December 3, 2021

South Texas continues to host excellent ABA Area rarities with Social Flycatcher (ABA Code 5), Golden-crowned Warbler (4), and Crimson-collared Grosbeak (4) present in to this week, as well as the Blue Mockingbird (5) in New Mexico.

I’m not sure if three birds in one year constitutes an irruption, but there is surely something going on with regard to Small-billed Elaenia in the ABA Area this year. The third individual of this highly migratory South American austral migrant was discovered this week in Lake, llinois, made all the more bizarre because it was found not more than 50 miles from the site in Chicago where the ABA’s 1st record of this species was discovered in 2012. That bird was recently accepted to the ABA Checklist, making all these 2021 records, from Texas and Quebec, in addition to Illinois this week, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively.

Just because the most exciting bird of the period was a 2nd record doesn’t mean we lack for 1sts this week. Kentucky becomes the latest state to add a 1st this year with an Anna’s Hummingbird visiting a feeder in Jefferson. 

North Dakota also had a 1st this week, its second of the fall, with a female King Eider was seen in McLean.

To Kansas where a Couch’s Kingbird in Lyon was a state 1st, and was combined this week with the state’s 4th Broad-billed Hummingbird in Potawatamie. 

And in Quebec, a Eurasian Tree Sparrow at a feeder in St. Barthélémy is perhaps an anticlimactic addition to the provincial list, but it is the 5th potential new bird for 2021 in the province.

Over to Newfoundland, where a Northern Lapwing (4) at Shoal Point is a nice find anywhere in the ABA Area.

New York had a uniquely accommodating Gray Kingbird in Richmond this week.

Michigan had a run of Common Eiders, with the state’s 8th and 9th record coming from Marquette and Keweenaw respectively. Also notable, a Northern Gannet was seen from the Lake Michigan lakeshore in Sarnia. 

Always an exciting find in the Lower 48, a young Ross’s Gull in Washington, Minnesota, was seen by several birders before, unfortunately, expiring.

Good for Missouri was a Mountain Bluebird at St. Charles. 

Up to Saskatchewan where a Yellow-billed Loon was seen in Gardiner.

Alberta’s 6th record of Eastern Towhee turned up at a feeder in Edmonton.

In British Columbia, a Brambling (3) was a nice find in Revelstoke.

It was a good week for weird ducks in California where a Garganey (4) was seen in Riverside and a Mexican Duck in Orange. 

Nevada’s 2nd record of Barred Owl was photographed in Washoe, and the state’s 5th Winter Wren was photographed and recorded in Clark. 

Notable for Arizona was a Short-billed Gull in Maricopa. 

New Mexico continues to impress with the state’s 2nd record of Eastern Screech-Owl recorded at the Blue Mockingbird spot in Eddy and a wrecked Ancient Murrelet, also a 2nd, was picked up by rehabbers in Palacios.

And in Texas, a Brant among a large flock of Cackling Geese in Plainview is a nice bird for the state.

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.