January 20, 2023

Continuing rarities in the ABA Area include both Bahama Mockingbird (ABA Code 4) and LaSagra’s Flycatcher (4) in Florida, right on time for what have been, in the past, long-staying Caribbean rarities. The Common Shelduck (5) is still being seen in Pennsylvania, though I have no idea what that means for the ongoing provenance discussion. And in California, a Red-flanked Bluetail (4) and Little Stint (4) continue.

For 1st records, we start in West Virginia, where a Townsend’s Solitaire in Grant fills in a significant gap on the distribution map for this species. Solitaires are fairly regular fall and winter vagrants to the eastern half of the ABA Area, and West Virginia had been a long-standing and somewhat bizarre hole in the map, though no more.

Other 1sts to report include a young White-tailed Hawk seen this week in Baldwin, Alabama.

And Oregon finally hosts its long-awaited 1st record of Field Sparrow this week in Monmouth, surprising as they breed as close as Wyoming.

In Texas, the state’s 11th Barrow’s Goldeneye is represented by a nice male in Hutchinson. It’s the first in the state in a decade.

Florida gets yet another Red-legged Honeycreeper (5) Miami-Dade following the impressive influx last fall across the Gulf of Mexico. It seems equally likely that this could be a new bird or a lingering individual from the previous movement.

Indiana’s 5th Slaty-backed Gull was found in Elkhart this week.

Connecticut’s cup runneth over this week with a whole suite of great birds. The state’s 7th Common Gull (3) was seen in Tolland, Ross’s Goose turned up in Windsor, and the state’s 6th Black Guillemot was seen in New London. A late report of a Black-chinned Hummingbird in Hartford represents the 2nd for the state. But the birding community seems most excited about Connecticut’s 3rd record of Green-tailed Towhee showing well at a feeder in Fairfield.

Rhode Island’s 3rd Common Gull (3) was seen in Bristol.

Notable for Nova Scotia was a young Purple Gallinule in Halifax.

And in Newfoundland, excellent photos were taken of a Common Snipe (3) on the Avalon Peninsula, all the more noteworthy because it did not come from a hunter as many eastern records of this cryptic species do.

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.