In general, if you want to record a bird that is singing (ie, target an individual bird), a shotgun mic connected to a cel phone will outperform the best recorder with integrated mic. This is because the microphone is far far more important than the recorder. For soundscapes, nocturnal recording, etc, this can obviously change.
I have been recording for years with a sennheiser shotgun mic and an inexpensive Sony recorder. The mic cost 4x what the recorder did, but upgrading to a parábola mic (if I wanted to carry one) would be do more to improve my recordings than upgrading to a top of the line recorder.
Just interested in which 'best ones' have been discontinued, may help to see what you are really after.
The advice of pbjosh is broadly what I believe. With cameras, bodies come and go, but good lenses hopefully last significantly longer (with film it used to be a lifetime!), and I have microphones that look as if they were used to record pteradactyls hatching.
Older recorders last virtually for ever - I have just replaced my miniature dictation recorder after 23 years (it was solid state memory). (Some of the miniature soldered joints are failing from atmospheric corrosion). It had a simple function - it worked until one day it didn't - I miss it.
I use only external mics with the recorders for but the Zoom H1 (earlier series, but the updated model H1new has been marketed since 2018) and the excellent Sony M10 (discontinued) are my favourite, the former is also more convenient and suitable to be left out in the open at night