Trying to predict a given state or province's next first record is a parlor game we all participate in from time to time. The unexpected and the exciting get most of the accolades, but there is a short list of species that we can see coming, and who's ultimate discovery feels almost like finding that missing puzzle piece under the sofa cushion. They may be a bit less exciting, but they're particularly satisfying.
The two first records this week have long been expected, but finally nailing them down is oh-so-sweet. The first, a well-photographed Bermuda Petrel (ABA Code 4) seen from an NOAA ship in Virginia waters by none other than Birding magazine quizmaster Tom Johnson. We've known for some time, thanks to Cahows tagged with geolocators, that the species follows the Gulf Stream up the Atlantic coast all the way east to European waters, but it is so infrequently encountered that even sightings where they are more or less expected are met with great fanfare.
The other first comes from New York, where a long-expected Neotropic Cormorant was photographed among Double-cresteds along Lake Ontario in Monroe. The species has been showing up in late summer across the midwest in increasing numbers for several years, pushing eastward every year. Undoubtedly, other states/provinces in the east still lacking it should be on the look-out.
New Mexico followed its Wood-Rail show with a pair of nice records, most notably a Blue-footed Booby (4), the state's 2nd, in Lea, but the Yellow-green Vireo in Eddy is great too.
A Brown Booby (3) at Lake Havasu has been skirting back and forth between Arizona and California, where it is the 8th record for the former state and, remarkably, the second individual in as many weeks.
Nice away from the center of the continent, a Franklin's Gull was seen near Newport, Oregon.
In British Columbia, notable birds include an Indigo Bunting near Kamloops and a Ferruginous Hawk near Golden.
In Colorado, a Glaucous-winged Gull was recorded in Kiowa.
A Royal Tern turned up at Carlyle Lake in Clinton, Illinois.
Good for the Atlantic provinces, a Little Blue Heron was seen at Point Leamington, Newfoundland.
in New Hampshire, a Yellow-throated Warbler was photographed in Rockingham.
Right on time for rare shorebirds, a Curlew Sandpiper (3) was found in Essex, Massachusetts.
A Swallow-tailed Kite dispersed north into Washington, Maryland, this week.
It's been a great month for Herald "Trindade" Petrels (3) in the Gulf Stream out of Dare, North Carolina, with multiple individuals recorded.
A Ruff (3) was seen in Georgetown, South Carolina.
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.