American Flamingos (ABA Code 3) continue in multiple states including North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Virginia, and Texas. Crimson-collared Grosbeak (4) and Golden-crowned Warbler (4) are still being seen in Texas. The birders might be leaving Alaska’s Bering Sea Islands, but Red-backed Shrike (5) and Wood Warbler (5) among others, saw them off. A Common Greenshank (4) is still present in California.
One of the biggest surprises of the period came from western Alaska, certainly no stranger to surprising birds. An Icterine Warbler (5), one of last year’s most shocking ABA Area 1sts when it showed up on Gambell, was discovered on St Paul Island, the other great Bering Sea migration hotspot, this week. This is a 2nd ABA Area record for this eastern European breeding songbird which should be heading to or arriving sub-Saharan Africa by now. One record of this bird was considered something of a mind-bender. Two such records in consecutive years is a degree of difficulty that no one expected.
The American Flamingo (3) roadshow rolls on to increasingly unlikely locations this week. A single bird photographed by a duck hunter in Huron Co, Michigan, is a bridge no one expected to be crossed, and represents a 1st record and a new northern limit for this ongoing phenomenon. It suggests that the birds that wandered into the upper Midwest are certainly traveling long distances in their quest to make it back to more habitable climates.
Perhaps slightly less bonkers, an apparent Western Wood-Pewee captured at a banding station in Westmoreland Co, Pennsylvania is a 1st for the state.
Lest we forget that Limpkin is still undergoing a significant movement across the continent, a bird photographed in Lewis Co, West Virginia, represents an unequivocal 1st for the state. A previous sighting assigned to West Virginia represented a bird that likely stayed on the Maryland side of the Potomac River (though it was observed by a birder from West Virginia).
Up to Maine, where a Hammond’s Flycatcher on Monhegan Island is a 1st record.
Massachusetts also boasts a new species this week, with a well-photographed Virginia’s Warbler Barnstable Co 1st
Nevada’s 1st record of Royal Tern was seen in Lyon Co this week, following a Minnesota record not long ago. One wonders if the same hurricane that blew flamingos around might have impacted other species.
Washington had a pair of Great Basin wanderers, suggesting a larger movement this winter with the state’s 1st Cassin’s Sparrow at Neah Bay in Clallam Co and the state’s 3rd Pinyon Jay visiting a feeder in Olympia.
California’s 4th record of Cory’s Shearwater was seen from a pelagic out of Humboldt Co, and a Dusky Warbler (4) was was seen in Santa Clara Co this week.
Nebraska had a Groove-billed Ani in Cherry Co, the state’s 4th and the first seen in nearly 40 years. And a Limpkin in Dakota Co is the state’s 2nd, and notably only a few miles from the South Dakota border.
Maryland had what appears to be its 5th Western Flycatcher pulled out of a mistnet near Chestertown.
And North Carolina’s 2nd record of Gray Flycatcher was photographed in Carteret Co.
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.