Rare Bird Alert: August 19, 2016


It’s hot and buggy across much of the ABA Area, but at least the birds are beginning to move in good numbers. Not the continuing ABA notables, however, which are mostly unchanged for the last month and a half. The Maine Little Egret (ABA Code 4) can still be found, though it is moving around a bit more, and in Arizona, the Tufted Flycatcher (5) and Plain-capped Starthroat (4) are continuing, and the Berylline Hummingbird (4) returns after a couple week absence.

The weeks’ highlight comes from western Alaska. St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs has seen a steady stream of noteworthy shorebirds this summer, the best of which so far is a Marsh Sandpiper (5) found earlier this week and continuing several days.

Photo: Stephen Lorenz

This handsome Marsh Sandpiper is one of only a few records from the ABA Area, most from Alaska. Photo: Stephen Lorenz

Mid-August means vagrant shorebirds, and one of out firsts this week involves a Euro sandpiper. Last week we talked about Michigan’s 1st record of Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, and this week Arkansas gets its turn. A Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (3) in Lonoke is a 1st for the Natural State.

And in Atlantic Canada, seawatching pays off with a well-photographed Audubon’s Shearwater seen from Grand Manan becomes a 1st provincial record for New Brunswick and one of only a few records of this warm-water tubenose so far north.

Notable pelagics were also seen in Nova Scotia waters, when a NOAA ship near the Georges Bank tallied Audubon’s Shearwater, Barolo Shearwater (5), and White-faced Storm-Petrel (3), all 2nd records for the province.

In Newfoundland, a Brown Booby (3) was photographed on a St. Lawrence.

Noteworthy anywhere in the ABA Area outside of their breeding grounds in Nunuavut, a Common Ringed Plover was photographed in RN de Pointe-Yamachiche, Quebec.

New Hampshire joins Maine in hosting a Little Egret (4), with one reported in Rockingham.

New Jersey had a Reddish Egret in Ocean.

A White-cheeked Pintail (3) was seen at Chincoteague NWR in Accomack, Virginia. No word on provenance, but the timing seems consistent with other reports in the Mid-Atlantic.

In West Virginia, a Piping Plover in Mason is the state’s 3rd, and the first in 30 years.

Always noteworthy in the east, a pair of White-faced Ibis were in Decatur, Georgia.

Quickly becoming the bird of the summer, a Swallow-tailed Kite was photographed in Montgomery, Ohio.

Indiana also had a Swallow-tailed Kite this week, in Pike.

In Iowa, a Lark Bunting was seen near Iowa City.

New Mexico had a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher this week at a migrant trap in Roosevelt.

California begins to heat up this fall with a pair of Asian shorebirds in the north, a Red-necked Stint (3) in Humboldt and a Bar-tailed Godwit in Marin.

And in Washington, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher near Othello is the state’s 13th, and both a Laughing Gull and a Bar-tailed Godwit were seen this week in Grays Harbor.


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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