Rare Bird Alert: August 12, 2016


The last seven days were a little slower than we’ve had recently, with dispersing birds from the south the major theme. But first, continuing ABA Area rarities are familiar, with Little Egret (ABA Code 4) in Maine, and Tufted Flycatcher (5), Flame-colored Tanager (4), and Plain-capped Starthroat (4) all persisting in Arizona. In Texas, one of the Mexican Violetears (3) stuck around at least into the beginning of the week.


Most notable was a European Golden-Plover (4) on a restricted part of Forsyth NWR, not found this last week but the one before and kept quiet until the bird was gone because of worries about access. This is New Jersey’s 2nd record, and only the 6th for the United States, though the species does turn up in Atlantic Canada nearly with some frequency.

Photo: Jesses Amesbury

New Jersey’s 2nd record of European Golden-Plover. Photo: Jesse Amesbury


One 1st record to report this month, and one with an interesting story. An unusual shorebird was posted to the ABA’s What’s That Bird? Facebook page by a birder who could not puzzle out the identification. That was for good reason, as it turned out not to be the Pectoral Sandpiper they determined to be the best guess, a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (3) in Muskegon, Michigan – a state first, and especially unusual for being in the center of the continent.


Increasingly common in the east, a small group of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks were seen in South Boston, Virginia.


Kentucky had an Inca Dove in a yard in Logan.




Alabama also had an Inca Dove this week, in Birmingham.


In Louisiana, a Ringed Kingfisher has returned to Lake Martin in St. Martin for at least the second straight year. It would be the 3rd record.


In Ohio, a young White Ibis was found near Dayton.


Noteworthy for Ontario was a fly-by Neotropic Cormorant in Hamilton.


In Minnesota, a Black-headed Gull (3) was seen in Lyon.




A Eastern Wood-Pewee was a nice find in Logan, Colorado.


New Mexico had a remarkable Swainson’s Warbler in Eddy.




In Arizona, an Elegant Tern was discovered on Mittry Lake in Yuma.


Birders heading to the Farallones this weekend in California were treated to a Blue-footed Booby (4). The islands are part of San Francisco.




And in British Columbia, a Black-throated Sparrow was photographed in Sechelt.




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 <aba.org/nab>, the richly illustrated journal of ornithological record published by the ABA.


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