Rare Bird Alert: June 15, 2012
by Nate Swick
Rare bird alerts have well and truly hit the summer doldrums. Even so, there are certainly some good birds scattered somewhat randomly around the continent. Last year's incursion of boobies shows signs of repeating itself this summer, and the first of the extralimital wading birds have begun to pop up in beyond their breeding ranges. And it won't be long now before shorebirds start moving south again, hopefully bringing along some surprises in their numbers.
There was one first state record this week, from Missouri where a Western Wood-Pewee was discovered in Jackson, near Kansas City. Thankfully the bird was, and still is, vocalizing so Missouri birders have had little trouble keepiung tabs on it over the past few days. There are a handful of other records for this species elsewhere in the upper Midwest in mid-June through July, so one wonders if this isn't a good time for close inspection of your resident Pewees. It's certainly an easy bird to overlook if not singing.
Alaska is drawing down, but there are still a few goodies showing up. On the mainland, a pair of Eurasian Bullfinches (ABA Code 4) were discovered in near Nome, and on Gambell Island, good birds include a Lesser Sand-Plover (3) and the season's second Temminck's Stint (3).
British Columbia is seeing a spate of Black-throated Sparrows, with a remarkable 5 individuals seen across southern BC just this week.
A male Black-throated Blue Warbler in King, Washington, is that state's 9th record.
Utah's 10th Prothonotary Warbler was well-photographed by many in Weber.
Good birds in New Mexico include an Arctic Tern in San Juan and a heard Black Rail in Chaves.
Texas's first Black-tailed Godwit is still being seen in Brazoria, as is the still indeterminably wild Tropical Mockingbird at Sabine Woods.
A Sprague's Pipit was found skylarking at Fulton Prairie in Hennepin, Minnesota.
A good bird for Illinois is a Lark Bunting in McHenry.
A Snowy Plover in Mason, Michigan is that state's 3rd record, joining recent records from Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Something of a surprise is a White-winged Dove at Centre-du-Québec, Quebec.
In New Brunswick, a Yellow-headed Blackbird was found near the town of Muquash.
Almost certainly a post-breeding wanderer is a Tricolored Heron near Bennington, Vermont.
Exciting for Massachusetts is a Bar-tailed Godwit on Tuckernuck Island, Nantucket. Sadly, though, the bird is one a private island and untwitchable.
A Curlew Sandpiper is reported from Cupsogue, Suffolk, on Long Island, New York.
A pair of White-faced Ibis were reported in the mid-Atlantic, one in Somerset, Maryland and the other in Accomack, Virginia.
A fishing boat out of Hatteras, Dare, North Carolina, had Brown Booby (3) and Masked Booby (3) on consecutive days this week.
In South Carolina, a Brown Booby (3) is a little easier to see, as it's been sitting on the end of a pier in Georgetown, for the better part of this week.
Another Brown Booby (3) is recently present in Volusia, Florida.
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.