Southern Great Plains: Fall 2020

Fall 2020: 1 Aug–30 Nov

Joseph A. Grzybowski

[email protected]

W. Ross Silcock

[email protected]

Recommended citation:

Grzybowski, J. A., and W.R. Silcock. 2021. Fall 2020: Southern Great Plains. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-aj5> North American Birds.

Assembling an overview for the season can reflect the repetition of long-term patterns expressing themselves that particular season. The mid-continental location of the region can also express some extremes affecting the region or parts of it that year—no year is average. The effects of significant events in adjacent regions can overflow into the Southern Great Plains. Sometimes, the patterns are deviations of individual stories perhaps happening to a species outside the region. The latter depicted an array of what occurred in the region this season.

The long-term patterns of range extensions from warming climate and expansion of woody growth westward was less in evidence this season. Good water conditions produced some special effects on some wetland species, but broader metapopulation dynamics for this wetland group (including Common Gallinules and Least Bitterns) were still generally constrained by a low seed stock.

The broad area of fires in the Colorado Rockies may have had some para-regional effects with several western species encroaching out onto the Plains. Several cold storm systems created sub-regional effects, such as a significant die-off of Barn Swallows in Nebraska during early September and a broad drop-out of American Woodcock in a strip including all three regional states during late October. Woodhouse’s Scrub Jays made a big push out onto the plains early (September)—possibly a response to fires in the Rockies. To a lesser extent the same was seen for Mountain Chickadees and Pygmy Nuthatches, the latter in Nebraska. The responses of other species like Pinyon and Steller’s jays, Cassin’s Finches, or Evening Grosbeaks were puny by comparison. Mountain Bluebirds had a major surge eastward in November, likely unrelated. And then there were the significant influxes of Pine Siskins and Purple Finches that seemed unrelated to the above and to each other. Some high counts are also thrown in the mix of common migrants such as Field Sparrow, Yellow Warbler, and Wilson’s Warbler in Nebraska that could be results of bottlenecks in migration or better reproductive seasons to the north. There was a surprising appearance of Magnificent Frigatebirds in all three states, reflecting potential effects of earlier hurricanes to the southeast.

To complicate interpretation, there was also extra coverage, particularly in the Nebraska and Oklahoma panhandles, by experienced but short-term observers that added an extra layer of observations into the mix. These also created some detail in the occurrences of some western edge species in the region, including some of the incursions noted above. As with all fall reports, from a period of post-reproductive migration and wanderings, some exceptional exceptions arise. With all these, here are the data from which to speculate.

Contributors: (sub-regional editors in boldface):

NEBRASKA: Tony Andresen, Susan Bawn (SBa), Scott Bradley (SBr), Stephen Brenner (SBn), Ed Brogie, Mark Brogie, Barbara Brown, Scott Buss, Amanda Cervantes, Colleen Childers, Virginia Clark, Mary Clausen, Jen Corman (JCm), Colin Croft (CCf), Olivia DaRugna, Allyson Dather, Bill & Mercy Davison (B&MD), Kathy DeLara, Roger Dietrich, Nancy Drilling, Janet Duba, Kat Dunlavey (KDu), Curtis Dykstra, Dave Ely, Dave Ebbitt (DEb), Boni Edwards, Larry Einemann, William Flack, Rita Flohr, Andrew Furman, Jerry Hampton, Robin Harding, Bill Hendrickson, Alec Hopping, Bonnie Baker James, Joel G. Jorgensen, Joan Junkin, Lynette Keeshan, Bill Kincaid (BKi), Charles Thornton Kolbe (CTK), Levi Krause (LKr), Steve Kruse, Jordan LaBarr, Shannon Langland (SLa), Sam Manning (SMa), Steve Mlodinow, Wayne Mollhoff, Vickie Morgan, Joey Negreann (JNe), Eric Neuman, Jonathan Nikkila, Jeff Payne, Chris Petrizzo, Mark Peyton (MPe), Susan Quinn, Lanny Randolph, Connie Nelson Rathbun, Ed Raynor, Mike Remund (MRe), Justin Rink, Gary Roberts, Paul Roisen, Ruby Rolland, Rick Schmid, Matt Shurtliff (MSh), W. Ross Silcock, Randy Skaggs (RSk), Marie Smith, Barry Southard, Ruthie Stearns (RSt), Caleb Strand (CSd), Linda Sullivan, Phil Swanson, Cynthia Van Den Broeke (CVDB), Matthew Van Den Broeke (MVDB), Bobby Walz, Kathleen Wann, Gordon Warrick, Eli Weber (EWe), Carolyn Wicker (CWi), Don & Marion Wiedemann (D&MW), Matt Wieseler (MWi), Ethan Wiist (EWi), Ian Wiist, Crinda Jackson Williams, Michael Willison, Elizabeth Winter, Lucy Winter, Chris Wood.

KANSAS: Henry Armknecht, Dawn Bayless, Tom Blandford, Dan Broers (DBr), Bob Broyles (BBr), Pam Bruns, Andrew Burnett, Ted Cable, Tom Cannon (TCa), Jeff Calhoun, Kathy Carroll, Glenn Caspers, Walt Cochran, Lucas DeCicco, Corey Entriken, Tom Ewert, Christopher Frick, Nell Galles, Peter Grund, Alec Hopping, Pete Janzen, Mark Keller, Kevin Keltner (KKl), Anna Killian, Dave Klema, Chris Knight, Kaleb Kroeker, Bob Kruger, Mark E. Land, Matt Longabaugh (MLg), Micky Louis, Alex Marine (AMa), Mick McHugh (MMH), Debra McKee (DMc), Christi McMillen, Don Merz, Andrew Miller, Nicholas & Christiana Niewalk (N&CN), Quentin Nolan, Chuck Otte, Rob Penner, Brandon Percival, Diane Persons, Mark Pheasant, Galen Pittman, Mike Rader, Vickie Ray (VRa), Sue Riffe, Mark Robbins (MRb), Greg Scott, Sara Shane, Faith Shapley-Queen (FSQ), Ken Smith, Logan Smith (LSm), Travis Stebbins (TSt), Max Thompson, David Tonnessen, Mike Umscheid, Curt VanBoening (CVa), Mary Whitacre (MWc), Curtis Wolf (CWo), Rodney Wright, Suntesha Wustrack, Molly Zahn.

