December 10, 2021
Continuing rarities in the ABA Area are once again centered in the south, with both Golden-crowned Warbler (ABA Code 4) and Crimson-collared Grosbeak (4) seen this week in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, and the New Mexico 1st Blue Mockingbird (5) still persisting at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
No 1st records to report this week, but it was a notable one nonetheless, headlined by a spectacular young Short-tailed Albatross (3) seen by many on a pelagic out of Lincoln, Oregon. The largest of the north Pacific albatrosses, Short-tailed is one of the great conservation success stories of the last century, having been nearly wiped out due to the feather trade and volcanic eruptions on its primary nesting island. Young birds that had spent years out at sea were tempted to return through the use of decoys and began nesting again in the 1950s.
Staying on the west coast and moving to Washington, which had a nice week with Eastern Phoebe in Island, a pair of Emperor Geese in Skagit (one of which was taken by a hunter) and a Hoary Redpoll in Garfield.
British Columbia also had a pair of Emperor Geese this week, on Haida Gwaii Island.
To Michigan, where a Lark Bunting in St. Clair was seen this week.
Indiana recorded a King Eider taken by a hunter at an undisclosed location this week.
Ohio’s 2nd record of Allen’s Hummingbird was visiting a feeder at a Cincinnati residence.
Notable for Pennsylvania was a Pink-footed Goose (4) in Montgomery, the farthest south record so far this winter.
Good for Florida was a Harris’s Sparrow in Escambia and a Zenaida Dove (5) in Monroe.
It was a very good week for vagrant kingbirds and New York weighs in with Gray Kingbird at Staten Island.
Massachusetts reports its second Tropical Kingbird in as many weeks, this time a bird in Essex.
Maine also had a Gray Kingbird this week in York, the state’s 3rd.
In Quebec, a Brambling (3) in Montreal is a the latest of what looks like a potentially good year for the wandering Asian finch in the ABA Area.
Nova Scotia’s 9th Ash-throated Flycatcher was very accommodating for visiting birders in West Pubnico.
And in Newfoundland, a Western Grebe at Trepassey, and the province’s 5th Say’s Phoebe at Port-aux-Basques were noteworthy birds.
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.