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North American Rarity Round-Up

August, 2000

This is a very informal collection of some of the more interesting sightings reported to the regional hotline tapes during this period. These are not authenticated records and are in only a loose species order. Apologies for any omissions.

This photo of the eclipse male Garganey at Plum Island Mass, was taken on August 8th by David Larson. The photo was taken using a Sony Mavica FD-91 held up to a Kowa TSN4 spotting telescope.

To see more frame filling photos of this bird and other bird photos go to David's great website at

© David Larson. Used by permission

Round-Up By Andy Birch
The LEAST GREBE lingered at Sweetwater Wetlands in Tucson, AZ through the

Late news for July, concerns a probable SALVIN'S ALBATROSS reported from a 29th July boat trip out of Bodega Bay, CA.

Perhaps, just as remarkable, came news from the Detroit RBA that a 12 year old found a MANX SHEARWATER alive in her driveway near Armada in Macomb County on August 19th. Apparently, it was a banded bird and the family discovered via the internet that it was banded in 1991 in Northern Ireland. The bird was taken to the Detroit Zoo but died on the 24th.

Late July offshore birding from the Carolinas produced 2 WHITE-TAILED TROPICBIRDS on the 15th July along with FEA'S PETREL and MANX SHEARWATER.. The very rare WHITE-FACED STORM PETREL was seen in offshore waters of both Carolinas in August. HERALD PETRELS have been featured prominently in recent offshore excursions. Five birds were seen over the weekend of 8-26 ,27; with 4 being seen on the 26th

On Aug. 13 a FEA'S PETREL was seen and well described by a local birder who was on a Fisheries Patrol Boat approximately 170 km south of the Burin Peninsula. This is the first time this species has been recorded within Newfoundland waters.

On the other coast on August 19th, a Shearwater Journeys pelagic trip out of Fort Bragg had the following: 38 BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, a DARK-RUMPED PETREL within 25 feet of the boat at 8 miles out, a MARKHAM'S STORM-PETREL 28 miles off the Fort Bragg Buoy (CBRC-RS), 4 SOUTH POLAR SKUA, 12 LONG-TAILED JAEGER, and a TUFTED PUFFIN. (DS)

The highlight in Kentucky, was the continued presence of an AMERICAN ANHINGA in Henderson County, mid-month.The AMERICAN ANHINGA was still west of London, Ontario on Aug 3rd. Connecticut reported a possible immature WHITE IBIS from the Salt Meadow Unit of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge in Westbrook on July 29th. From Ontario, came news on the 7th of GREAT EGRETS early in the month. From southern California at the Salton Sea through 8th August, at least one adult GLOSSY IBIS continued.

An eclipse plumaged male GARGANEY was discovered on the 4th at the Salt Pannes on Plum Island in Newburyport, MASS and stayed until the11th.

On August 22nd, a EURASIAN DOTTEREL was on the Farallones, CA. A RED-NECKED STINT, in fading alternate plumage, was discovered on July 29th at Milford Point, CT and stayed until 1st Aug. Another was also reported on August 5th at Bolsa Chica, CA. A possible RED-NECKED STINT was reported at Brigantine Refuge in New Jersey at the end of the month. Oregon reported a CURLEW SANDPIPER in mostly breeding plumage found on August 5th -9th at least on Long Beach, Washington. Another CURLEW SANDPIPER was reported to the Georgia RBA at the Andrews Island Spoil Area in Brunswick and was seen again on August 30th. A EURASIAN WHIMBREL was discovered in the evening of Monday, 14th August, at Stone Harbor Point, Cape May County, at high tide. Portland, Oregon RBA reported A BAR-TAILED GODWIT found on August 20th at the mouth of the Necanicum River between Gearhart and Seaside. RUFFs were reported widely on both coasts this month too.

