December 1, 2023

Continuing rare birds in the ABA Area include the Large-billed Tern (ABA Code 5) which has been in Florida for half the year now. Some of the best birds seen recently in South Texas remain, including Roadside Hawk (4), Golden-crowned Warbler (4), and Brown Jay (4).

Texas stays on its historic hot streak over the last couple weeks first with the ABA’s 3rd record of Mottled Owl (5) heard and subsequently seen in Starr Co. Both previous records come from the lower Valley, a road-killed bird from 1983 and the latest, prior to the current bird, in 2006. Not long after the owl was confirmed, the ABA’s 3rd record of Gray-collared Becard (5) was discovered in Cameron Co, which also represents a 1st for Texas. Both previous records of this species north of Mexico come from southeast Arizona.

That wasn’t all for Texas, though, on the other side of the state a Pine Grosbeak was seen in Hansford Co, yet another indicator of a interior west exodus of some species.

There was an absolute bucketful of state 1sts in the last couple weeks from all over the ABA Area. One of the more surprising came from Tennessee, where an Ancient Murrelet in Hamilton Co in eastern Tennessee, representing a 1st for the state. This was the farthest outlier of an incredible movement of the species into the Great Lakes, with several other records that I’ll note here later.

Ontario has had a spectacular month highlighted by the province’s 1st Western Flycatcher at Rondeau Provincial Park. Other birds of note include a recent Fieldfare (4) at Sturgeon Falls, the province’s 4th, the province’s 3rd Glaucous-winged Gull at Point Pelee, and an Ancient Murrelet, the province’s 8th or so, in Hamilton.

The Gray Gull (5) that has spent the last few weeks in the panhandle of Florida has been seen again across the border in Alabama, on the Dauphin Island ferry, where it represents a 1st.

Hepatic Tanager in Salt Lake, Utah, is a surprising 1st record for that state given that they are common breeders just south of the border in Arizona.

Newfoundland’s 1st record of MacGillivray’s Warbler was seen at Conception Bay this week, one of several individuals of this species in the northeast.

New York’s 1st record of Black-chinned Hummingbird was seen at Randall’s Island in NYC just before Thanksgiving. The state’s 5th Hammond’s Flycatcher was also seen in Rockland Co.

It was quite a period for 1st record flycatchers, with Pennsylvania’s 1st Gray Flycatcher in Mifflin Co.

Rhode Island’s 1st Western Flycatcher was seen in Charlestown.

South Carolina had a 1st record of Cassin’s Kingbird in Anderson Co.

And in Florida, a Couch’s Kingbird in Tallahassee is a state 1st, and a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) was in Franklin Co.

In Quebec, a Painted Bunting was seen in Bas-Saint-Laurent.

Nova Scotia had a Tundra-Bean Goose (3) in Halifax Co.

New Hampshire’s 2nd MacGillivray’s Warbler was seen this week in Charlestown.

Connecticut also had a MacGillivray’s Warbler, in Fairfield, the state’s 3rd.

Maryland had a Black-throated Gray Warbler in Prince George’s Co.

West Virginia’s 2nd Limpkin, and their second this year, was seen in Putnam Co.

Notable for Oklahoma was a Little Gull in Payne Co.

Wisconsin had two Ancient Murrelets this week, one in Ashland Co and another in Door Co, representing the state’s 5th and 6th.

North Dakota had more Cassin’s Finches this season, in Montrail Co and McKenzie Co, the state’s 4th and 5th.

Good birds for Maricopa Co, Arizona, include the state’s 4th Yellow-crowned Night Heron and 8th White Ibis.

Nevada’s 2nd record of Greater Pewee was seen in Clark Co.

Good for California was a LeConte’s Sparrow in Orange Co.

Oregon’s 2nd record of Dusky-capped Flycatcher was seen in Newport, Lincoln Co, this week.

In Washington, the state’s 11th Summer Tanager was seen in Seattle, and a good candidate for the state’s 2nd Winter Wren was seen in Skagit Co.

And to British Columbia, where the province’s 3rd Baikal Teal was photographed in Sarita, and the 15th Green-tailed Towhee in Jordan River.

Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT aba.org 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.