Date of this Version
Silcock, "Fall Field Report, August-November 2001," and "Species Accounts," from Nebraska Bird Review (December 2001) 69(4).
This Fall Report offers something for everybody. Leading off are significant breeding reports of Ruddy Duck in the Rainwater Basin and Snowy Plover at L McConaughy. As observers bird more regularly in late July to early August we are finding that many species begin to move earlier than often realized. There were many reports of birds such as failed breeders, molt migrants, and early-fledged juveniles wandering about. Some of these prove tough identification challenges, too. Early birds were mostly water-related; Eared Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, and Osprey, but also Prairie Falcon in the east, and Rusty Blackbird too. Some birds are not supposed to show up in summer, but Red-breasted Merganser did, for the first time.
A few birds that are not really rarities showed up in places where they are indeed rare: this fall we' had Broad-winged Hawks westward, Gray Partridge possibly establishing in the Panhandle, and a Clark's Nutcracker at Scotts Bluff National Monument.