except for two February records. A Black-throated Green Warbler at Ruffner 16 Mar (PAR) tied the early record for inland Alabama and set a new n. Alabama record. Rare in spring in the T.V., a Wilson’s Warbler was recorded on the Wheeler N.W.R. area count 27 Apr (JMH, CG, SRM).

A Rose-breasted Grosbeak at Hacoda, Geneva 15–21 Mar (OJ) either had the earliest arrival for inland Alabama or wintered; there are three prior late winter inland records. At Montevallo, Shelby 1 May (JW, JBl, ph.) a xanthochromic male Rose-breasted Grosbeak was reported for the first time in Alabama. A Rose-breasted in Starkville, Oktibbeha 9 Apr (JAH) established the early arrival date for the seven-county area. Present at a set of feeders in Ashford, Houston (RSi) where Painted Buntings occurred from winter until 21 Apr, 4 Painteds 1 & 29 Mar provided a spring maximum for inland Alabama. Dickcissels are rare on the G.C. in winter, and one at Belforest, Baldwin 8–9 Mar (CL) probably wintered in the general area.

Report processed by Eric DeFonso, 17 Feb 2021.

Photos–Alabama and Mississippi: Spring 2019

Click on the caption to to view fullscreen with caption.