OKLAHOMA: Pia Alexander, David Arbour, Jim Arnett, James W. Arterburn, Nicholas Bauer, Clay Billman, Bill Carrell, Paula Cimprich, James Cowley (JCo), Jacob Crissup (JCr), Betty Crow (BCr), Steve Davis, Cody Delano (CDe), Bill Diffin, Kathy Mihm Dunning, Chad Ellis (CEl), Tom Ewert, Braden Farris, Alex Franzen (AFr), Tony Goza, Bunny Graham, Gary Graves, Nicholas Del Grosso, Joseph A. Grzybowski, Elizabeth Hacker, Alex Harman (AHa), Glen Hensley, Alec Hopping, Grace Huffman (GHu), John Hurd (JHu), Eddie Jones, Debby Kaspari (DKa), Kim Kerr (KKe), Randolph King, Chris Knight, Vivek Govind Kumar, Margarette Landes (MLa), Sean Leahy (SLe), Josh Lefever (JLe), Tony Leukering, Sara Loss (SLs), Scott Loss, Jimmy Lovett (JLo), Dawn Loyd, Mike Ludewig (MLu), Chris Lynch, Brian Marra, Larry Mays, Caleb McKinney (CMc), Kurt Meisenzahl, Steve Metz (SMe), Randy Mitchell (RMi), Terry Mitchell, John Muller, Joe Neal (JNl), Roy Neher (RNe), Landon Neumann, Ronan Nicholson, Brett Niland, Tim O’Connell (TOC), Dylan Osterhaus, Nu Perera (NPe), Brandon Percival, Max Poland (MPo), Zach Poland, Hollis Price, Van Remsen, Gary Richards (GRi), Justin Roach (JRo), Mark Robbins (MRb), Ben Sandstrom (BSa), Jana Singletary, Randy Soto (RSo), Andrew Spencer, Curtis Stewart, Steve Stone (SSt), Caleb Strand (CSd), John Tharp, David Tonnessen, Lou & Mary Truex (L&MT), Frank Walker, Melanie Whitmore (MWh), Ken Williams (KWi), Doug Wood, Jimmy Woodard, Mike Yough.

Whistling-Ducks through Hummingbirds

The Black-bellied Whistling-Duck range is extending into Nebraska with three nesting reports noted during Aug–Sep; this season, a female in Cass Co laid 11 eggs in a Wood Duck nest box about 15 Aug, leaving with three ducklings that hatched on 14 Sep (LKr fide MRe, ph. JGJ). The only report of Black-bellied Whistling-Duck in Oklahoma away from Red Slough WMA, McCurtain Co, was of two in Alfalfa Co 16 Aug (CS). An extraordinary record by species, late date, and northerly location was of a Fulvous Whistling-Duck shot by a hunter in Keith Co, NE 28 Oct (BKi, MWi, ph., fide JGJ); there was no indication of previous captivity. Good fall counts of Snow Goose and Ross’s Goose were the 116,000 and 3000, respectively, over Nuckolls Co, NE 25 Nov (DE). Two Ross’s Geese at Hackberry Flat WMA 19 Oct (L&MT) were early. Tundra Swans mostly move into the region in Nov; early were two adults and a juvenile in Douglas Co, NE 1–15 Nov (SMa, m. ob.), eight at Salt Plains NWR 5 Nov (MLa), and seven in Osage Co, OK 7 Nov (CS). An unusually high concentration of 417 Wood Ducks was in Antelope Co, NE 20 Oct (MB). A Blue-winged Teal in Burt Co, NE 25 Nov (SMa) was quite late. Few American Black Ducks occur in the region anymore. Even when they did, a Black Duck such as the one well-described in Lincoln Co, NE 18 Nov (SM) would have been surprisingly far west.

Among summering vagrant waterfowl were a Canvasback at Hefner 31 Aug–17 Sep (BF, BD, SD) and a Lesser Scaup at Lake Yahola and Oxley Nature Center 1–30 Aug (ZP). An immature male Ring-necked Duck in Butler Co, NE 12 Aug–19 Sep (LE, SMa) creates speculation on status as an early migrant or from local breeding. Surf Scoters were more abundant this season with at least 26 noted in NE (fide WRS) beginning 6 Oct (early) in Buffalo Co (AF, BB), 16 in KS (fide CO), and at least eight in OK (fide JAG). Thirty White-winged Scoters were reported in KS 24 Oct through the period (fide CO), including a tally of 14 in Johnson Co 27 Oct (KKl). In NE and OK, only five White-winged Scoters were reported in each state (fide WRS, JAG) including a record-early arrival in Lincoln Co, NE 2 Oct (SM). Also showing well were Black Scoters in KS with 19 reported beginning 27 Oct (fide CO). The only Black Scoters reported in OK were 1–2 at Hefner 12–30 Nov (JAG, BF, m. ob.). Scattered Long-tailed Ducks were in all three states, the nine reports beginning 16 Oct (fide WRS, CO, JAG) were all of singles except for the four birds in Knox Co, NE 26 Oct (MB); the most southerly were in Cleveland Co, OK 13 Nov (JT) and Custer Co, OK 18 Nov (GG). Early Buffleheads were one in Garden Co, NE 27 Sep (CP) and two in Sheridan Co, NE 28 Sep (CP). Two male Common Goldeneyes that summered in Knox/Cedar Cos, NE were still present 3 Aug (MB, EB), and early arrivals (for recent times) in OK were three at Hefner 4 Nov (CEl). The only reports of Barrow’s Goldeneye were of 1–2 in Lincoln Co, NE 18–26 Nov (SM, m. ob.). A summering Common Merganser at Hefner was noted 22 Aug (BF, BM). Seven Red-breasted Mergansers were early 10 Oct in Scotts Bluff Co, NE (KD).

A Ring-necked Pheasant in Payne Co, OK 24 Nov (SL) suggested southward expansion. Red-necked Grebe showed well this fall with no fewer than eight reports from six locations in NE 24 Oct–18 Nov (fide WRS); in KS, singles were in Jefferson Co 11 Nov (KC, DP), Crawford Co 20 Nov (AMa), and Riley Co 20 Nov (TC), while in OK, where rarer, singles were at two locations in Payne Co 29 Oct–1 Nov (SL, m. ob.) and 6–10 Nov (SL), possibly the same individual. A high count of Eared Grebes for the late date in far western OK was the 80 in Cimarron 29 Nov (JLe). Seven Western Grebes were easterly in KS 16 Oct–20 Nov (fide CO), with five easterly to central OK 1 Oct–29 Nov (fide JAG). Clark’s Grebe is a BRC review species in OK; one was at Hefner 4–25 Nov (BD, m. ob.). Among only five reports of Black-billed Cuckoo were singles westerly in Dundy Co, NE 30 Aug (SM), and in Morton Co, KS 19 Oct (DT), the latter also quite tardy. The three other Black-billed Cuckoos were in Lancaster Co, NE 10–21 Sep (fide WRS). Single Common Nighthawks at two locations in Douglas Co, NE 14 Oct (EWi, IW) were tardy. A late Common Poorwill was found dead in Keith Co, NE 6 Oct (fide JGJ), and an Eastern Whip-poor-will was also quite late in Sarpy Co, NE 19 Oct (BE, CC).

