The extra holidays in both Canada and the United States this past week may have meant more time for birding for some of us, at least those birders who were able to pull away from barbeques and family time to get out in the field. I'm away from home this week, so the introduction will be short this time around, but our increasingly ridiculous streak of first records continues once again this week with a pair of extralimital terns doing the honors.
In the ABA homeland of Colorado, a Sandwich Tern, most likely of the North American "Cabot's" population, was discovered in Teller for a second first state record in as many weeks for the Rocky Mountain State.
Over on the Atlantic coast, birders who took an especially close look at an apparent Royal Tern in Suffolk, New York, were rewarded with the bird looked to be more like a state's first Elegant Tern, remarkably in roughly the same location as a Red-necked Stint (ABA Code 3) had been found not more than a few days prior.
Staying in the Mid-Atlantic, a Brown Booby (3) has been seen on and off over the past few days in Monmouth, New Jersey.
in Virginia, a Ruff (3) was photographed at Chincoteague NWR, in Accomack.
Rare for North Carolina, but increasingly showing up all over the midwest and east, a small flock of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were present briefly in Tyrrell.
Always good in the east, a White-faced Ibis was in Hernando, Florida.
A Gray Kingbird turned up on Dauphin Island, Alabama, last week.
In Arkansas, a Cassin's Sparrow was singing as if on territory in Little River, notably at the same site a pair bred during the invasion year of 2011.
Good birds this week in Texas include a Gray Kingbird in Palacios, a Fork-tailed Flycatcher near San Antonio, and a possible, but as yet not refound, Curlew Sandpiper (3) near Corpus Christie.
In Washington, a Hooded Warbler was reported in Skamania.
Birders on St Paul Island, Alaska, had an impressive flight of Mottled Petrels (3) this week.
In Illinois, a Reddish Egret was reported at Crab Orchard NWR in Williamson.
A Royal Tern turned up at Point Pelee in Ontario.
Notable for Quebec was a Little Blue Heron near Quebec City.
And a Sandwich Tern in Renews, Newfoundland, was especially interesting because it showed some characteristics of being of the Old World nominate subspecies, not yet confirmed in the ABA-Area and a potential split pending the decision of the AOU Check-list Committee.
Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT aba.org and I'll 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