December 17, 2021

ABA Area Rarities continuing into this first Christmas Bird Count Week include the New Mexico Blue Mockingbird (ABA Code 5), both Crimson-collared Grosbeak (4) and Golden-crowned Warbler (4) in Texas, and the female Garganey (4) in California.

It’s not every week we get a potential ABA Area 1st record, and this week Texas comes through. A Bat Falcon photographed at Santa Ana NWR in Hidalgo is a long-awaited 1st for Texas and the ABA Area. Bat Falcon is a widely distributed raptor of the New World tropics, found from northern Mexico all the way south to northern Argentina. In fact, it has been seen somewhat regularly as close as Monterrey in Neuvo León, which is only about 140 miles south of the Rio Grande, and practically nothing as the falcon flies.

That wasn’t the only 1st to note this week, as in New Mexico, a likely Nutting’s Flycatcher (4) in Eddy, notably at the same site as the continuing Blue Mockingbird, was originally seen at the end of last month, and only identified as possible Nutting’s this week. This would be a state 1st.

And in British Columbia, a well-photographed Red-shouldered Hawk in Agassiz is a 1st documented record, though there have been previous sight reports.

In California, the second Ross’s Gull (3) in as many weeks in the ABA Area was seen in Alameda, representing the state’s 3rd record of this high Arctic species.

Good for Pennsylvania was a Barnacle Goose in Chester. 

In Connecticut, a Northern Lapwing (4) in Milford follows a handful of records in Newfoundland possibly suggesting another good year for this species.

Quebec gets another Brambling near Montreal, the province’s 6th.

And in North Carolina, a Varied Thrush in Hickory is also the state’s 6th.

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