Tardy were two Chimney Swifts in Tulsa Co, OK 22 Oct (ZP) as were Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in Douglas Co, NE 13 Oct (MC), Ford Co, KS 15 Oct (CM), and late and westerly in Haskell Co, KS 9 Oct (MR). Part of the encroachment into the northwestern region were three Black-chinned Hummingbirds at different Scotts Bluff Co, NE feeders 9–28 Aug (MS, CCf, SM, KD). Reports of Anna’s Hummingbird are increasing; NE’s fifth and sixth were a continuing young male in Scotts Bluff Co that molted to adult plumage during its stay 13 Jul–17 Aug, and was joined, surprisingly, 8 Aug by an adult male (MS). Other Anna’s Hummingbirds were in Ford Co, KS 13 Oct–11 Nov (CM), and Greer Co, OK 17 Nov (VR). Calliope Hummingbird is a rarity away from the NE Panhandle; a surprising four singles were in western OK, three in Cimarron Co (SMe, JW) and one in Beckham Co, OK 11 Aug–9 Sep (RN); another Calliope Hummingbird was in Gove, KS 9 Aug (CF). Five Rufous Hummingbirds were as far eastward as Gove Co, KS 8 Aug (CF), Nance Co, NE 9 Sep (LK), and Oklahoma Co, Oklahoma 2–6 Sep (FW); three later singles in OK 18 Oct–29 Nov (NDG, RNe, BM, GHu) followed a generally later pattern for Rufous Hummingbird, some potentially wintering. Other Selasphorus reported as Rufous/Allen’s were in Tulsa Co, OK 2 Aug (ZP), and in Pittsburg Co, OK 23 Sep (BG). Rare away from the NE Panhandle, single Broad-tailed Hummingbirds were in Edwards Co, KS 11 Aug (HA) and at Cimarron Co, OK locations 8–28 Aug (SMe), 17 Aug (SMe), and 9 Sep (SMe, JW).

Rails through Anhinga

A Sora in Dakota Co, NE 2 Nov (RSk) was late. In past decades, Purple Gallinules have clearly established themselves at Red Slough WMA with a high count this season of 86 noted 10 Aug (DA). Common Gallinules are also increasing at Red Slough WMA, with 109–124 counted there 18 Aug–10 Sep (DA); one lingered to a late date of 30 Nov (DA). Whooping Cranes passed through on schedule; first were two near Cheyenne Bottoms WMA 16 Oct (fide CWo), and the last, two at Salt Plains NWR 23 Nov (HP). Out of path easterly were two Whooping Cranes in Cleveland Co, OK 20 Oct (RSo, m. ob.) and one in Tillman Co, OK 22 Oct (BSa). The only Yellow Rail reported this season was in Douglas Co, KS 1 Oct (KC, ML). Two Black-necked Stilts were very late in Cherry Co, NE 28 Oct (GW), and another was just tardy in Lincoln Co, NE 1 Oct (BE); easterly was one in Wagoner Co, OK 29 Jul (JWA). Among other tardy shorebirds were five American Avocets in Lincoln Co, NE 6 Nov (BE, m. ob.) and a Black-bellied Plover in Lancaster Co, NE 9 Nov (LE). An unexpected summering American Golden-Plover at Quivira NWR lingered through 2 Aug (fide CO). The latest fall migrant Upland Sandpiper on record for NE was overhead in Kearney Co 24 Oct, identified by its distinctive flight call (LR, RH); another was noted overhead very late 18 Oct in Cleveland Co, OK (JM, AFr, PC). Among a growing array of tardy Long-billed Curlews were singles at Salt Plains NWR 20 Oct (GH) and Hackberry Flat WMA 22 Oct and 21 Nov (BSa); some may winter. Easterly was a Long-billed Curlew at Hefner 17 Sep (BF). Rare during fall, a few Ruddy Turnstones were reported; singles in Hall Co, NE 2 Aug (RF), 1–2 at Quivira NWR 21–25 Aug (fide CO), and one in Atchison Co, KS 30 Aug (DM, GS). A late Stilt Sandpiper was in Lancaster Co, NE 21 Oct–2 Nov (LE). Late peeps were four Baird’s Sandpipers in Chase Co, NE 2 Nov (SM) and a Semipalmated Sandpiper in Lancaster Co, NE 3–4 Oct (JH, MW).

Rare westerly was a Short-billed Dowitcher in Garden Co, NE 2 Sep (SM). The high count of Buff-breasted Sandpiper, a species of concern, was a pleasurable 375 in Wagoner Co, OK 12 Aug (JWA). A quite remarkable downing of migrating American Woodcocks occurred in very cold, wet, and windy weather 24 Oct–1 Nov (fide WRS, CO); at least eight dropping into town yards in eastern NE 24–26 Oct (fide JGJ, m. ob.), one of 43 reported in KS (fide PJ, CO, MU) was found westerly frozen in a Decatur Co yard 27 Oct (VRa), and a similar-circumstance series occurred in northern and central OK 22–30 Oct (fide JAG). A late woodcock was in Nuckolls Co, NE 26 Nov (DE), and another migrant building-kill was in downtown Oklahoma City 30 Nov (KKe). A Wilson’s Snipe was quite early in Garfield Co, OK 15 Aug (CS). Late Spotted Sandpipers were in Cedar Co, NE 21 Oct (SB) and Cleveland Co, OK 21 Nov (RK, CDe). Tardy Lesser Yellowlegs were the three in Dawson Co, NE 5 Nov (AF), one in Cass Co, NE 6 Nov (SQ), five at Hackberry Flat WMA 23 Nov (L&MT), and one at Salt Plains NWR that lingered until 28–29 Nov (CS, BF). More tardy shorebirds included single Willets at Salt Plains NWR 11 Oct (JCr, AH, m. ob) and Hackberry Flat WMA 19 Oct (L&MT), and two Greater Yellowlegs in Scotts Bluff Co, NE 30 Nov (SM). A series of late Wilson’s Phalaropes included three in Scotts Bluff Co, NE (KD) and one in Dundy Co, NE (SM) both 26 Sep, and one in Sumner Co, KS 21 Oct (MT). Rare but regular, Red-necked Phalaropes passed through KS and OK 26 Aug–18 Oct (fide JAG). Red Phalarope, uncommon on the Great Plains, included a surprising four this season in Chase Co, NE 12 Sep (EW), Lincoln Co, NE 20 Oct (BE, MW), at Quivira NWR 8 Nov (SR), and in Payne Co, OK 10–11 Nov (MWh, m. ob.).

