Rare Bird Alert: May 25, 2012
by Nate Swick
Passerine migration has slowed to a crawl across much of the continent, but the heat is on at the north end of North America. Birders plying the outer islands of Alaska, specifically Adak, Attu, and St Paul on the Pribloffs have seen a trmendous haul during the late spring rarity season. It's unfortunate that so few of these birds are twitchable, because the Last Frontier is where it is at these days.
ABA rare reporter John Puschok is busy finding the rare birds instead of passing on the info. His trip to the infamous Attu - the very last Aleutian island before Russia - has tallied up an impressive checklist including Rustic Bunting (ABA Code 3) Long-toed Stint (3) Brambling (3) Smew (3) Common Greenshank (3), and an Oriental Greenfinch (4). On St. Paul Island in the Pribloffs, birders found a White-tailed Eagle (4) Hawfinch (4) and a Skylark while those on Adak enjoyed another Hawfinch (4).
One of many Curlew Sandpipers in the ABA Area this week is one near Sampson, Greys Harbor, Washington.
In Oregon, a Blue-headed Vireo was reported at Malheur NWR in Harney.
A pair of state seconds made for an exciting week in Iadaho birding. Both a well-photographed Worm-eating Warbler and a beautiful Yellow-throated Vireo were discovered within days of each other in Jefferson.
A Snowy Plover at Freezeout Lake in Russell, Montana, is that state's 6th.
In California, a Canada Warbler was a first for Mono, and a Black-bellied Whistling Duck is exciting in Tulare. Birders offshore in Mendacino had a Short-tailed Albatross (3).
The hottest bird in Arizona right now is a Hudsonian Godwit in Cochise, the 6th for the state. Other notables include a Common Grackle in Coconino, two Baltimore Orioles, one in Maricopa and a second in Cochise, a Laughing Gull in Cochise and a Worm-eating Warbler in Cameron.
The previously reported Tropical Mockingbird in Jefferson, Texas, is still present.
Oklahoma's third Great Kiskadee is now present nearly alongside its second at Red Slough Managment Area in McCurtain.
A Lewis's Woodpecker in Gove, Kansas, is notable despite only being just across the border from a population in Colorado. Also, a Tricolored Heron is present at Cheyenne Bottoms in Barton.
A well-documented Curlew Sandpiper (3) was found in Johnson, Iowa.
A Garganey (4) was briefly in Kidder, North Dakota.
Excellent for the prairie provinces is a Summer Tanager near Regina, Saskatchewan.
Always good inland was a Laughing Gull in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
A lingering Little Gull was found in Monroe, Michigan.
In Illinois, a Western Tanager was a very brief visitor at a public park in Cook.
Another Curlew Sandpiper (3) in the midwest, this time in Greene, Indiana, along with a Mountain Bluebird.
A pair of Brown Pelicans in well-inland Tennessee can be found in Hamilton and in Smith.
Notable for its location and lateness is a Pacific Loon near Toledo, Lucas, Ohio.
Across Lake Erie in Ontario, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was reported from Point Pelee NP.
An exceptional bird in migration, which is fortunately becoming slightly more regularly noted, is a Kirtland's Warbler in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Good for the southeast is a reported Brewer's Blackbird in Cleveland, Georgia.
A Sabine's Gull has been present much of thr week at Slaughter Beach in Sussex, Delaware.
A White-winged Dove was found in Assateague, Maryland.
In New Hampshire, an Acadian Flycatcher was singing near Concord.
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.