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Rare Bird Alert: September 5, 2014

This week could reightly be called the week that Alaska exploded. Granted, this time of year means that there are groups of birders on two of the ABA’s most noted vagrant traps, Gambell and St. Paul Island, dedicated to finding Asian strays, but even by the exceptional standards that birders on those islands set year after year, this last week has been extraordinary.

We may as well get used to starting with Alaska this week, because I get the feeling we’ll be starting with Alaska regularly for the next few. On Gambell, St. Lawrence Island, birders seemed to hit the jackpot over and over again. The most notable find so far is likely the ABA’s 4th record of Tree Pipit (ABA Code 5), an accommodating individual present at least through the writing of the post. Also at Gambell one and likely two Brown Shrikes (4) have been hanging around, as well as a Eurasian Hobby (4) and a Yellow-browed Warbler (4) as recently as yesterday. Coming close to matching Gambell’s truckload of rarities, on St. Paul birders found a Jack Snipe (4) and a Siberian Rubythroat (4) . Lest you think all the action is on the islands, a Long-billed Murrelet (3) was photographed in Homer.

The ABA Area's fourth record of Tree Pipit from Gambell highlights a great week in vagrants from western Alaska. Photo by Doug Govatski

The ABA Area’s fourth record of Tree Pipit, seen at Gambell, highlights a great week in vagrants from western Alaska. Photo by Doug Govatski

One first record this week, a report that went public only a few hours before this post published. In British Columbia, a Green Violetear, a first provincial record and the third for Canada, was photographed at Port Alberni. More on this as it develops. Also in the province, a Little Stint (3) was well-photographed in Sidney, a Ruff (3) was seen at Ladner, and a Lark Bunting at Port Hardy.

Washington also had a Ruff (3), this one at Ocean Shores, Grays Harbor.

Vagrant shorebirds in Oregon took the form of a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (3) in Coos. Meanwhile, an Indigo Bunting was seen inDouglas.

Excellent for Idaho was a young Sabine’s Gull in Valley.

A pair of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds  visited two separate feeders on opposite sides of California this week. One was in San Luis Obispo and the second in Eureka. These are the 13th and 14th records for the state.

A nice find in Nevada was a Lark Bunting in Washoe.

Vagrants in Utah this week include an American Redstart in Weber, an Ovenbird and a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher in Davis, and aClay-colored Sparrow in Salt Lake.

Colorado also had a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, this one in Phillips, and an Eastern Towhee was found in Logan.

Arizona’s recurring Sinaloa Wren (5) has made its appearance for the third straight year at Fort Huachuca in Cochise.

In Texas, a Greater Pewee was seen in Houston, where it has spent the last 5 winters.

A Crested Caracara in Barber, Kansas, is that state’s 7th.

A Little Gull was seen this week on Yankton Reservoir, which straddles Nebraska and South Dakota, and the bird was seen on both sides of the line. Unique to Nebraska, however, was a Long-tailed Jaeger found in Lincoln.

A Long-tailed Jaeger was also seen in Marion, Iowa, this week, along with a Red Phalarope near Saylorville.

A Mottled Duck in Mason, Illinois, is around that state’s 10th record. A Ruff (3) was also seen in Chatauqua.

In Ohio, a Reddish Egret in Delaware is a remarkable record, and only that state’s 2nd.

Always a nice bird inland, a Great Black-backed Gull was photographed in Hamilton, Tennessee.

Infrequent in recent years, birders on a trip out of Hatteras, North Carolina, were surprised to get great looks at the enigmatic Bermuda Petrel (3).

In Virginia, a Wood Stork has spent the better part of two weeks in Clarke.

Less notable as the years wain, a White-winged Dove was seen in Cape May, New Jersey.

An apparent Brown Booby (3) was photographed in Queens, New York.

In Ontario, a Glossy Ibis was found near Hamilton.

Great for Quebec, a Lark Bunting was photographed at Côte-Nord.

Rare for Connecticut, a Parasitic Jaeger was spotted in the Connecticut waters of Long Island Sound. UPDATE: The bird in question has been identified as a Long-tailed Jaeger, the 3rd or 4th record for the state.

And yet another Brown Booby (3) stopped off on a fishing boat on the Grand Banks, Newfoundland, that province’s 3rd record.

 

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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 <aba.org/nab>, the richly illustrated journal of ornithological record published by the ABA.