An adult plumaged BLACK-HEADED GULL was seen bucking a strong south wind off the west shore of Grand Isle, Vermont on August 1st. The KELP GULL was putting in sporadic appearances in Sandgates, St. Mary's Co, MD. New Hampshire reported along the coast, on the 29th, a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL at Jenness Beach in Rye. A probable LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen at Foss Beach in Rye on the 13th. Perhaps the highlight of the week, but unfortunately unavailable to mainland birders, was an adult SOOTY TERN seen in the tern colony at White and Seavy Islands in the Isles of Shoals. Georgia statewide RBA had a great sighting of an adult SOOTY TERN on Little Tybee Island on 5th . A SOOTY TERN was reported from Race Point in Provincetown, MASS early on. On August 31st, at Cape Henlopen, Delaware a probable adult SOOTY TERN was seen.

A RUDDY GROUND-DOVE was seen at SweetwaterWW, AZ on the 14th. From the New Mexico Bird Report, a RUDDY GROUND-DOVE was seen at Redrock, north of town on the east side of the Gila River. The male RUDDY GROUND-DOVE was still frequenting a feeder in central Phoenix, AZ. The bird has been there since January.

A MANGROVE CUCKOO was reported from a private residence in Corpus Christi, Texas on Sunday. 20th. It had been reported from this residence last year.

A male BERYLLINE HUMMINGBIRD and a LUCIFER continued at the Beattys' at the end of Miller Canyon Rd, AZ. A female BERYLLINE HUMMINGBIRD continued to feed a nestling in Ramsey Canyon, AZ near the Visitors' Center through the 16th, and a WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD was seen there on the 3rd as well. New Mexico reported on August 17th at the feeders in Mogollon a female WHITE-EARED.

Florida reported a FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER from Brevard Co. until 16th.

San Francisco reported a LEAST FLYCATCHER on August 25th, near the summit of Mt. Davidson Santa Clara County: Another was reported from Los Angeles in southern California at the end of the month

Arizona had a YELLOW-GREEN VIREO at Patagonia - thru the16th An adult YELLOW-GREEN VIREO was also found one mile up Harshaw Creek Road on the 6th at the Carmel River Mouth, CA. A YELLOW-THROATED VIREO was found Aug 31st in Monterey, CA.

The male BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER lingered in Chino Canyon until the end of the month.

All the buzz in Arizona was AZTEC THRUSHES. An AZTEC THRUSH was found in Madera Canyon on the 10th-19th. It was in a fruiting tree about .7 of a mile up the Vault Mine Trail from the end of the road parking area. It was not hard to see on the 11th and 12th but was missed for a couple of days until the 18th and 19th when two birds described as male and female were seen. The tree was good for seeing a family of ELEGANT TROGONS and some GROSBEAKS, TANAGERS and AMERICAN ROBINS.

In the Rio Grande Valley, the BLUE MOCKINGBIRD was being reported again at a private residence in Weslaco. Towards the end of the month, the bird was being reported as reliable at a bird bath there. In Alaska, the NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD, first found near downtown in July of 1998, was still present at the Anchorage Memorial Cemetery through at least the 4th.

The RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER in French Joe Canyon was seen on the 3rd until end of the month and was showing quite well by all accounts. The male BLUE-WINGED WARBLER first found July 24th along Indian Ford Creek, Oregon continued until at least mid-month. A HOODED WARBLER was also reported from that state at the Hotsprings Campground on Hart Mountain.

A YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was seen 13th at the John Kieran Sanctuary in Rockport, MASS but not since. Another very good bird, seen once but not to be found again, was a KIRTLAND'S WARBLER, on a property in eastern Pennsylvania, south of Easton PA, on Saturday, August 26th

In Colrain, MASS, a flock of WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLSwere being seen during August. The flock numbers anywhere from 3 to 26 individuals.

From Connecticut on August 14th. there was a LARK SPARROW found at West Beach in Stamford. The bird was seen on the 14th and 15th, but was not seen on the 16th.
This Red-legged Kittiwake was seen on a Westport, Washington pelagic on August 19th, 2000.

Photograph © Ryan Shaw. Ryan has some more superb photos of this bird at:

© Ryan Shaw. Used by permission

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