April 19, 2024

Continuing rarities in the ABA Area into this week include both Eurasian Oystercatcher (5) and Common Shelduck (4) in Newfoundland. The array of rare birds in Texas continues with Cattle Tyrant (5), Mottled Owl (5), Brown Jay (4), Golden-crowned Warbler (4), Crimson-collared Grosbeak (4), and Blue Bunting (4) all seen this week. Berylline Hummingbird (4) continues at a feeder in Arizona, and the ABA 1st Gray Gull (5) seems to be hanging out in Alabama regularly now. The potential ABA 1st Pearly-eyed Thrasher (5) was also seen this week in Florida, and a Fieldfare (4) continues in Quebec.

The cup continues to runneth over in south Texas, as a Southern Lapwing (5) in Hidalgo Co gets added to the assemblage this week. This represents a 1st record for Texas and the 2nd for the ABA Area following the much-discussed individual seen in 2022 in Michigan. That bird was recently accepted by local and ABA Area committees, though one wonders if the records were reversed, with this Texas individual representing the the 1st, whether there would have been nearly as much digital ink spilled in discussion.

And as if a major ABA Area rarity weren’t enough, a Flame-colored Tanager (3) in Hidalgo Co and a Mexican Violetear (3) in Cameron Co were also seen this week.

The little French territory of St Pierre et Miquelon is frequently an afterthought in the ABA Area, as most rare birds end up on the nearby, and much larger, island of Newfoundland. So its nice that the islands got in on the recent Euro wave with the territory’s 1st Common Shelduck, even if a shelduck in France wouldn’t normally be so notable.

The European flavor in the northeast continues in Newfoundland and Labrador, however, where a third Whooper Swan (4) of the month was seen in Bonavista, a small flock of Bar-tailed Godwits (3) turned up in Portugal Cove, and two separate Graylag Geese (5) were discovered, one at St Anthony and another at Point Amour. 

To the other side of Canada, where British Columbia’s 4th record of Oriental Turtle-Dove (4) was well-documented in Vancouver this week.

And across the continent diagonally to Florida, where not one, but two, Piratic Flycatchers were found on consecutive days this week. The first in Pinellas Co, and the second on Key West in Monroe Co. These represent the 3rd and 4th records for the state.

In Alabama, a White-tailed Kite in Shelby Co represents the 12th or so record for the state.

South Carolina’s 3rd Townsend’s Solitaire was a bit out of season this week in Lancaster.

North Carolina had a decidedly Floridian feel this week as the state’s 3rd Snail Kite was seen in Carteret Co, and a Gray Kingbird to the north in Dare Co.

Pennsylvania had a Townsend’s Warbler in Montgomery Co this week.

Noteworthy for Massachusetts was a Painted Bunting at a feeder in Klingston.

Good for New Hampshire was a Loggerhead Shrike, one of very few in the last couple decades, in Belknap Co.

Illinois birding was centered around the Chicago area this week as a Burrowing Owl was seen in Cook Co and a Sage Thrasher in DuPage Co.

And Oklahoma’s 7th record of Brown Booby was seen in McCurtain Co.

Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT aba.org and I will try to fix them as soon as possible. This post is meant to be an account of the most recently reported birds. Continuing birds not mentioned are likely included in previous editions listed here. Place names written in italics refer to counties/parishes.

Readers should note that none of these reports has yet been vetted by a records committee. All birders are urged to submit documentation of rare sightings to the appropriate state or provincial committees. For full analysis of these and other bird observations, subscribe to North American Birds, the richly illustrated journal of ornithological record published by the ABA.