Many years go without them, so multiple jaegers in a season are quite exceptional. Parasitic Jaegers were at Cheyenne Bottoms WMA 7 Sep (DBr), Lake Yahola and Oxley Nature Center 1 Sep (JLo), and at Hefner 29 Sep (GHu, EH). The Parasitic Jaeger at Lake Yahola and Oxley Nature Center was accompanied by the rarest regional jaeger, a Long-tailed Jaeger (JLo, SMe). A jaeger unidentified to species was in Payne Co, OK 8 Sep (CMc). Numerous Sabine’s Gulls passed through NE and KS 15 Aug–23 Oct; the single in Scotts Bluff Co, NE 15 Aug (SM) was earliest on record for NE; best count was 6–8 at Swanson Reservoir, Hitchcock Co, NE 2 Oct, including a surprising three adults (AH). Only two Sabine’s Gulls were reported in OK, however, with one each in Cleveland Co 5–9 Oct (JT) and Payne Co 1 Nov (CB). Early Bonaparte’s Gulls were singles at Hefner 7 (JCr) and 17 Oct (BM, GHu, EH). A significant regional rarity was a Little Gull in Osage Co, KS 18–26 Oct (DMc, MP). Summer vagrant Laughing Gulls made it north to Cheyenne Bottoms WMA 6 Sep (AM), Jefferson Co, KS 8 and 28 Sep (KC et al.), and Douglas Co, KS 21 Sep–2 Oct (KC, m. ob.), with three others from KS (fide CO), last of two birds 25 Oct in Sumner Co (MT); four were observed in OK (fide JAG), last 29 Sep in McIntosh Co (BM). California Gulls away from western NE were noted only in OK: Wagoner Co 9 and 19 Aug (ZP, JWA), Blaine Co 10 Oct (AH), Cleveland Co 27 Oct (JAG) and Cimarron Co 13 Nov (MRb, GG, VR). Adult Herring Gulls usually arrive in fall much later than immatures; very early adults were in Scotts Bluff Co, NE 1 Sep (SM) and at Lake McConaughy Reservoir  3 Sep (SM). Exceptionally early was a first-cycle Iceland (“Thayer’s”) Gull as far south as Cleveland Co, OK 8 Oct (JT, JAG); there were seven other reports of nine individuals from NE and KS beginning 23 Oct (fide WRS, CO). In addition, paler Iceland Gulls were reported at Hefner 20 Oct (BM, ph.), also quite early, and in Lancaster Co, NE 25–30 Nov (MW, ph.). Best counts of Lesser Black-backed Gull were six at Lake McConaughy Reservoir 18 Nov (SM) and three at Salt Plains NWR 24 Oct (TE); at least 15 were in OK (fide JAG). Only one Glaucous Gull was reported, that in Lincoln Co, NE 18 Nov (SM); lower numbers in recent years suggest wintering farther north of the region. The only reports of Great Black-backed Gull were of singles at Lake McConaughy Reservoir  20 Sep (BE, JN) and in Knox Co, NE 14 Nov (MB).

An adult Least Tern in Scotts Bluff Co, NE 7 Aug (SM) was westerly, and a Black Tern in Woodward Co, OK 11 Oct (ZP, LN) was late. Perhaps fewer than normal Common Terns were reported, those windowing the period from 7 Aug (early) in Keith Co, NE (SM) to 18 Oct (late) in Knox Co, NE (JL, JR, SB). Peculiarly, only four Common Terns were reported in KS (fide eBird), and only one in OK, that in Payne Co 10 Sep (SL, MY, LN). NE’s third fall Arctic Tern was an immature in Knox Co 15–21 Oct (MB, ph., m. ob.) surprisingly joined by NE’s fourth, an adult 18–21 Oct (JN, ph., m. ob.). Five Red-throated Loons were reported; one in Lancaster Co, NE 20 Oct–10 Nov was found dead entangled in fishing line (SK, SBn, m. ob.); singles were in Russell Co, KS 22 Nov (MR) and Kingman Co, KS 28 Nov (TE), with two in Cherokee Co, OK 11 Nov (JNl, VGK). Surprising were about 11 reports of the generally rare Pacific Loon, all in NE and OK 24 Oct–22 Nov (fide WRS, JAG). Presumed summering non-breeding Common Loons were two in Cedar Co, NE 24 Aug (RD), and singles in Lincoln Co, NE 27 Aug (JNe), at Lake McConaughy Reservoir  3 Sep (SM), and at Hefner 2 Aug (BF, CS). The much rarer Yellow-billed Loon was reported in Lincoln Co, NE 18–20 Nov (SM, m. ob.) and Russell Co, KS 15–30 Nov (MR).

Wood Stork through Falcons

A summer vagrant Wood Stork was a northerly in Scott Co, KS 23 Aug (CF). Quite remarkable was the number of Magnificent Frigatebird observations, when one is considered outstanding. A female was picked up dead in Dawson Co, NE 11 Nov (MPe). Two sightings in KS 5 and 8 Nov at Quivira NWR and Cheyenne Bottoms WMA (TB, RP), respectively, may have been the same bird, with another further east in Douglas Co, KS 10 Nov (LSm). Meanwhile, OK also had sightings at Lake Yahola and Oxley Nature Center 31 Aug–1 Sep (ZP, MPo, m. ob.), with a juvenile in Payne Co 22 Nov (SL, SLs, MY). Neotropic Cormorants are common at Red Slough WMA, and establishing themselves westward in southern OK with a local scatter north. One Neotropic Cormorant was north to Crescent Lake NWR, Garden Co, NE 18 Aug–2 Sep (SM); remarkably, a hybrid Neotropic x Double-crested Cormorant was photographed and well-described there 2 Sep (SM). The best Anhinga tally was 63 at Red Slough WMA 4 Aug (DA); rare away from Red Slough WMA, one was in Johnston Co, OK 9 Sep (JRo). The only Least Bittern away from Red Slough WMA was in Payne Co, OK 9 Sep (CMc); one at Red Slough WMA 15 Oct (DA) was late. Also late were a Great Egret in Buffalo Co, NE 19 Nov (BB), a Snowy Egret at Hefner 1–27 Nov (m.ob.), and a Little Blue Heron in Canadian Co, OK 23 Oct (BM, GHu, EH). A mega- rarity for NE, a Reddish Egret was photographed 17 Aug in Dixon Co (SLa), fourth for the state. A Green Heron lingered late in Johnson Co, KS until 1 Nov (KKl, WC).

