Rare Bird Alert: September 2, 2016


When I began the practice of reviewing notable ABA Area rarities that were sticking in place week-to-week, I don’t think I ever expected to report the same four or 5ive birds for months on end. And yet, that’s where we are in 2016, the year that may go down in history as the one in which the ABA rarities just wouldn’t leave. Anyway, I’m sure you’re plenty familiar with these bird by now, but the Little Egret (ABA Code 4) in Maine and the Tufted Flycatcher (5) in Arizona are still sticking it out. The Plain-capped Starthroat (4) in Arizona also persists. And new to the round-up, the pair of Marsh Sandpipers on St. Paul Island, Alaska, have continued into this week as well.

This week was White-faced Storm-Petrel (3) week in the ABA Area, as pelagics in the northeast out of Massachusetts and New York both enjoyed the hopping little tubenose in decent numbers. Most notable, however, was a White-faced Storm-Petrel off Hatteras, North Carolina, far to the south and the first seen in that state in 7 years.

It was a week for White-faced Storm-Petrel in the ABA Area, the most notable individual of which was a surprise off Hatteras, North Carolina. Photo: Chloe Walker

It was a week for White-faced Storm-Petrels in the ABA Area, the most notable individual of which was a surprise off Hatteras, North Carolina. Photo: Chloe Walker

It was a slow week all told, but we still have one 1st record to report. Early last month, a Least Auklet was salvaged near Westport, Washington. The bird was not alive, but it still counts as a state 1st. Flesh-footed Shearwaters (4) were also seen this week off on Grays Harbor.

California is stint central again, as both a Little Stint (4) and a Red-necked Stint (3) were found mere days apart in Humboldt.

British Columbia had a nice haul in recent days, with a Ferruginous Hawk in Jaffray, a Black-headed Gull (3) near Sayward, and an Ash-throated Flycatcher in Sechelt.

Excellent for Colorado was a Magnificent Hummingbird at a feeder in Adams.

A nice Townsend’s Warbler was photographed in Rogers, Oklahoma, this week.

In Missouri, a Roseate Spoonbill turned up in Stoddard.

And in Indiana, a Pacific Loon was found in Lake.


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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