Date of this Version
Nebraska Bird Review (December 2006) 74(4).
First, I want to say how much I appreciate observers' responses to my requests for additional details on various sightings, not just rarities, but early and late dates. It's important to have these details for the archives to help future readers and researchers feel more comfortable with records from our era.
Patterns that were apparent included a generally quiet fall for waterfowl (they were all at Lake McConaughy), but excellent numbers of the rarer two scoters (but NO White-winged!) and a surprising 16 Red-necked Grebes. On the other hand, numbers of staging Western Grebes were down significantly, apparently due to poor (dry) summer breeding conditions, but a flock of Brant and a Harlequin Duck added spice. Among herons, there were more Snowy Egrets than Greats in the eastern Rainwater Basin! Snowies and Little Blue Herons appeared in good numbers, and the 10th Glossy Ibis for 2006 (!) made an appearance. A fifth breeding location for Sandhill Crane was reported.
Among shorebirds, record numbers of American Golden-Plovers were located, and the recent increase in fall sightings of White-romped Sandpipers continued. These two species, along with Hudsonian Godwit, are usually scarcer in fall than in spring. Also unprecedented historically was a fall flock of 28 migrant Mountain Plovers; previously, records after July were extremely unusual. Other lingering shorebirds included Semipalmated and Piping Plovers, Black-necked Stilt, Willet, and Long-billed Curlew. A count of 5500 Wilson's Phalaropes at Crescent Lake NWR was exciting!