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    Rare Bird Alert: July 18, 2014

    If last week was slow, this week, sadly, is slower. But there are signs of a resurgence for those with eyes to see. Mid-summer is the beginning of vagrant shorebird season, and stints are on their way to North America and now is the time to be on the look out for them.

    First blood comes from Florida, where appropriately a Red-necked Stint (ABA Code 3) was found by visiting birders on Boca Chica Beach in Monroe. Despite being semi-annual farther north along the Atlantic Coast (and even more expected on the left side of the continent), the southeast has very few records of this cool little Calidris, and this is a first state record for Florida.

    Photo by Viktor Nillson- Örtman, used with permission

    Photo by Viktor Nillson- Örtman, used with permission

    Up in New Jersey, White-faced Ibis is increasingly expected in summer and fall, as it is all over the east. One was seen this week in Cape May.

    A Eurasian Collared-Dove in Queens, New York, is potentially another outpost of this rapidly expanding species. Questions have been raised, however, about the bird’s provenance and identity, Streptopelia doves being an under-rated identification challenge.

    In Connecticut, an American Avocet was seen near the town of Milford.

    The leavings of Hurrican Arthur last week are still hanging around in the Maritimes, and a Black Skimmer was lingering in St. Martins, New Brunswick.

    In Nova Scotia, a trio of Black-necked Stilts were seen in Shelburne.

    A second Field Sparrow joined a bird discovered last week near LaRiviere, Manitoba.

    In Saskatchewan, a Dickcissel was heard near Esteven.

    The Bering Sea Islands of Alaska are still producing quality birds, even in mid-summer, a Lesser Sand-Plover on St. Paul being the most notable this week.

    In British Columbia, an Indigo Bunting was found near Cawston.

    A Brown Thrasher in Pacific, Washington, largely bypassed the birding community to be reported in a local paper.

    In California, a Blue-footed Booby (4) was seen on a Channel Island in Ventura County.

    And in Colorado, a Pacific Wren was discovered in Ouray.


    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.

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    Nate Swick

    Nate Swick

    Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog. A long-time member of the bird blogosphere, Nate has been writing about birds and birding at The Drinking Bird since 2007, but can also be found writing regularly at 10,000 Birds. In the non-digital world, he's an environmental educator and interpretive naturalist. Nate lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children, who are not yet aware that they are being groomed to be birders.
    Nate Swick

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    • maria

      I have been playing golf for years and it was always fun to see all of the beautiful diverse birds on the courses. I rarely see hardly any water fowl on any of the courses anymore and found out that the courses are using trained dogs to run the water fowl off. Now the lakes are empty. On rare occasion you will see several geese. It is very sad that we allowed these courses to be built in wetlands with the understanding they would share them with the birds and now they are not doing that. It just does not seem right.

    • Terry Bronson

      Certainly not of state or provincial first importance, but a drake Lesser Scaup in Monongalia County, WV, now present for 3 days, is an extremely rare July sighting for the Mountain State. It may have been decades since the last one, pending further research.

    Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
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