June 17, 2022

It’s another very flycatchery list of continuing rarities in the ABA Area this week, which makes the Garganey (ABA Code 4) still being seen in New Jersey all the more exceptional. Both LaSagra’s Flycatcher (4) and Bahama Mockingbird (4) are still present in Florida, as is the Pine Flycatcher (5) in Arizona. And after a few week’s absence, the Social Flycatcher (5) in Brownsville, Texas, turned up again.

The theme for the summer so far has been southern birds moving north, likely in response to exceptional heat in the middle of the continent. And for the states on the southern border, that frequently means exciting birds. Arizona comes through again on that front, with a Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush (5), one of only a few records for the ABA Area, at a private residence in Cochise. This represents the 1st confirmed record for the state, though there was an unaccepted sight record from 1974. This represents the 4th ABA Area record, following those from New Mexico, Texas, and the famous one from South Dakota.

As exciting and rare as the thrush is, it didn’t quite meet the threshold for wildest ABA Area record, which has to go to the Atlantic Ocean’s 3rd Wedge-tailed Shearwater in Calhoun, Texas. This is a Texas 1st, and follows two Atlantic records of the south Pacific tubenose in 2021. In fact, one wonders if this isn’t the same bird that was seen on the Gulf Coast of Florida, touring the Gulf of Mexico and finding it difficult to extract itself from the body of water.

Other 1sts to report this week, include the continuation of out Limpkin summer with Indiana finally joining the fun, with a 1st Limpkin in Brown. 

Up to Nova Scotia, where a young Wood Stork in New Harbour represents a provincial 1st.

And in Yukon Territory, a Thick-billed Longspur at Watson Lake is a territorial 1st, and the farthest north record of this species.

Out to Alaska, where a Gray-streaked Flycatcher (4) on St. Paul is the most exciting find of the season there.

Staying in the west, Montana gets it’s 2nd record of Cassin’s Sparrow not more than a few days after its 1st, this time west of the continental divide in Missoula.

In Kansas, a Limpkin in Johnson from earlier this month it retroactively the state’s first record, but in terms of reporting is the 2nd. And a Crested Caracara in Butler represents the state’s 3rd record.

Michigan’s 2nd record of Broad-billed Hummingbird was photographed at a feeder in Alger in the Upper Peninsula, and the state’s 3rd Royal Tern was seen at Saint Joseph.

Ohio had a very cooperative Tricolored Heron in Lucas this week.

And New York sees a trio of great birds in a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Dutchess,White-winged Dove in Nassau, and a small flock of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks in Suffolk.  

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.