White Ibises away from Red Slough WMA are noteworthy, and occur as summer vagrants, mostly immatures. Such were singles in Payne Co, OK 2 Sep (JCo), Tulsa Co, OK 3–5 Sep (JS), Sumner Co, KS 5 Aug (FSQ), and Sedgwick Co, KS 22 Aug (SW), with two juveniles in Neosho Co, KS 29 Aug (AB), and a tardy immature at Quivira NWR 27 Sep (AK). Best counts of White Ibis at Red Slough WMA were 102 on 15 Oct and 110 on 22 Oct (DA). Lingering White-faced Ibises were in Lancaster Co, NE 14 Nov (one; JJ) and at Hackberry Flat WMA 21 Nov (four; BSa). The only Roseate Spoonbill away from Red Slough WMA was in Bryan Co, OK 17 Oct (JRo). A tardy Turkey Vulture was in Dodge Co, NE 5 Nov (GR). Early Ospreys were in Cherokee Co, OK 5 Aug (possibly a local breeder; MLu) and Payne Co, OK 7 Aug (SL). Northerly Swallow-tailed Kites are increasingly reported; this season, singles were in Douglas Co, KS 7–16 Aug (LD, m. ob.), Harvey Co, KS 13–17 Aug (TSt, m. ob.) and Geary Co, KS 15–27 Aug (PB, KS) with 1–2 in Butler Co, KS 27–31 Aug (BBr) and two others continuing in Atoka Co, OK to 10 Aug (DW) and one in Tulsa Co 7 Sep (BN). Far easterly were single Golden Eagles in Jefferson Co, KS 15 Oct (MP) and Miami Co, KS 26 Oct (WC). A Sharp-shinned Hawk in Dawes Co, NE 22 Aug (SM) was a bit early. Two Northern Goshawks were reported in NE; an immature in northeast Cherry Co 22 Oct (GW) and an adult in Lincoln Co 23 Nov (BBJ, fide JGJ). Both northerly and tardy was a Mississippi Kite in Douglas Co, NE 24 Sep (JR). Exceptional for NE was a Harris’s Hawk in Douglas Co 21 Sep (fide RS, ph.). Red-shouldered Hawk continues to stretch westward in KS; singles were in Russell Co 11 Aug (DK), Clark Co 3 Sep (DBr), and Ottawa Co 20 Oct (KK). Similarly, Broad-winged Hawks westward were in Scotts Bluff Co, NE 13 Sep (SM), and Garden Co, NE 27 Sep (CP). A very late Swainson’s Hawk was in Dodge Co, NE 8 Nov (GR). Quite early “Western” Red-tailed Hawks (ssp. calurus) were in Kimball and Scotts Bluff cos, NE 15 Aug, the latter a “young rufous morph” (SM), and a Rough-legged Hawk arrived early in Cherry Co, NE 10 Oct (DEb). Also early was a Ferruginous Hawk in Brown Co, NE 21 Sep (B&MD); easterly were individuals in Keya Paha Co, NE 25 Nov (CTK), and Johnson Co, KS 7 Oct (RW).

A Barred Owl was westerly to Morton Co, KS 3 Nov (CE). Not often detected in OK, a Long-eared Owl was in Oklahoma Co 12 Nov (BM). A Long-eared Owl in Knox Co, NE 2 Sep (MB) was probably a local breeder; one was in Kimball Co, NE 26 Oct (SM, DE). This fall, banding efforts for Northern Saw-whet Owl in eastern NE produced 20 in 82.5 net hours 15 Oct–11 Nov at sites in Seward and Lancaster cos (SBn, JGJ). Other single Saw-whet Owls were banded in Scotts Bluff Co, NE 29 Sep & 2 Oct (VM), and Dawes Co, NE 1 Sep (JTo, WM, ND), with one heard in northern Sioux Co, NE 22 Aug (SM) where likely breeding. Lewis’s Woodpeckers on the Wichita Mountains WR, Comanche Co, OK have become more regular in recent years during winter; one was noted there 20–21 Nov (L&MT). Genuinely rare for the region, a Williamson’s Sapsucker was in Cimarron Co, OK 13–15 Sep (SMe et al.). Single Red-naped Sapsuckers, an uncommon western regional-edge migrant, were in Morton Co, KS 5 Oct (BP, CK) and Cimarron Co, OK 13 Oct (SMe), with one more easterly in Lincoln Co, NE 18 Nov (SM). An exciting find was a hybrid identified as a Red-breasted x Red-naped Sapsucker in Cimarron Co, OK 9 Oct (SMe). A northeasterly outlier Ladder-backed Woodpecker was in Garfield Co, OK 9 Aug (CS). Crested Caracara is being reported more often in southern OK, although still quite rare; 2–3 were in Choctaw Co 9–10 Sep (CL, JCr) and two were in Coal Co 23 Oct (BCr). A seemingly tardy fledge date for Peregrine Falcon occurred 14 Sep at the Douglas Co, NE nest site (JTo). Another Peregrine Falcon was tardy in Saline Co, NE 14 Nov (BH).

Flycatchers through Swallows

An Olive-sided Flycatcher was early in Buffalo Co, NE 1 Aug (KW). The first NE Panhandle record of Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was one photographed and well-described in Kimball Co 2 Sep (MW). Western Empidonax flycatchers seemed more prominent this season. Hammond’s Flycatchers were widely reported along the western edge of the Region from 30 Aug–20 Sep; at least 18 from NE (fide WRS) east to Dundy Co 30 Aug (SM) and Keith Co 20 Sep (JN), two from KS in Morton Co 4 Sep (DBr) and Greeley Co 15 Sep (TE, PJ, CVa), and five from Cimarron Co, OK 7–20 Sep (fide JAG). A confirmed Gray Flycatcher was in Scotts Bluff Co, NE 25 Aug (SM); three others were reported, but unconfirmed. Nineteen Dusky Flycatchers were reported in the NE Panhandle between 9 Aug in Dundy Co (2; SM) and 20 Sep in Keith Co (JN), but only two in western KS, in Morton Co 4 Sep (DBr) and Hamilton Co 13 Sep (AM). Migrant Cordilleran Flycatchers are rarely detected in NE; this fall there were six such reports of eight birds 16–31 Aug, all in the Panhandle (SM, MSh, SB). Photos of potential Cordilleran Flycatchers in Cimarron Co, OK 12 Sep (SMe) and Texas Co, OK 9–11 Oct (AH, LN, ZP) are still in review by the state BRC, with the caveat that they may be better assigned as Pacific Slope/Cordilleran (formerly Western Flycatcher). Easterly Say’s Phoebes were singles in Seward Co, NE 12 Sep (JD), Payne Co, OK 11 Nov into Dec (MY), Thomas Co, NE 17 Oct (JP), and Neosho Co, KS 5 Nov (AB). A possible hybrid Black x Eastern Phoebe was reported in Cimarron Co, OK 1 Sep (JAG); such hybridization has been occurring in southeastern CO (fide TL). Vermilion Flycatchers away from western Cimarron Co, OK are unusual; such were singles easterly in Russell Co, KS 6 Nov (BK, DK) and a continuing male in Garvin Co, OK through 4 Sep (fide JAG). At least a month late in departing was an Ash-throated Flycatcher in Cimarron Co, OK 6–10 Oct (BP, CK, LN, ZP). Couch’s Kingbird first appeared regionally during fall 2019 in Comanche Co, OK; 1–2 made it this season to Cleveland Co, OK 15–27 Sep (RK, m. ob.).

A Northern Shrike was noted southerly to Cimarron Co, OK 13 Nov (MRb, GG, VR), with one early in Atchison Co, KS 19 Oct (DM). A count of 51 Bell’s Vireos in Dundy Co, NE 9 Aug (SM) was impressive. A very late Bell’s Vireo was in Payne Co, OK 21 Oct (TOC). The westernmost points in the region, the NE and OK panhandles, hosted good numbers of Cassin’s Vireo, 12 in NE 22 Aug–20 Sep (fide WRS) and six in OK 6 Sep–14 Oct (fide JAG); several of the latter were quite late in Texas Co 9 Oct (AH, LN, ZP) and 14 Oct in Cimarron Co (SMe). Easterly Cassin’s Vireos in NE were singles in Keith Co 20 Sep (JN) and Dundy Co 6 Sep (ER, BS). Westerly Blue-headed Vireos were in Dundy Co, NE 7 (JN) and 26 Sep (SM), Seward Co, KS very late 27 Nov (JC), and Cimarron Co, OK 18 Sep (BC), 6–7 Oct (BP, AH), and 17 Oct (DT). Easterly Plumbeous Vireos were singles in Dundy Co, NE 30 Aug and 7 Sep (SM). Philadelphia Vireos quite westerly were in Garden Co, NE 4 Sep (SM), and Cimarron Co, OK 19 Sep (JAG). A Red-eyed Vireo was also westerly in Cimarron Co, OK 17 Sep (BC).

