The early part of migration continues, and the listservs are packed with various FOYs and FOSs and other expected species making their long-anticipated return to the US and Canada. The view from the perspective of the vagrant hunter is looking up as well, with birds on the move it stands to reason we should expect some moving in the wrong direction to surprising places. This week sees some more action following a few weeks of relatively slow action.
A number of rarities continue across the ABA Area. Eurasian Siskin in Alaska and Gray-crowned Yellowthroat in Texas among them. In Florida, both the Key-West Quail-Doves and the La Sagra’s Flycatcher continue into the week. California’s Brown Shrike and Rustic Bunting, both in the north, are hanging on, and the near permanent Sinaloa Wren in Arizona also persists. Nova Scotia’s Fieldfare is still hanging on in the same tree, but the province’s long-staying Eurasian Kestrel met its unfortunate demise at the business end of a Rough-legged Hawk this week.
We’ll start in Arizona, where a pair of Mexican vagrants highlight the week. A Slate-throated Redstart (ABA Code 4) turned up on Mount Lemmon, in Pima. This is the farthest north record for the state and bested only by last year’s individual in west Texas for the ABA Area. A Rufous-backed Robin (3) was also found in Santa Cruz.
This Slate-throated Redstart is the northernmost ever recorded in Arizona, photo by Andrew Core, used with permission
One first record for the week, and a surprising one at that. In Maine, a Surfbird looked right at home despite being on the wrong side of the continent, on the rocky coast near Biddeford. This would be the 2nd record of the species on the Atlantic coast after one on Florida’s east coast (there are a handful more on the Gulf Coast).
Also in the northeast, a cryptic Common Snipe (3) near Ferryland, Newfoundland, is the island’s 3rd record.
Good for Manitoba, a Red-bellied Woodpecker was visiting a feeder in Gimli.
A Neotropic Cormorant has returned to Hunterdon, New Jersey. COuld it be the same bird that was that state’s first record in 2014?
Michigan had a Slaty-backed Gull (3) in Marquette and a California Gull in Macomb.
A Band-tailed Pigeon was photographed at a feeder in Grant, Wisconsin.
In Illinois, a Barrow’s Goldeneye was seen in Clinton, more notable for being in the southern part of the state.
A Ruff (3) was photographed in Dunklin, Missouri, one of fewer than 20 records for the state.
Minnesota is the latest state to see a Brambling this year, this one present for only a couple days in Brainerd.
Good for Nebraska, a Great Black-backed Gull was found in Harlan.
In Colorado, a Brant was in Rio Grande.
Good birds in Utah include a Harris’s Sparrow in Benson and a Thayer’s Gull in Logan.
In Oregon, an Eastern Phoebe was found in Coos.
Notable for California, a Crested Caracara was photographed in San Diego and a Black Vulture found in Marin. A repositioning cruise offshore had a Hawaiian Petrel (4) in Mendocino waters.
In New Mexico, both a Glaucous Gull and a Mew Gull were found in San Juan.
Notable for Texas, particularly in the west, is a Red-necked Grebe in Reeves.
In Georgia, a Little Gull in Hall is a great find.
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.