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#ABArare – Eurasian Dotterel – Ontario

Jut getting word that an ABA Code 4 Eurasian Dotterel was discovered this afternoon near Oliphant, Bruce County, Ontario, by Michael Butler. The bird was associating with a flock of shorebirds of Lake Huron. This is a first provincial record for Ontario and a first record for this species in the eastern half of the ABA.



Photo by Mike Butler, more photos available on his blog, North Shore Nature


The bird was seen at the T-intersection of Spry Lake Road and Shoreline Road in Oliphant, which is about 15 km west of Wiarton. Oliphant is about 3 hours northeast of Toronto and just over 4 hours from Detroit.

Eurasian Dotterel is a very rare visitor to western Alaska and has occurred a handful of times in California, four times in Washington (1934, 1979, 1999, 2007) and once in British Columbia (1998). All save the first Washington bird were 1st years, as is this one.

As mentioned above, this is not only a first for Ontario, but a first for the east as well. With only 3 previous records for Iceland and 1 from Bermuda, this is an exceptional one indeed.

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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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  • Rob Hilton

    Oliphant is actually northwest of Toronto.

  • Washington actually has 4 accepted records. In addition to the one you mention there are records from 1979, 1999, and 2007.

  • Alan Wormington

    Due to the relentless, strong NE winds for many days now, species that normally take an overland route from the vicinity of southern James Bay southeast to the Atlantic have been deflected southwest into southern Ontario over the past few days — such as many jaegers, Sabine’s Gulls, Arctic Terns, and big numbers of White-rumped Sandpipers. Based on all this, I suspect the Eurasian Dotterel originated from James Bay (via Alaska) especially considering that there are so few records for Iceland as already noted. Also there has NOT been anything originating from Europe reported from Newfoundland this week (that I am aware of).

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