Pinyon Jays can wander and be erratic in occurrence in the NE Panhandle; up to 28 were at a feeding station in Morrill Co 21 Sep–27 Nov (KD, m. ob.), and singles were in two Sioux Co locations 2 Oct (CP) and 29 Nov (PR). Welcome also were the six Pinyon Jays in Morton Co, KS 5–19 Oct (BP, CK). Steller’s Jay made a small surge in western parts of the region; singles were in Dundy Co, NE 26 Sep (fide SM) and Morton Co, KS 6–19 Oct (BP, CK), with 1–2 in Cimarron Co, OK 5–20 Oct (AH) and 11–28 Nov (SMe, MRb, GG, VR). More significant was the outbreak of Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay, an uncommon to recently rare resident only in the extreme northwestern corner of the OK Panhandle. Scrub-Jays became routine in both the mesa country and out on the plains in Cimarron Co, first noted 16 Aug (AS), appearing eastward to Texas, OK 6 Oct and 15 Nov (two birds; JHu, GG), with one at another Texas Co location 17 Oct (DT), and east to Kearny Co, KS 24 Oct (QN). Another mountain species wandering easterly was Clark’s Nutcracker, with six videographed in Scotts Bluff Co, NE 2 Oct (CCf). Fish Crows extending westerly were the 2–4 in Garfield Co, OK 22 Aug–7 Sep (CS). An easterly report of Chihuahuan Raven was in Greeley Co, KS 17 Oct (HA, JC). Quite late at the northerly location were five Bank Swallows at a colony in Cherry Co, NE 6 Oct (TA), with the last tardy at Hackberry Flat WMA until 9 Oct (AH, JW, LM). A surprising collection of 300 Purple Martins were still lingering at Lake Yahola and Oxley Nature Center 12 Sep (TM), with one in Oklahoma Co, OK 19 Sep (BF, BM, GHu). A good count of tardy Barn Swallows was the 100 in Sequoyah Co, OK 8 Nov (JWA, KWi). Late Cliff Swallows were one at Hackberry Flat WMA 10 Oct (AH), and six (identified as Cliff) in Cedar Co, NE 21 Oct (SB). Such late and/or northerly buff-rumped swallows should be studied to eliminate the possibility of Cave Swallows, which have shown a propensity to disperse northward in fall. Cave Swallows were found in Sumner Co, KS 4 Aug (FSQ), Reno Co, KS 6 Aug (AM), and at Red Slough WMA 10 and 23 Sep (DA), with three still at Hackberry Flat WMA 11 Oct (RMi).

Chickadees through Finches

A Black-capped Chickadee in Cimarron Co, OK 5 Oct–30 Nov (AH, m. ob.) was a rare extralimital in the state, most likely from mountain populations. Mountain Chickadees also showed an outburst this season in Cimarron Co, the first 25 Sep (AHa); at least 12 were reported in southwestern KS 6–31 Oct (fide CO), with outliers in Texas Co, OK 19 Oct (KMD) and 26 Nov (2 birds; VR), and Gove Co, KS 26 Oct (CF). In the NE Panhandle, at least 17 Mountain Chickadees were reported beginning 18 Oct in Kimball Co (9; ER, MW) and east to Lincoln Co 18 Nov through the period (SM, BE, m. ob.). Black-crested Titmouse appears to be expanding eastward into Cotton Co, OK; 1–2 Black-crested Titmice were there 3 Sep and 13 Nov (BSa), and, perhaps not unexpectedly, a hybrid Tufted x Black-crested Titmouse was there at the same time (BSa). Both eastern (carolinensis) and western (nelsoni) subspecies of White-breasted Nuthatch may occur in the OK Panhandle where neither summers; nelsoni was reported in Cimarron Co 14–26 Sep (JAG, BC, AHa). In NE, a few nelsoni move southward in fall from their disjunct Pine Ridge summer range; three singles were reported in the western Panhandle beginning 25 Aug (SM). A surprising but not unprecedented example of the occasional tendency of Pygmy Nuthatch to wander in fall was a group of eight in limber pines near Pine Bluffs, Kimball Co 18 Oct (ER, MW); much more extraordinary, however, was a Pygmy Nuthatch specimen picked up 12 Aug in Felt, Cimarron Co, OK (SMe), one of very few OK records, and even more unusual for date.

A Rock Wren was easterly in Mitchell Co, KS 17 Oct (N&CN). An early Winter Wren was in Tulsa Co, OK 29 Sep (ZP). Winter Wren is rare in western NE, but this season had 11 reports, clustered in Scotts Bluff, Keith, and Dundy cos (fide WRS). The first fall NE Panhandle report of Sedge Wren was one in Garden Co 7 Aug (SM), with another westerly in Hayes Co, NE 8 Oct (WF). A singing Marsh Wren in Payne Co, OK 22 & 30 Aug (MY, LN) raises status issues—early migrant or breeding outlier. Carolina Wrens continue their spread north and west in NE with outliers now west to Keith Co and north to Knox Co (fide WRS). Tardy Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were in Morton Co, KS 6 Oct (BP) and Cleveland Co, OK 24 Oct (JT). There was a major influx of Mountain Bluebirds eastward this fall into central Kansas and Oklahoma, with birds in central Oklahoma arriving 1 Nov (BF fide JAG), more abundant and several counties east of normal occurrences. Most easterly were Mountain Bluebirds in Lancaster Co, eastern NE 24 Oct (MW), Johnson and Shawnee cos, eastern Kansas beginning 15 Oct (MEL), and Payne Co, OK beginning 12 Nov (SL, m. ob.) A Townsend’s Solitaire was record early by several weeks at Lake McConaughy Reservoir  7 Aug (SM, recording), and singles were easterly in Garfield Co, OK 2–10 Oct (CS) and at Salt Plains NWR 15 Nov (CS).

Veery and Gray-cheeked Thrush are quite rare in fall in NE; a Veery was in Douglas Co 25 Sep (SBr, JL, JR) and a Gray-cheeked Thrush in Lancaster Co 8 Sep (SBn, OD). Swainson’s Thrush is uncommon in OK during fall; the only reports were of singles in Tulsa Co 18 Sep (JLo) and Payne Co 20–30 Sep (MY, LN, CMc, SL). A Swainson’s Thrush was late in Lancaster Co, NE 26 Oct (MVDB). A Wood Thrush in Lancaster Co, NE 8 Oct (MVDB) was fourth latest for the state. Lingering Gray Catbirds were at two locations in Lincoln Co, NE 27 Nov (SM), and one in Oklahoma Co, OK 21 and 30 Nov (SSt, JA). A healthy 59 Sage Thrashers were reported in NE this fall (fide WRS), with one easterly in Dundy Co, NE 30 Aug (SM, SBa) and another more so in Neosho Co, KS 11 Oct (AB). Unexpected during summer in central OK was a Cedar Waxwing in Oklahoma Co, OK 3 Aug (BM). American Pipits early and late were in Kimball Co, NE 31 Aug (SM) and in Platte Co, NE 28 Nov (BE, CC).

