January 27, 2023

Rarities continuing into the last week of January in the ABA Area include the Common Shelduck (ABA Code 5) in Pennsylvania, the Caribbean trio of La Sagra’s Flycatcher (4), Bahama Mockingbird (4), and Red-legged Honeycreeper (5) in Florida, and the Red-flanked Bluetail (4) in southern California,

This year has been a banner one for wandering finches in North America, with Evening Grosbeaks making another incursion into the south, but no one suspected a Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch in Green Bay, Nova Scotia, to be among them. This most widespread of the three North American rosy-finches has a fairly significant pattern of vagrancy to the great Lakes and even as far east as Quebec and Maine, but this week’s sighting in the Maritimes represents a new outlier, representing a provincial 1st record, for this species in the east of the continent.

Oklahoma also boasts a state 1st this week, with a Slaty-backed Gull (3) seen in Oklahoma City. This is yet species that has increasing in North  America in recent years, with regular records coming from the west coast and the Great Lakes, so it stands to reason that the rest of the continent should start seeing records as well.

And from Louisiana, comes the surprising news that an American Black Duck taken by a hunter in Cameron represents a 1st record for the state. While the species is a quite common winterer across much of the east, Louisiana is on the very edge of that range. Plus, the relative inaccessibility of the state’s coastal marshes and large numbers of Mottled Ducks make confirming the species rather difficult. EDIT: This is not a 1st record as previously reported, the species has been scarce in recent years but there are a number of historical records. 

Over to Texas, where a Common Crane (3) in Lubbock represents the 3rd for the state.

Wyoming comes through with a pair of 2nd records this week, a Northern Hawk Owl in Sublette and a Whooper Swan  (3) in Teton. 

Oregon ‘s 3rd record of Pine Warbler was coming to a feeder in Klamath Falls this week.

Across the continent to Connecticut, where a Common (Kamchatka) Gull was seen in Stamford, and the state’s 9th Dovekie was discovered among an notable alcid movement in Ocean Beach.

And in New Jersey, a Thick-billed Murre was photographed in Middlesex. 

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.