May 28, 2021

The list of continuing rarities in the ABA Area has been whittled to two this week, the shortest it has been in months. Both are relatively recent arrivals to Arizona in a Berylline Hummingbird (ABA Code 4) and a Tufted Flycatcher (5).

Seabirding pelagics out of Hatteras, North Carolina, has a reputation for producing the unexpected, and they’ve done it again this week. A Wedge-tailed Shearwater seen in the Gulf Stream off Hatteras represents a 1st record for the state and only the 2nd for the Atlantic Ocean. This bird has shades of the “in the wrong ocean” Tahiti Petrel photographed a couple years ago, as both are primarily found in the tropical south Pacific. Wedgies do nest in the ABA Area, though that is in Hawaii, and are rarely seen from pelagics off the west coast.

That wasn’t the only 1st record to report this week, as a Heermann’s Gull in Westport, Massachusetts, is a 1st for that state. One wonders if this isn’t the same bird seen already in Florida, Georgia, and Virginia, this year.

Alaska is busying showing birders what we missed last year, as discoveries on Adak Island this week include Common Cuckoo (3), Temminck’s Stint (3), Hawfinch (4), Terek Sandpiper (3), Whooper Swan (3), and the ABA Area’s (and Alaska’s) 7th record of Eastern Spot-billed Duck (5). Also notable was a Great Knot (4) in Nome and a Far Eastern Curlew (4) on Shemya.

British Columbia’s 16th record of Curlew Sandpiper was seen in Vancouver, and a Dickcissel was a nice bird in Blewett.

Down to Washington, where a Little Stint (4) in Snohomish and a White Wagtail at San Juan, the state’s 12th, were nice birds from the west.

Wyoming’s 3rd record of Alder Flycatcher was seen in Goshen, where they are almost certainly more regular than the number of records would suggest.

Arizona’s 3rd Black Turnstone was seen in Yuma, sharing the state with a Yellow-throated Vireo in Coconino and an Elegant Tern in Pima.

Good for Texas was a Gray Kingbird in Cameron, one of only a few records of this Caribbean species in the state.

South Dakota had a female Vermilion Flycatcher in Butte. 

Minnesota had a nice male Painted Bunting in Rice, the state’s second this spring.

Good for Wisconsin was a Tricolored Heron at Sturgeon Bay.

In Ontario, a Lark Bunting at Pass Lake was posted to the ABA’s What’s This Bird Facebook group.

Michigan’s 2nd record of Royal Tern was seen in Ottawa this week.

Notable for Pennsylvania was a White-faced Ibis in Lawrence. 

Braddock Bay, New York, boasted both a Swainson’s Hawk and a Mississippi Kite this week in Monroe. 

Semi-annual in Newfoundland, a sharp-looking Black-tailed Godwit was discovered in Argentia.

Nova Scotia had a European Golden-Plover (4) in Halifax.

And Florida’s 2nd record of Zone-tailed Hawk was found in the Florida Keys, in Monroe. 



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.