American Birding Podcast



Rare Bird Alert: August 2, 2019

Continuing ABA Area rarities include the Antillean Palm-Swift (ABA Code 5) in Florida, seen at least into the beginning of the week. It was joined in Florida by a Black-faced Grassquit (4) which is still hanging around. Little Egrets (4) in Maine continue to be seen, as does a Red-footed Booby (4) in California. Arizona hosts both the long-staying Common Crane (4) and the annual and somewhat expected late summer Plain-capped Starthroat (4).

There were no earth-shattering ABA Area rarities this week, but the remarkable discovery of a young Heermann’s Gull in Polk, Iowa, is about as weird a record of an ABA Area breeder as you can get. Heermann’s Gull does not have a well-established pattern of vagrancy, so any records away from the immediate Pacific Coast (and there are a small handful) is exceptional. This is a 1st for Iowa, not suprisingly.

That wasn’t the only 1st to note this week. In North Carolina, a Pacific Golden-Plover in Dare was a very nice find, not least of which because it’s a tough ID in nearly any plumage. There are very few records of this long-distance migrant on the Atlantic coast, though that is at least partly because they can be very easily overlooked.

That wasn’t the only good bird to be seen in North Carolina this week. Pelagic trips out of Hatteras netted both a White-faced Storm-Petrel (3) and another Bermuda Petrel (3) this week.

Maine’s 6th record of Wilson’s Plover was seen on Seal Island, the latest of what was a minor irruption of this species up the Atlantic coast this summer. Also in Maine, a Brown Booby (3) was seen in Ogunquit.

Nova Scotia had a Wilson’s Phalarope at Amherst Point.

In Newfoundland, a Brown Booby (3) was seen diving near the massive gannet colony at Cape St. Mary’s.

Good for Wisconsin was a Blue Grosbeak in Ozaukee. 

Idaho had a young Brown Pelican this week, seen in Lewiston.

Arizona had a couple noteworthy birds, a Magnificent Frigatebird flyover in Pima and a Roseate Spoonbill in Yavapai. 

And in California, the once very rare and now annual Nazca Booby (5) was seen in Orange. 


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.