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Rare Bird Alert: July 25, 2014

Another week on the slower side in the ABA Area, but quality remains high. Numbers of shorebirds are beginning to increase continent-wide and with them the exciting Eurasian vagrants that get every birder’s heart going this time of year. The Red-necked Stint in Florida last week was only the beginning (that bird continues into this week), and stint’s are on the minds and in the binoculars of birders in a couple states this week.

Top billing, however, has to go to a European Golden-Plover (ABA code 3) seen by many in Hunterdon, New Jersey, this week. Not only was it a 1st state record, but it’s the first individual seen south of Newfoundland following what was a unprecedented incursion of the species not more than three months ago. With more than 200 Euro Golden-Plovers seen in that province this year, there’s reason to think that some lingering individuals may have felt the urge to head south on this side of the Atlantic instead of heading home first. It has happened before, and birders on the east coast should keep a close eye out for this species as the summer rolls on (and maybe next spring too).

Photo by Alan Mart

Is this European Golden-Plover in New Jersey a one-off, or the tip of the spear? Photo by Alan Mart, used with permission

The aforementioned stints are beginning to make their expected appearance on the west coast, with a Red-necked Stint (3) found and photographed in Contra Costa, California, notably a first record for that county. In southern California, an influx of boobies included the somewhat expected Brown varieties, but also at least one Blue-footed Booby (4) in San Diego.

A pair of promising stint reports came out of Oregon this week, though the birds were not photographed and are yet to be relocated. A possible Little Stint (4) in Clatsop and a candidate Long-toed Stint (3) in Tillamook. Those will likely get the #ABArare treatment if they pan out, so keep an eye out here.

In Utah, an adult Little Blue Heron was photographed in Davis.

A rare summer record of Pacific Loon was visiting busy Lake Perry in Jefferson, Kansas.

Expanding north and west with some regularity, a Glossy Ibis was seen in Barnes, North Dakota.

In Illinois, a White-winged Dove was a brief visitor to a feeder in Cook.

Quebec’s 2nd record of Black Skimmer was seen by many in Riviere-Ouelle. Likely a remnant of Hurricane Arthur, this is the first record of the species in the province since 1938.

In Nova Scotia, good birds include a Glossy Ibis in Yarmouth and a Black-necked Stilt in Lunenburg.

In Delaware, a Ruff (3) was photographed in Sussex.

And in Maryland, a Neotropic Cormorant was seen near Violettes, another outlier for this increasingly expected vagrant species this year.


Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT 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 <>, the richly illustrated journal of ornithological record published by the ABA.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
Nate Swick

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