Not a whole lot of action on the rare bird front this week, but I do need to address a misstatement I made in the last installment regarding the lack of first records. It turns out I had missed not one, but two. Let me atone for that inadvertent oversight this week, and add a few birds to each state to cover the interest.
Washington has seen an impressive run of great birds lately, and no doubt the state’s birders have been busy deciding which ones to chase as they’ve turned up, more or less, on opposite side of the state. The most exciting is the state’s first record of Eastern Wood-Pewee, recorded singing and subsequently photographed in west-central Grant county. As if that wasn’t enough, the state’s second ever Smith’s Longspur was well-photographed this week in Ocean Shores, Grays Harbor.
Offshore birders got into the action too, as consecutive pelagic trips out of Westport last weekend found what appear to be two different Great Shearwaters, the 4th and 5th records for Washington. A Long-billed Murrelet (ABA Code 3) near Edmonds wrapped things up and ended up being, as was quipped on the ABA’s Rare Bird Alert Facebook group, only the fifth most exciting bird in the state on a given weekend. How’s that for bizarre?
The other first came from Alaska, where a Flesh-footed Shearwater (3) was recorded from the Gulf of Alaska portion of the Juneau to Whittier ferry. This species has been reported in the state a few times before, but this is apparently the first record with accompanying photographic documentation. Way out west, three Willow Warblers (4) turned up on Bering Sea islands this week; two at Gambell and another on St Paul Island.
Very good for British Columbia is a Prairie Warbler photographed at Revelstoke.
Several Elegant Terns have been present as far north as Coos, Oregon, recently.
A Red-billed Tropicbird (3) was arguably the most exciting species seen off of San Diego, California, last week.
In Utah, a Red-shouldered Hawk was discovered in Washington.
One of the more remarkable records of the week, a Blue-footed Booby (4) was seen flying over a highway in Sierra, New Mexico. This is the second in the state this month and the third in the southwest in that time period.
Good birds in Colorado include a Common Black Hawk in Delta and a Blue-headed Vireo in Washington.
Michigan had a Cattle Egret in Bay county.
In Illinois, a Curlew Sandpiper in Mason was the highlight of the week, but a Neotropic Cormorant in Cook was a bit farther north than they’re usually seen.
Western Kingbirds have begun to turn up in the eastern third of the continent, with one each in North York, Ontario, and The Hawk, Nova Scotia.
Expanding north, but still notable in New England, a Mississippi Kite was seen in Simsbury, Connecticut.
Semiannual in North Carolina, a Roseate Spoonbill was recorded in far southern Brunswick.
Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT aba.org and I’ll 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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