VISIT TO THE GILCHRIST ROOKERY
On May 5, David and Linda Ferry, and I, took a boat to the rookery
islands visible from Rollover Pass, for the express purpose of count- .
ing nests and individual birds present and to determine the state of
their nesting there.
There are actually four spoil islands in the rookery. They range in
size from 32 X 6b meters to 80 X 200 meters. Among the more interesting discoveries on the islands include several Yellow Warblers (two
were found in an egested heron pellet) and a Bay-breasted Warbler.
There were present also a Herring GuljV'in molt and an adult White-
faced IbiS-under heavy siege by Forster's Terns. The terns were defending their young, many of which were floating on grassy vegetation due to an extremely high tide. This same tide was responsible
for the drowning of many Laughing Gull, Forster's Tern and Snowy Egret
nests still with eggs.
Following is a listing of the species found breeding on the island.
The numbers that follow indicate the number of nests (n), the number
of individual birds (i) when nests were notCaeSurately counted, and
then follows a statement of the'conditions of the nests.
White Pelican 6oi, non-breeding birds — either migrants or lingering summer lairds.
Olivaceous Cormorant lln, all with eggs -- one egg seen pipping.
Great Blue Heron 2n, both with very large young
Cattle Egret 25n, all with eggs
Reddish Egret lOn, most with young', some very large
Great Egret 324n counted, another j>00i in areas where nests were not
counted, most with small to medium-sized young
Snowy Egret 175n + 1901, most with large young
Louisiana Heron 135n + 150i, most with medium-sized young
Black-crowned Night Heron lj>n, most with medium to large young
White-faced Ibis li, in breeding plumage but not asscooiated with
White Ibis li, Holly Hobart expecteS us to find these breeding since
they breed early and he had not previously found any when he did
later summer Spoonbill surveys. Nevertheless there was only a
single bird present and not associated with a nest
Roseate Spoonbill 183n + 135i, most with medium to large young
American Oystercatcher 2 pair present though apparently not yefc-nest-
Herring Gull li, non-breeding
Laughing Gull 3075i, all nests in eggs, many drowned a-a&is
Royal Tern 1200i, all nests in eggs
Sandwich Tern li, probably with eggs although nest not spee-ifically
Forster's Tern 120n + 290i, about equally split between eggs and
very small young
Black Skimmer 5i> 2n Only two nests were found with eggs, another
5 nest scrapes were locatedi ■ There was actually very little a- ,
vailable shell and sand for nesting by skimmers and we' suspect
that the high tide may have covered many nests
ANOTHER RARE BIRD. ANOTHER RACE AGAINST TIME
by T. Ben Feltner
The canyons of Southeastern Arizona are thick with birders in the
spring and at least four major tour companies are present there at
that time. Linda Roach and I were just tailing-out our Peregrine
tour at Cave Creek Canyon, birding hotspot of the Chiricahuas, when
the rumor reached us that a Black-capped Gnatcatcher had been found
nesting in the Santa Rita Mountains.i
We had done extremely well on "good birds" having seen six species of
owls including Elf, Spotted, Flammulated, and Whiskered. Earlier on
we had discovered a beautiful Goshawk guarding her eggs in the Huachuca