Although erratic and unpredictable, the five reports of Evening Grosbeak in all three states were more than expected in recent times; singles were in Cimarron Co, OK 5 Oct (AH), Cleveland Co, OK 14 Oct (DKa), Johnson Co, KS 4–5 Nov (NG, m. ob.), and Rock Co, NE very early on 6 Aug (AD, JCm), with two in Scotts Bluff Co, NE 26 Oct (SM, DE). Up to 110 Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches were reported from a small area of Sioux and Dawes cos, NE 21–28 Nov (PR, ND); included were two “Hepburn’s” types (PR). Purple Finch had a major outburst this fall in the eastern region west to central Kansas and central Oklahoma, with a scattered array to the western region boundary where quite rare; three were in Scotts Bluff Co, NE 20–29 Nov (SM, KD) and 2–3 in Cimarron Co, OK 26–30 Nov (CSd, L&MT, JLe). Cassin’s Finch made a mostly small surge along the west edge of the region beginning with two in Cimarron Co, OK 5 Oct (AH); best count was 26 in Kimball Co, NE 18 Oct (ER, MW), and with easterly outliers in Ford Co 17–21 Oct (CM) and 1–2 females in Lincoln Co, NE 14 Nov (VC, ph.). Surprisingly the only Common Redpolls reported were in NE; 1–2 in Knox Co 13–17 Nov (MB) and one in Dundy Co 16 Nov (SM). Red Crossbills in NE were essentially restricted to the Panhandle; the best count was 55 in Scotts Bluff Co 13 Sep (SM). Only six Red Crossbills were reported in KS (fide CO) east to Sedgwick Co, where a flyover Type-2 was reported 24 Aug (AM) and Crawford Co, where three were found 9 Nov (MWc). The odd super-surprises were singles of White-winged Crossbill south in Allen Co, KS 17 Nov (TCa) and Garfield Co, OK 28 Nov (EJ); eastern NE hosted 5–6 White-winged Crossbills on 27–28 Nov (SMa, CVDB, MVDB), with one a rare find in Scotts Bluff Co 22 Nov (SM, CW, KD). The region in general also hosted large numbers of Pine Siskins through the period, with best count of 470 in Scotts Bluff Co 20 Nov (SM). Oddball outliers of Lesser Goldfinch seem to be increasing in the region, with individuals at the Salt Plains NWR 16 Sep (DL, SLe), Ford Co, KS 22 Aug (JC), Finney Co, KS 22 Sep (QN), Morton Co, KS 11 Nov (VRa, MRb), Johnson Co, KS 30 Nov (most easterly, CE), and Garden Co, NE 2 Sep (SM).

Longspurs through Icterids

Early-arriving were a Lapland Longspur in Platte Co, NE 3 Oct (RF) and a Snow Bunting in Lincoln Co, NE 15 Oct (SM). However, Snow Buntings were rare in NE this season (fide WRS); one made it south only to Douglas Co, KS 20 Nov (KC, MLg). Few fall records exist of Black-throated Sparrow, an outpost breeder in the extreme northwest corner of Cimarron Co, OK; this season, singles were detected there 13 Nov (MRb, GG, VR) and in nearby Morton Co, KS 19 Oct (DT). Five Lark Sparrows were late in McClain Co, OK 22 Nov (MLa). A Lark Bunting was easterly in Sumner Co, KS 17 Oct (MT). Tardy Spizella sparrows were a Chipping Sparrow in Nuckolls Co, NE 26 Nov (DE), three Clay-colored Sparrows in Buffalo Co, NE 14 Nov (JN) and one in Cleveland Co, OK 15 Nov (JT), and two Field Sparrows in Lancaster Co, NE 27 Nov (LS). Astonishing for eastern NE was a Brewer’s Sparrow in Lancaster Co 26–27 Sep (MW, SK; photos). Westerly Fox Sparrows of the expected zaboria (western Red Fox Sparrow) subspecies in NE were singles in Scotts Bluff Co 4–10 Oct (KD) and Dundy Co 9 Oct (WF). Southernmost American Tree Sparrow in OK was in Cleveland Co 21 Nov (JM, NPe, PC). Early Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Juncos were singles in Dawes Co, NE 31 Aug (SBn, OD) and in Johnson Co, KS 21 Sep (DB). There were several reports of Dark-eyed (Pink-sided) Junco in the eastern region where usually rare; four were in Sarpy and Lancaster Cos, NE beginning 16 Oct (PS, MW, LW) and singles were in Tulsa Co, OK 4–24 Oct (ZP) and Cleveland Co, OK 13 Nov (JT). A Dark-eyed (Pink-sided) Junco in Cimarron Co, OK (where regular) 17 Sep (BC) was an early migrant, as was a Dark-eyed (Gray-headed) Junco there 8 Sep (JW). Easterly Dark-eyed (Gray-headed) Juncos in OK were in Texas Co 9 Oct (AH) and Garfield Co 25 Oct through the period (CS). Dark-eyed (White-winged) Junco is rare at the southern edge of its winter range, so a good find was one in Cimarron Co, OK 13 Nov (MRb).

The mega-rarity of the fall season was a Yellow-eyed Junco discovered at Lake Scott, Scott Co, KS 2 Nov by Sara Shane, a regional first; a sedentary species within its mostly Mexican range, it was well-photographed and seen by many. Early White-crowned Sparrows were in Kimball Co, NE 30 Aug (SM) and Cimarron Co, OK 11 Sep (BSa). Le Conte’s Sparrows were early in Lancaster Co, NE 13 Sep (LS) and late in Sarpy Co, NE 30 Nov (SMa). An extremely late Nelson’s Sparrow was in Fillmore Co, NE 27 Nov (CSd) and another was merely tardy in Lancaster Co, NE 24 Oct (LE). Two male Henslow’s Sparrows were still singing at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, Osage Co, OK 21 Aug (ZP). Five Savannah Sparrows were late in Thayer Co, NE 27 Nov (CSd). Early-arriving Lincoln’s Sparrows were 1–2 in Sioux Co, NE 22 Aug (SM, KD) and one in Cimarron Co, OK 3 Sep (TG, ZP). A Swamp Sparrow in Cimarron Co, OK 10 Oct (ZP, LN) was westerly. A bit west of the expected range were single Rufous-crowned Sparrows in Finney Co, KS 18 Oct (QN) and Scott Co, KS 22–28 Nov (SS). Green-tailed Towhee was more evident than usual with 1–5 in Cimarron Co, OK 7–18 Sep (fide SMe, JAG) and singles in Cheyenne Co, KS 27 Sep (MK), Dundy Co, NE 27 Sep (SM) and 17 Oct (letter tardy; MW), and in Kimball Co, NE 21 Sep (MSh). An Eastern Towhee was westerly in Rock Co, NE 3 Oct (JCm).

