Continuing rarities in the ABA Area this week include both Large-billed Terns (ABA Code 5) in Florida and the small flock of Brown Jays (4) in Texas. The Steller’s Sea-Eagle (4) in Newfoundland was refound this week, and the Berylline Hummingbird (4) in Arizona and a handful of Hawfinches (4) in Alaska were also reported.
Birding in western Alaska has been incredible in the last couple weeks, highlighted by a 1st Alaska and ABA Area record of Kentish Plover (5) on Shemya Island in the Aleutians. This is the Old World equivalent of the North American Snowy Plover, and was split by the AOS just over a decade ago.
That wasn’t all, as Gray-streaked Flycatcher (4) and Siberian Rubythroat (4) were seen this week on both Shemya and St Paul Island in the Pribilofs. St Paul also added Olive-backed Pipit (3) and Eurasian Hobby (4) to the impressive haul of birds seen this month. And it wasn’t just the islands where exciting birds turned up as an Oriental Cuckoo (4) was seen on the mainland in Dillingham.
To the other side of the continent to start our additional 1st records, as a Black-browed Albatross (4) was seen close following a fishing boat in Miscou, New Brunswick. Especially surprising as New Brunswick has very little pelagic territory.
Up to Nunavut where a surprising Great Cormorant was seen flying over sea ice east of Bylot Island, representing a territorial 1st. Additionally, a trio of Trumpeter Swan in Sanikiluaq might be the first modern record of the species.
Montana strikes again, the third time this month, with yet another state 1st, a Bell’s Vireo in Fallon Co.
And the story of the Ferruginous Hawk, originally tagged with a GPS locator in Ontario, has seen chapters written in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia in the last two weeks as the bird continues its tour of the midwest. For West Virginia, this would be a potential 1st record, as the bird crossed over Brook and Hancock Counties, though it’s unclear whether any human saw it while it was passing through.
Florida continues its run of exceptional records in 2023 with the ABA’s 3rd, and Florida’s 2nd, record of Dark-billed Cuckoo photographed in Charlotte Co. This South American austral migrant has a similar range as the Large-billed Tern, interestingly enough.
Up to Pennsylvania where, in addition to the Ferruginous Hawk, the state’s 2nd record of Neotropic Cormorant was seen in Chester Co.
Notable for Quebec was a pair of Fish Crows in Laval.
Newfoundland had a Little Stint (4) at Flat Point this week. This shorebird is far more common on the west side of the continent than the east.
Good for St Pierre et Miquelon was an American Oystercatcher seen this week.
A Cassin’s Kingbird in Leamington, Ontario, is the first in the province that is accessible to birders.
In Delaware, a Little Egret (4) was seen at Prime Hook.
Ohio’s 3rd record of Arctic Tern was photographed in Delaware Co.
Arkansas’s 4th Crested Caracara turned up in Washington Co this week.
Iowa had a Sage Thrasher in Plymouth Co.
A Limpkin was seen in Dodge Co, Wisconsin. It was only last year that the state record its first.
Minnesota also had a Crested Caracara recently, this one in Castle Danger.
A Gray Vireo in Sweetwater Co, Wyoming, is one of only a few records for the state, but the species might be more common in the less populated southwest of the state.
Idaho’s 4th record of Yellow-throated Vireo was photographed in Ada Co.
British Columbia’s 2nd Cave Swallow was photographed in Port Alberni.
Washington also had a Yellow-throated Vireo this week in Clallam Co, the state’s 3rd.
In California, a Little Stint (4) was seen in Santa Barbara Co.
And in Arizona, the fourth individual Yellow Grosbeak (4) of the season was in Cochise.
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.