May 19, 2023

We’ll jump straight into the new birds here this week, as we’ve got two weeks to work through.

First stop is Texas, where a Crescent-chested Warbler (ABA Code 4) at Big Bend National Park in Brewster Co represents an official 1st for the state. This species has been on the hypothetical list, or the Texas equivalent, until now, with the only previous account a sight record from the days before every birder carried a camera.

That wasn’t the only southern surprises to turn up in the state, a Crimson-collared Grosbeak (4) was seen in Cameron Co, and a surprisingly accommodating Mangrove Cuckoo was seen near Galveston.

Up to Missouri, where that state’s 1st record of Cassin’s Kingbird was seen in Greene Co. Of the ABA Area kingbirds, this is a species without the extensive pattern of vagrancy we seen in Western, Eastern, or Tropical, but that is changing as several states have added Cassin’s Kingbird to their checklists in the last few years.

Next door in Kansas, an apparent Mexican Duck in Hamilton Co would be a state 1st if accepted. The photos of this individual are excellent, but the phenotypic limits of this species with Mottled Duck are still being worked out on the margins.

Delaware’s 1st record of Bar-tailed Godwit (3) has been seen at Bombay Hook NWR since late April.

Tis the season when eager birders’ eyes turn to Alaska, where birders are setting up on islands in the Aleutians and the Bering Sea. Early reports include Long-toed Stint (3), Hawfinch (4), Eyebrowed Thrush (3), and Olive-backed Pipit (3) on St Paul Island in the Pribilofs, and Hawfinch (4) on Adak in the Aleutians.

Down to British Columbia where noteworthy birds include a Snowy Egret in Kamloops and a White-tailed Kite in Langley. The latter appears to be the same individual that was seen in Washington the week before.

And in Washington, a Smith’s Longspur in Tacoma is the state’s 2nd.

Arizona had a Fan-tailed Warbler (4), a formerly very rare visitor that has seen a flurry of records in recent years, in Pima Co.

Oklahoma’s 2nd official record of Chihuahuan Meadowlark was seen this week in Cimarron Co, though this recently split species may turn out to be a regular in that part of the state.

In North Dakota, a Townsend’s Warbler was seen in Rugby.

Minnesota had a sharp male Tufted Duck (3) in Duluth.

Iowa continues to host Limpkins, and a bird in Marshal Co is about the state’s 5th or so, all of which have come in the last 12 months.

In Wisconsin, a Chuck-will’s-widow was well documented in Dane Co.

Michigan hosted the long-tailed pair of a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Mackinac Co and the state’s 8th Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) in Mason Co.

While not rare for the province itself, a Willow Ptarmigan walking the beach at Point Pelee, Ontario, last week was a shocking find and very rare so far south. The bird seemed unconcerned with the hordes of birders who expected warblers rather than arctic grouse.

In Illinois, a Snowy Plover was seen in Cook Co.

Indiana’s 5th record of Swainson’s Warbler was seen in Greene Co, and the state’s 4th Limpkin was found in Vanderburgh Co.

In Alabama, a nice male Hooded Oriole was present on Dauphin Island.

Georgia had a Snail Kite, one of fewer than 5 records, in Decatur Co this week.

Good for Virginia was a White-tailed Kite in Northampton Co and a Mountain Bluebird in Botetourt Co.

The first living record of White-winged Dove was found in Dc this week.

New York had a pair of Lark Buntings on opposite sides of the state, one in Suffolk Co and another in Monroe Co. Also, the third Anhinga of the spring was seen in Richmond Co.

Connecticut’s 10th record of Black-necked Stilt was found at Old Saybrook.

In New Hampshire, a Say’s Phoebe in Merrimack Co is the state’s 2nd.

And in Newfoundland, the first Black-tailed Godwit (3) of the season was found at Bulls Bay.

Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT 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.