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Rare Bird Alert: June 21, 2019

There are a number of familiar continuing birds in the ABA Area as we head into the longest days of the years. The Slate-throated Redstart (ABA Code 4) in Texas is still hanging around, as is a Red-footed Booby (4) in California,  Falcated Duck (4) in Alaska, and Common Crane (4) in Arizona In the east, the Zenaida Dove (5) in Florida is still being seen, as are Little Egrets (4) in both Maine and New Hampshire, with multiple birds possible in the former.

Pacific storm-petrels are notoriously difficult, be they white or dark-rumped, which is what makes Washington’s 3rd record of Ashy Storm-Petrel, seen on a pelagic out of Grays Harbor, all the more impressive. The difference between Ashy and the other dark storm-petrels possible in the north Pacific this time of year seems to be a matter of degree. How much lighter is light enough? But this individual was photographed by many, which always helps.

We have a couple 1st records to report, the first from the far far far north of the continent. On Herschel Island in the Yukon Territory, which lies in the Beaufort Sea, a Spectacled Eider is not only a territorial 1st but potentially a 1st for Canada as well. Two potential records from British Columbia are labeled “hypothetical”. In any case, this is a 1st for the modern era and an excellent record for this Bering Sea specialist.

And in North Carolina, an apparent Red-footed Booby (4) photographed from a cruise ship about 60 miles off shore would be a long-anticipated 1st. Also this week, the state’s 9th Black-whiskered Vireo was seen in Carteret. 

British Columbia’s 5th record of Sedge Wren was recorded singing at Fort St. John. Also noteworthy for the province, a Lesser Goldfinch at a feeder in Agassiz.

California had a Common Redpoll in Marin this week, good for the state on its own, let alone in midsummer.

Montana’s 14th record of Long-tailed Jaeger was photographed on a lake in Deer Lodge. 

Colorado had a Blue-winged Warbler in Denver this week.

In Ohio, a Neotropic Cormorant was seen in Franklin. 

Notable for Ontario was a Curlew Sandpiper (3) on Amherst Island.

Quebec had a couple southern overshoots in a Loggerhead Shrike in Outaouais and an Orchard Oriole in Montérégie.

A Green Heron in Bonavista, Newfoundland, was a nice find for the island.

In Nova Scotia, a Little Blue Heron was seen in Bayswater.

Massachusetts had a pair of vagrant tyrant flycatchers in a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher and aTropical Kingbird at the exact same site in Plymouth. Also exciting was the slightly stale report of a Eurasian Hobby (4) photographed well-offshore, though the bird was equidistant from Nantucket and Long Island, New York, so it’s unclear which jurisdiction gets to claim it.

And New Jersey had a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher this week in Ocean. 

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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, 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.