We’ve been spoiled for great birds in the ABA Area of late, but most of them have come from the less accessible parts of the ABA Area. There’s has been some excellent birding in Alaska, and this week is no different, but there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned big twitch in the ABA Area, and there are few places on the continent more amenable to such a thing as Cape May, New Jersey.
The Whiskered Tern (ABA Code 5), found late last week at Cape May, New Jersey, has been delighting birders who visit the hawkwatch at the state park all week. One couldn’t ask for a more accommodating mega. This is the third incidence of this species in the ABA Area, and both previous records started at Cape May, the first bird was discovered there before moving across the bay to Delaware. Both previous records stuck around for several days as this one has done, and its schedule has been fairly consistent every day since its discovery.
There were two first records from elsewhere the ABA Area this week, the first a one-day wonder Crested Caracara photographed but not refound in Washington, Pennsylvania. This species has staged an incredible push into the northeast in the last couple years, though it also seems possible that these many records could consist of one or two birds making a wide circuit in the area.
The second likely first is one of the more unexpected records in the ABA Area this year, an amazing Berylline Hummingbird (3) photographed visiting feeders in Grand Marais, Michigan, in that state’s Upper Peninsula. This is a species without a strong history of vagrancy beyond the Chiricahuas of southern Arizona, but the photos are conclusive, and hummingbirds have made impressive cross-continent trips before.
In western Alaska, the birding has continued to be good, highlighted by a Red-flanked Bluetail (4) on St. Paul. Also on the island, several Olive-backed Pipits (3) and a Garganey (3). At Gambell, a likely Tundra Bean Goose (3) was the best bird from Asia, and a shocking Northern Mockingbird was remarkable from North America.
Washington’s 5th record of Little Blue Heron was seen this week in Skagit.
A great bird for Idaho is a Brown Thrasher near Hailey.
California was wall to wall with Brown Boobies (3) this week, with one seen in San Diego and four(!) just offshore in San Mateo. A Bay-breasted Warbler was also photographed on SE Farallon Island, San Francisco.
A noteworthy bird for Nevada is a Chestnut-sided Warbler in Nye.
A Pacific Golden-Plover in Davis, Utah, is a very nice bird so far inland.
In New Mexico, an Arctic Tern was in San Miguel.
Yet another new Brown Booby in Texas for about the fourth straight week, this time in Harris.
A Long-tailed Jaeger in Caddo, Louisiana, is that state’s 6th.
In Arkansas a California Gull was seen in Russellville and a Say’s Phoebe in Desha.
In Indiana, a quartet of Glossy Ibis were seen in Vermillion.
A nice find for Florida is a Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher on Long Pine Key in Monroe.
North Carolina’s 3rd Townsend’s Warbler was on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Jackson. s
Yet another Long-tailed Jaeger made the cut this week, this one in a little more expected location, offshore in Maryland waters.
Nice for Maine was a Cerulean Warbler on Monhegan Island.
A young Common Shelduck (not accepted to ABA list) in Saint-Basile-le-Grand, Quebec, is one of several late summer accounts of the species in the ABA Area that may be wild birds. If accepted, this would be a 2nd ABA record following a bird in Newfoundland this past spring.
And speaking of Newfoundland, a Worm-eating Warbler on Cape Avalon was a very nice bird. Also on the island, a White-winged Dove in Albany and a Golden-winged Warbler at Bear Pit.
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.