Rare birds continuing into this first week of May include Tufted Flycatcher (ABA Code 5) in Arizona and Thick-billed Vireo (4) in Florida.
The parade of 1st records in the ABA Area continues to roll into this week with perhaps the most surprising of them all so far. In Ontario, a Marsh Sandpiper (4) in Thedford is not only a 1st for the province, but a 1st for Canada and a 1st for the entire eastern 4/5 of the continent. All previous ABA Area records of this Old World equivalent of our yellowlegs have come from Alaska and California, with one additional record from the Mexican state of Baja California Norte.
That was hardly the only 1st for the week, and maybe not even the weirdest. That title may go to the Willow Ptarmigan in Worcester, Massachusetts, a 1st record of a bird that has a surprising pattern of spring vagrancy into New England with records in Vermont and New York.
And the friendly birding rivalry between Arizona and New Mexico might have peaked this week with 1sts for both states. In Arizona, a long-awaited White-tipped Dove in Cochise is a state 1st. There have been a number of records from less than 50 miles from the border of the years.
And in New Mexico, an apparently pure Tropical Parula was found in Eddy, a 1st, along with a Groove-billed Ani in Guadelupe, of which there are fewer than a dozen records.
The Bering Sea rarity magnets are finally fully open this spring, but while the first East Asian vagrant of the year comes from Ketchikan in the southeast of the state, where a Dusky Thrush (4) is a very exciting find.
In Washington, a White-tailed Kite in Clallam is notable for the state.
Minnesota had a pair of nice finds this week, with a small flock of Black-bellied Whistling-Duck in Hennepin and a Ruff (3) in Pine.
The 2nd record of Limpkin for Arkansas was seen in Craighead this week.
Maine’s 4th record of Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, a small flock, was seen in Knox.
Good for Quebec was a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron in Laval.
New Jersey had a singing Western Meadowlark at Forsyth NWR this week, one of fewer than 5 records.
And the Caribbean highway is open in south Florida, with both a Bananaquit (4) and a second Bahama Mockingbird (4) in as many weeks in Miami-Dade.
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 or their equivalent.
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.