There are a handful of rarities continuing in the ABA Area this week, including Berylline Hummingbird (ABA Code 4) and the ABA Area’s 2nd Pine Flycatcher in Arizona. In Florida, both a La Sagra’s Flycatcher (4) and a Bahama Mockingbird (4) are being seen, along with the Texas Social Flycatcher (5) that made its reappearance last week. And the Garganey (4) in New Jersey is still being seen into the week, though by all reports its quite difficult.
It has been a somewhat slower year than usual for birders in western Alaska, but a stunning Common Cuckoo (3) on St. Paul Island is a very nice consolation. And two Common Rosefinches (4) have been seen in the last week, one on Gambell where they are rare but regular, and on at a feeder in Nome, which represents one of very few records for the North American mainland.
The Limpkin summer continues to be absolutely ridiculous, as both Nebraska and Iowa picked up their state 1st records on exactly the same day. The Nebraska Limpkin is near Omaha, and the Iowa Limpkin in is Lucas.
In Utah, a well-documented Alder Flycatcher was photographed, and most crucially, recorded, in Salt Lake, representing that state’s 1st record.
Up to Yukon, where a sharp male Thick-billed Longspur at Watson Lake is a territorial 1st.
But the wildest potential 1st record of the week, and possibly the year so far, comes from Minnesota, where a pair of Abert’s Towhees at a feeder in Grand Rapids would represent a first for this mostly sedentary desert species. It’s hard to imagine how a pair of birds such as these could have ended up that far north, as they are famously not inclined to vagrate, and speculation seems to be coalescing around the possibility that a pair of towhees were investigating a camper or RV and got caught up in the significant human retiree traffic between Arizona and Minnesota. This behavior has been documented before in the closely related Canyon Towhee. But even if human assistance played a role, there is no scenario in which this isn’t a pretty amazing story.
While Texas records of Limpkin have become somewhat de rigueur this summer, amazing since the state only got it’s first last year, a record near Amarillo is pretty amazing as the farthest west this species has traveled so far, opening up the possibility that New Mexico or Colorado might nit be impossible for the birds to reach.
Good for Nevada was a White-eyed Vireo in Clark.
A pair of good birds for Washington this week, with a White-rumped Sandpiper in Grant and the state’s 4th record of Blue Grosbeak in Redmond.
Over to Quebec, where a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was an exciting find in Estrie.
Maine’s 3rd record of Tufted Puffin was a unexpected on Petit Manan Island among Atlantic Puffins.
In North Carolina, a Ruff (3) is a nice find in Currituck.
And in Florida, a Yellow-green Vireo in Miami-Dade was a first for Everglades National Park.
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.