Yellow-breasted Chat currently is rare or absent in a central strip of the region; thus noteworthy were singles in Lancaster Co, NE 12 Sep (LS), Tulsa Co, OK 12 Sep (BC), and Payne Co, OK 14 Sep (SL). A Yellow-breasted Chat in Cimarron Co, OK 5 Oct (AH) was late, as was a Yellow-headed Blackbird in Scotts Bluff Co, NE 22 Nov (KD). Surprising were two easterly reports of Bullock’s Oriole in NE, a first-fall male Bullock’s Oriole in Lancaster Co 11 Sep (SBn, JGJ), and another quite late at a Sarpy Co feeder 10 Nov (CWi fide JGJ); photos of the latter bird raise the possibility of an intergrade (WRS). Exceptionally late Baltimore Orioles were males in Sarpy Co, NE 7 Nov (AC) and in Cleveland Co, OK 18 Nov (JCr). Rare westerly Rusty Blackbirds were five in Finney, KS 5 Nov (QN), and singles in Scotts Bluff Co, NE 10 Oct (JN), Kimball Co, NE 26 Oct (SM, DE), and Greeley Co, KS 30 Oct (PJ, TE).

Wood-Warblers through Buntings

Ovenbirds were westerly in Morton Co, KS 6 Oct (MRb) and Cimarron Co, OK 4 Sep (TG). Worm-eating Warblers, rarely reported during fall, were found in Linn Co, KS 13 Aug (MMH), Shawnee Co, KS 5 Sep (GC), and Douglas Co, KS 12 Sep (LSm). A late Louisiana Waterthrush was in Nemaha Co, NE 4 Sep (JR, SBr), and a Northern Waterthrush was early in Buffalo Co, NE 11 Aug (BB). Another rare fall warbler is Golden-winged Warbler; exceptionally, singles were in Douglas Co, KS 20 Aug (MZ), Wyandotte Co, KS 4 Sep (KC), Lancaster Co, NE 11 Sep (LE), two at another Lancaster Co location 12 Sep (RSt, MW), and one in Douglas Co, NE 14 Sep (EN). Even more rare during fall is Blue-winged Warbler; the only report was of one late in Leavenworth Co, KS 23 Sep (GP). Rare westward in NE were single Nashville Warblers in Scotts Bluff Co 25 Aug (SM) and Kimball Co 19 Sep (SM). The only report of Connecticut Warbler, also the first for the NE Panhandle, was a well-described bird in Garden Co 2 Sep (SM). Easterly was a MacGillivray’s Warbler in Sheridan Co, NE 20 Sep (D&MW). A Mourning Warbler in Dundy Co, NE 29 Aug (SM, ph.) was westerly, while another was quite early in Sarpy Co, NE 17 Aug (PS, ph.).

A Hooded Warbler, rare in the northern region especially during fall, was in Sarpy Co 4–6 Sep (EWe, MC, BW). Westerly and quite late was an American Redstart in Cimarron Co, OK 16 Oct (DO). A Cape May Warbler, a rarity for Oklahoma, was carefully described in Johnston Co, OK on a late date, 7 Nov (JRo); another was far westerly in Morton Co, KS 8 Oct (AH). Tardy was a Northern Parula in Cedar Co, NE 2 Oct (MB). Westerly were Magnolia Warblers in Morton Co, KS 18 Sep (DMc, MP) and Kimball Co, NE 19 Sep (SM). Bay-breasted Warblers framing the migration period in eastern KS were singles in Johnson Co 21 Aug (DB) and Douglas Co 28 Oct (PG, MZ). Westerly Blackburnian Warblers were in Scotts Bluff Co 13 Sep (SM) and at Lake McConaughy Reservoir 3 Sep (SM), and very late in Cleveland Co, OK 10–21 Nov (LM, m. ob.). Singles of the regionally rare Black-throated Blue Warbler were in Russell Co, KS 13 Sep (MR) and Morton Co, KS 6–17 Oct (BP, CK, AM). Only two Chestnut-sided Warblers were reported in OK, one far westerly in Cimarron Co 19–20 Sep (JAG), the other in Canadian Co 13 Sep (BD). An immature Chestnut-sided Warbler in Lancaster Co, NE 14 Oct (RR) was late. Blackpoll Warblers normally shift to the northeast during fall and are thus rare in the region; one exceptional bird was in Kimball Co, NE 6 Sep (SMe). Also rare westerly were Palm Warblers in Morrill Co, NE 20 Sep (WF), Morton Co, KS 17 Sep (TCa) and 21 Sep (three; DMc, MP), and Cimarron Co, OK 7 Oct (BP, CK); a very late Palm Warbler was in Cleveland Co, OK 13–14 Nov (JAG, BM, GHu, EH).

Outlier Pine Warblers away from their eastern OK range as residents were found exceptionally to Otoe Co, NE 26 Nov (CNR fide JGJ), Butler Co, KS 20 Sep (CVa), and Garfield Co, OK 3 and 25 Oct (CS). Townsend’s Warbler showed well along the western edge of the region; 20 were tallied in Dundy Co, NE 6–26 Sep (BS, JN, SM) including nine on 6 Sep (ER), and 1–9 were found in Cimarron and Texas cos, OK 3–20 Sep (fide JAG). Tardy Townsend’s Warblers in OK were 1–3 in Texas Co 2–11 Oct (NB, AH, ZP, LN) and singles in Cimarron Co 7 and 10 Oct (BP, CK, ZP, LN). Westerly single Black-throated Green Warblers were in Scotts Bluff Co, NE 24 Aug (CD), Cimarron Co, OK 14–15 Sep (BM, BC), and very late in Texas Co, OK 15–16 Nov (GG, VR). Also very late was a Wilson’s Warbler in Oklahoma Co, OK 27 Nov (BM, GHu, EH) and a Summer Tanager in Sarpy Co, NE 23 Oct (CJW fide MB, video). A probable early migrant Scarlet Tanager west of its summer range was in Cherry Co, NE 14 Aug (KDu). Easterly Western Tanagers were in Dundy Co, NE 30 Aug (SM) and Comanche Co, OK 21 Sep (PA), and another was tardy in Scotts Bluff Co, NE 6 Oct (SM). Westerly Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were a female banded in Scotts Bluff Co, NE 3 Sep (VM) and other females at two locations in Comanche Co, OK 29 Sep–1 Oct (KM) and 1 Oct (GRi). Rounding out the sequence were a late Blue Grosbeak in Lancaster Co, NE 6 Oct (LE), and Lazuli Bunting in Scotts Bluff Co, NE 30 Sep (CP).

Report processed by Daniel Miller, 28 Mar 2021.

Photos–Southern Great Plains: Fall 2020

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