Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Silcock and Jorgensen, "Fall Field Report, August-November 1997," from Nebraska Bird Review (December 1997) 64(4): 159-178.


Copyright 1997, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


Notable this Fall was very heavy coverage of the Panhandle during Sep-Oct, which yielded several outstanding records (all, of course, pending NOURC approval). Incredible were first Panhandle records of Golden-winged, Chestnut-sided, Bay-breasted, and Prothonotary Warblers, 3rd record of Northern Waterthrush, and 4th record of Blackburnian Warbler. Philadelphia Vireo was found in the Panhandle for the 3rd time. Important also were 3 records of Hammond's Flycatcher, the 3rd-6th for the state, and likely a regular migrant, and 5 of Cassin's vireo, previously known only by 2 specimens. Finally, from the Panhandle, 4 reports of Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher may be changing the status of this species there; there are still fewer than 10 such records.

Just as significant were 2 surprising easterly records, Clark's Grebe in Lancaster Co and a Plumbeous Vireo in Stanton Co. Rarities independent of location were a potential 1st state record Eurasian Collared-Dove at Shelton; the NOURC will decide if this was (is!) a wild bird. It was a good fall for jaegers, 4 reported (2 identified to species, a 2nd state record Parasitic and a 4tn state record Pomarine. A Roseate Spoonbill flew into NE airspace for the state's 3rd record.

The OPPD Wetlands mitigation project in e Otoe Co yielded interesting waterbirds which are lacking in e NE due to virtually lacking cattail marsh habitat. Species seen there were Least Bittern, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, King Rail, and Common Moorhen.

Other species appeared in surprising numbers. There were single-locality, single-day counts of 3 Red-necked Grebes, 20,000+ Western Grebes, 10 Tundra Swans, 191 Hooded Mergansers, 54 Northern Harriers, 35,000 and 30,000 Franklin's Gulls, up to 30 Sabine's Gulls (for the season), 4000 Cliff Swallows, and 39 Wilson's Warblers.

Late dates were provided by Common Tern, Indigo Bunting, and Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow, for no discernible pattern! Finally, a new altitude record was set by a Brewer's Sparrow at Panorama Point in Kimball Co, the state's highest point. Eat your heart out, Colorado!